If there is a place where autumn is at its best, this is the American state of Montana.
In the Northwest of the United States, on the border with Canada, this State is besieged by photographers who come to immortalize the colors ranging from yellow to deep red, passing through a thousand shades, of the fall foliage.
Montana is all a ‘scenic byway’ or a side road that, after having taken it, offers breathtaking views. One is worth the other, each reserves beautiful surprises.
Roads that can be traveled by car, but, to be more ‘green’ and live better contact with nature, even by bike or even by paddling on a canoe along the waterways.
As in all the United States, here the spaces are immense. So imagine yourself driving an SUV on a winding road with little traffic, crossing brightly colored woods, between mountain landscapes and grasslands. This is the image you get on a road trip to Montana.
To find the golden leaves that are reflected in the crystal waters of a lake just take the scenic road Montana Highway 35 and the U.S. Highway 93 around Flathead Lake. Following this road, it turns around the largest freshwater lake that exists to the west of the Mississippi River.
Aiming towards the East, you reach intact river oases and vast brushed landscapes of orange and red. Here you can take less frequented roads and venture along the Kings Hill Scenic Byway to experience the poignant bitter beauty of the Lewis and Clark National Forest.
Those looking for a route through mountain peaks and spectacular views should not miss the legendary Beartooth Highway. Here you literally climb with the car to extraordinary views of peaks over 300 meters. From Red Lodge, you follow the highway to the west of Yellowstone National Park where there are many opportunities for observing bison, deer, and other wild species.
Although the spaces are huge, there are also some cycling routes. Taking the Bitterroot Trail, a two-wheeled trail in the Bitterroot Valley, surrounded by the Bitterroot Mountains to the west and the Sapphire Mountains to the east, you will cross a simply hypnotizing route, with spectacular views of snow-capped peaks, a fall foliage access, and quaint towns.
For those who prefer to cycle along the waterways, it is advisable to explore the Paradise Valley by taking a winding path along the impressive Yellowstone River nestled between the two towering mountain ranges Gallatin and Absaroka Mountain. From the golden poplars kissed by the sun to the American poplars to the majestic peaks that can be seen at a distance, this valley, as the name implies, is a true paradise in autumn.
For a perfect variety of autumn scenery, you can embark on a bicycle trip along the spine of the Rocky Mountains from Choteau to Augusta. Between wild mountains and forests, ranches, and farms, this road offers the best of both worlds and will give you unforgettable memories.
To touch the colors of autumn in Montana, you can finally slip on the water sailing on a canoe, just like the native Americans who first occupied these lands. Following the Clearwater River Canoe Trail path in the Seeley-Swan Valley, you can enjoy the spectacular views of the valley, passing through a lagoon full of willows that, in autumn, are tinged with bright yellow hues.
Venturing north to Glacier National Park, sail the clear waters of Lake McDonald. This glacial lake is wonderful in every season of the year, but exploring its kilometers of coastline in autumn is definitely breathtaking. The impressive contrast of bright yellow of the larches that dot the forests of cedars and pines gives those who row on the lake in this season magnificent views of nature and wildlife. This is the perfect picture of the autumn vacation in Montana.