Travel Montana: Helena to Havre on the Missouri River


I’ve done a poor job of keeping up with my travels in the past few months. So over the next few weeks, I’ll be catching up a bit. I’ve already written about my drive over Flesher Pass and a fun trip to Sun Valley, Idaho.

In November, just before Thanksgiving, I had the opportunity to drive up to Havre, Montana to visit with our Collegiate group at Montana State University – Northern. It’s a small group of Collegiates, but they’re excited to get involved. The drive 3 hours and covered several different landscapes.

Sieben Montana I-15I drive through the mountains along the Missouri River between Helena and Great Falls any time I head north. One of these days I’ll make it to the Missouri Headwaters near Three Forks. But the canyon Sieben and Cascade can be pretty dangerous, covered and ice and snow, with plenty of sharp turns. There are some pretty cool sights through there though!

From Great Falls to Havre is where things really start to flatten out. This area is on the edge of what is referred to as the Golden Triangle of Montana. This is a huge area where wheat is grown in the state and lies to the West of the Missouri. The drive up U.S. 87 follows the river and provides some pretty awesome views, especially around historic Fort Benton, Loma, and Big Sandy.

Missouri River Fort Benton Montana overlook selfieFort Benton is nicknamed “The Birthplace of Montana” and was the uppermost port on the Missouri River. The city was established in 1846 and is one of the oldest in the American West. Prior to the establishment of the railroad system, Fort Benton was a critical river port for fur and trade and the beginning of important land transport further West to Washington.

I took some time to stand out over the Missouri River above Fort Benton and soak in the sights and sounds. Overlooks like these are on of the best places to take a few minutes out of the drive to clear your mind. Not sure if you can see on this video, but there was a ton of waterfowl down along the edge of the water. The view up near the Hi Line just seems to go on forever. One of these days, maybe I’ll keep heading north and cross the Canadian border.

Enjoy a piece of it!

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