The nickname comes from the rich mineral resources such as copper, gold and silver, which have always drawn the lucky knights to the mountains of western Montana. In addition, Montana has the largest coal reserves in the whole United States. Montana is the fourth largest state and one of the sparsely populated with approx. 1 Mio people.
The West is characterized by endless vast plains, which earned the state its second nickname ‘The Big Sky State’. It is used for agriculture and cattle breeding, but oil and gas is a industry as well.
The name Montana already hints at the mountainous landscape – it was influenced by the Spaniards.
For the visitor, this mountain landscape is the most impressive at Glacier National Park, whose mountains and glaciers began to form about a million years ago. Some of the mountains have never been climbed. Most of the park’s 1.6 million visitors a year enjoy the park’s hiking trails and other outdoor opportunities.
Last Chance Gulch: The vast unspoilt landscape and the knowledge of history make the old days still seem present to some visitors. The main road in Helena, the capital, is also called ‘Last Chance Gulch’ – once there was a mine camp here. ‘Gulch’ means gorge.
During construction work and earth excavations, the construction teams today repeatedly come across old building remains or even gold dust.
Until the middle of the 19th century, the area was Indian territory, apart from the few trappers who roamed the country. In 1862, the first gold was found and crowds of lucky knights came to Montana. Camp next to camp arose and soon prosperity spread. This in turn attracted crowds of outlaws to the mining towns, and Montana was one of the hottest patches at the time. The citizens formed a bourgeois army, the so-called ‘vigilantes’, and fought back against the terror of the Outlaws. It was a time when ‘hanging’ was the order of the day, but it helped. The lawless often sought the vastness. Another danger was posed by the Indians, who made their claim to their land valid. They were not up to the armament of the whites and in the end the expulsion or death stood. General Custer fought his last great battle here.
What to do / Sightseeing
- Helena (capital city of Montana)
- Glacier National Park
State Data & Essentials
Montana – State Abbr.: MT
– Statehood Ranking: 41
145,552 square miles (376,966 qkm)
– Land Area Ranking: 4
1.03 (2020); 1 Mio (2012); 989,415 (2010 Census); 902,195 (2000 Census)
The Treasure State oder The Big Sky State
“Oro y plata” (== spanish: Gold and Silver)
3.901 m / 12,798 ft (Granite Peak)
567, 5 m / 1,862 ft (Kootenai River)
Daylight Saving Time: yes
“Montana” (texted in a single night by a Montana Newspaper Editor, who was a songwriter, too – 1910)