Visiting the United States? There are 50 states in all.

Montana is nicknamed Big Sky Country, and it’s easy to see why. Its boundless horizons go on for kilometers.

This northwestern state borders Canada and is the fourth largest U.S. state in total area, following Alaska, Texas and California. But it is among the country’s least densely populated states. In fact, there are three times more cattle than people in Montana. The state’s largest city, Billings, has just 107,000 people. Its capital, Helena, has 29,000.

U.S. map highlighting Montana (State Dept./J. McCann)
(State Dept./J. McCann)

Glacier National Park

Sunset reflecting off snow on mountain (Courtesy of Montana Office of Tourism)
(Courtesy photo)

The name Montana is based on the Latin or Spanish word for “mountainous,” based on the Rocky Mountains in the western part of the state and Glacier National Park, home to numerous ice-covered peaks and 1,100 kilometers of trails.

A highlight of Glacier National Park is a drive on the Going-to-the-Sun Road. This 80-kilometer road winds around mountainsides, providing some of the best sights in northwest Montana.

Enjoy the lakes and geysers

Person sitting in kayak holding paddle and looking at geyser (Courtesy of Montana Office of Tourism)
(Courtesy photo)

The state is known for incredible scenery, including lakes and geysers, which are hot springs in which water intermittently boils, sending water and steam into the air. One of the most famous, and most predicable, geysers is at Yellowstone National Park, the country’s first national park. The park is largely in the state of Wyoming, but its north and northeast entrances are in Montana.

Hit the slopes

Person skiing down mountain (Courtesy of Montana Office of Tourism)
(Courtesy photo)

Downhill skiing is among the winter activities enjoyed throughout Montana. Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling also are popular at resorts such as Big Sky Resort, Whitefish Mountain and Red Lodge Mountain.

Experience the old (and new) West

Truck with sign reading "Whoa! Horses ahead" behind group of people riding horses on road (Courtesy of Montana Office of Tourism)
(Courtesy photo)

Montana offers plenty of opportunity to ride horses, drive cattle or even learn the training techniques made famous by the movie The Horse Whisperer, which was filmed in Montana.

Dance in the street after running with the sheep

Couples dancing in street (Courtesy of Montana Office of Tourism)
(Courtesy photo)

Every September, hundreds of Montana-bred sheep charge down the six blocks of Main Street in Reed Point, an hour’s drive from Billings. The event is Montana’s version of the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. The day ends with an evening street dance, with live music and perhaps a drink at the Waterhole Saloon, an authentic old Wild West saloon complete with a watering trough and hitching posts for horses.

Read more about Montana and check out the other 49 states. If you need a visa to visit, here’s how to get one.