Montana Tour 2016

Montana, Big Sky Country

July 13-23, 2016


    This tour highlights some of Ed Bearss' favorite historic sites in his beautiful home state of Montana.  We will visit ghost towns, walk abandoned mining towns, and soak in the spectacular scenery of two stunning National Parks--Glacier & Yellowstone.  We will meet a retired firefighter at Missoula's Smoke Jumper Center, ride a steam train to the gold rush town of Virginia City, and cruise the Missouri River through the Gates of the Mountains.   The tour includes historic sites pertaining to Lewis and Clark's Expedition and the flight of the Nez Perce Indians.  Participants raved about our 2008 Montana tour and rated it with a string of "10s," "10++s", a "12," and even one "100"(!) .  Ed Bearss, who has led countless history tours for the last five decades, declared that our Montana tour is his new favorite tour of all time!  We are delighted to offer this trip again next summer.



July 13, Wednesday  (R ,D) 

Gather in Great Falls, MT. Join Ed and Marty at our welcome dinner. Overnight at Hilton Garden Inn, Great Falls


July 14, Thursday   (B, L, D) 

Tour the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Interpretive Center then proceed to Fort Benton to tour historic Old Fort Benton and the Museum of the Northern Plains. Overnight Best Western, Shelby


July 15, Friday  (B, L, D)

Drive to Glacier National Park where you’ll board a vintage red bus for a drive on the stunning Going-to-the-Sun Road. Completed in 1932, this amazing 52-mile road passes through the heart of the park and provides views of some of the most spectacular scenery in all of Montana. Drive south skirting the beautiful Mission Mountains and Flathead Lake and stop at the National Bison Range. Overnight Doubletree, Missoula


July 16, Saturday  (B, L, D)

Meet with a retired fire fighter at Missoula's Smoke Jump Center, then spend the afternoon at the Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site, formerly the headquarters of a 10-million acre cattle empire. Today the ranch is presenting a special 'haying with horses' demonstration.  Overnight Best Western Plus, Butte  


July 17, Sunday  (B )

Take a walking tour of historic Butte then see the state capitol building in Helena. Later take a scenic two-hour boat ride through the deep canyon Lewis dubbed “The Gates of the Rocky Mountains.” Overnight Best Western Plus, Butte  


July 18, Monday (B, L, D)

Today walk the Big Hole Battlefield, where early on August 9, 1877, the US Army attacked a quiet Nez Percé encampment.  The attack was repulsed, but at a great cost, making the battle at Big Hole the bloodiest single day in the 4-month 'Flight of the Nez Percé.’ Visit Bannack, one of Montana’s most evocative ghost town. O/N Best Western, Dillon


July 19, Tuesday (B)

  Stop at Robbers Roost, an old stage coach stop and an outlaw hangout during the gold rush days. Ride a steam train as we tour of the historic towns of Virginia City and Nevada City built on the site of the richest placer gold strike in the Rocky Mountains. Overnight at Comfort Suites, Bozeman 


July 20, Wednesday  (B) 

Today see Three Forks an important stop for Lewis and Clark. Stop at Bozeman Pass and learn about the Bozeman Trail. Proceed to Mammoth Hot Springs, site of Fort Yellowstone in the 1860’s and northern gateway to Yellowstone National Park. Late this afternoon, we will offer an optional visit to Old Faithful Inn. Overnight at Absaroka Lodge, Gardiner


July 21, Thursday  ( L)

Drive through the Lamar Valley in the northern corner of Yellowstone National Park.  Stop at Dead Indian Hill. After lunch at the Hunter Peak Ranch, drive the famous Bear Tooth Pass Highway, heralded as one of the most scenic highways in America.   Overnight at Northern Hotel, Billings


July 22, Friday  (L, R, D) 

We spend a full day examining General Custer’s disastrous encounter with the Sioux and Northern Cheyenne at Little Bighorn that occurred 140 years ago on June 25, 1876.Celebrate our wild west adventure at tonight’s farewell dinner.  Overnight at Northern Hotel, Billings


July 23, Saturday  Depart Billings at your leisure.


NOTE REGARDING DRIVING: This tour begins in Great Falls and ends in Billings, MT. Our coach company is based in Great Falls. If you plan to drive to Montana for our tour, we will assist you with parking arrangements.  Please call our office.  NOTE REGARDING FLYING: If it is more convenient for you to fly round-trip to Billings or round-trip to Great Falls, we might be able to arrange for you to drive with our coach on one leg. Call our office to discuss your options.  Note: the drive between Great Falls and Billings is 4 hours without a rest stop.



* Services of an Historian Guide
(Ed Bearss is scheduled to lead this tour)
* Services of a Tour Manager (Marty Gane is scheduled to manage this tour)
* 10 nights hotel accommodations
* transportation on a full-sized coach
* all admissions and excursions
* two wine/beer welcome receptions; 7 breakfasts; 6 lunches; 6 dinners
* all taxes, baggage handling and gratuities; pre-trip notes, reading list and map book


Double occupancy:  $3,595 per person.

Single occupancy:  $4,195

(NOTE: ALL costs are based on a minimum of 20 participants)





Ed Bearss Big Hole Battlefield
South Mountain Expeditions Little Big Horn



South Mountain Expeditions Little Big Horn