Montana’s Devil Canyon


Montana has incredible mountains—Glacier National Park may come to mind quickly, but many travelers don’t realize that parts of Montana are semi-arid desert. There, a two-hour drive southeast of Billings, you’ll find Devil Canyon, and here’s why you should seek it out.

It’s an exemplary piece of the American West. The surrounding desert is beautiful to behold—with its blazing red rock, wild horses, and dry sagebrush as far as you can see—and Devil Canyon Overlook sits 1,000 feet above the dramatic confluence of the Devil and Bighorn Canyons. Peering over the edge, you might see sheep climbing the cliff walls. A lake lies down below, and if you so desire, you can join a boat tour with Hidden Treasure Charters or rent a canoe from Horseshoe Bend Marina.

The drive is an attraction in itself. City dwellers especially will appreciate the opportunity to drive on open road through unparalleled scenery like this. If you’re driving down from the Bighorn Mountains, you’ll notice the striking change from lush green forest to dry desert basin, as well as the sharply rising temperature.

You’ll escape the crowds.  Many of the USA’s favorite canyons are user-friendly and thereby full of visitors: to get an awesome view from the top, you simply drive up. And the same is true here, but Devil Canyon isn’t exactly on people’s radars like Bryce or the Grand Canyon. You won’t have to jockey for photo ops and you can linger as long as you want without tour buses revving up behind you.

It’s a steal. At only $5 to enter this National Recreation Area, you really can’t beat it, unless you go on a free-entrance day.

Have you explored Montana’s desert?


About Author

Sarah is the North America Editor for Go! Girl Guides and she wrote the New York City guidebook. Raised in rural Texas on mesquite barbecue and barrel racing, Sarah lived in Indiana for two years before moving to New York by herself. Some of her favorite experiences in North America include snowmachining outside of Anchorage, exploring Caladesi Island off the coast of Florida, touring a Cold War bunker in West Virginia, watching the sun set over Chicago from Lake Michigan, and taking an overnight train from Montreal to Halifax.

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