Among the major tourist attractions in Montana are Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park. Although only the extreme northern and a section of the far western part of Yellowstone extend into Montana, three of the five entrances to the park are located in Montana.
Glacier National Park straddles a wild rugged section of the Rockies in northwestern Montana. Covering more than 1 million acres, it is noted for the spectacular scenery carved by the ancient glaciers. Although the Going-to-the-Sun Highway crosses the park, most of its nearly 50 glaciers, bedded high in the mountains, are accessible only by trails. Montana's ten national forests contain more than 19.1 million acres. Flathead is the largest national forest in the state.
Montana has several areas set aside to preserve its wilderness character. While motor vehicles are prohibited, the areas are accessible by pack horse or foot and afford some of the nation's most spectacular scenery. One of the largest in the country is the Bob Marshall Wilderness, which, when combined with the Great Bear and Scapegoat wilderness areas, forms a contiguous wildlands of more than 1.5 million acres straddling the Continental Divide. Wildlife is also protected in several areas, including the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge, which extends for about about 125 miles along the shores of Fort Peck Lake.
Montana's more than 40 state parks provide a variety of recreational facilities. Flathead Lake, West Shore, and Yellow Bay state parks encircle Flathead Lake, one of the largest lakes in the West. Other waterside state parks are found at Whitefish Lake and Salmon Lake. Water sports are enjoyed on the reservoir formed by Fort Peck Dam at Hell Creek State Park, as well as at other reservoirs, including the popular Canyon Ferry Lake. Eroded by wind and rain, fantastically shaped sandstone ridges tower above the plains near eastern Montana's badlands in both Makoshika and Medicine Rocks state parks. Other tourist attractions are the Lewis and Clark Caverns, where underground passageways are studded with stalactites and stalagmites.