Car Hire Montana

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Hertz Car Hire in Montana

Big is the word. Big sky, big plains, big volcanoes, big natural parks, big mountains. Yes, Montana is big. But that doesn’t mean the ‘Big Sky Country’, as it’s known, doesn’t also do the small things well. As you explore the state behind the wheels of your chosen hire car, you’ll find a friendly small-town welcome awaiting you in the places you pass through.

It’s a place made for car exploration, such is its scale, grandeur and beauty. We have pick-up locations all across the state, conveniently situated so that you can arrive, pick up the car you’ve reserved and head out into the great outdoors of this north-western corner of the U.S.

Choose a car that fits into your dream trip – spacious SUVs for family or outdoor sports enthusiasts who need boot-room, or maybe something sporty and sleek for that archetypal U.S. road trip. Whichever way you choose to tackle mighty Montana, you’re in for the time of your life.

Driving in and around Montana

Montana is a tremendous place to discover by car. With that huge blue sky overhead, you’ll find natural splendour aplenty here, moving from forests to plains, Indian reservations to lakes, rivers, mountains and even a vast volcano. Out on the roads, sometimes you’ll drive for dozens of miles without seeing another car – true big state solitude.

A couple of major interstates criss-cross Montana, the fastest and easiest routes to travel large distances. I-90 is the north-west to south-east route, entering from Washington in the west and continuing to Wyoming in the south. On the way it passes through many of the major cities and towns, including Missoula, Bozeman and Billings, all places you’ll want to stop and see. From Billings you can jump onto the I-94 which will take you into North Dakota.

Towards the west side of the state you’ll find the I-15 running north to south, with Canada to the north and Idaho to the south. It links you with the town of Great Falls and smaller roads that will take you into the Flathead National Forest.

As you’re in America, the main difference will be that you’re driving on the right, overtaking on the left, in a left-hand drive car. In towns and cities, you may see other cars taking right turns on red lights at intersections – that’s allowed. Other rules are similar – no mobile phone use while driving, compulsory seatbelts, and speed limits that vary by area. Freeway limits are higher here than in most U.S. states, with a top speed of 80mph on parts of Interstate 90, although it’s 75mph in many other parts of the state.

A quick guide to Montana

Montana is a place where the valleys are wide, the mountains tall and the frontier history plain to see. Head in any direction and you’ll find vistas more than capable of taking all your breath away, while the small cities and towns have a friendly but no-nonsense vibe. This is America in widescreen.

The great Glacier

Covering over a million acres, Glacier National Park is typical of Montana - the sense of space is awe-inspiring. Head here and you’ll be joining plenty of other drivers, but also hikers, cyclists, campers, fishers and, more importantly, copious wildlife. The Rocky Mountains run through here on their way to Canada, while in summer you can drive up Logan Pass, closed by snow in winter, to access two wonderful trails, Hidden Lake Overlook and Highline. In the day, there are meadow gardens alive with wildflowers, while at night the canopy of the sky is nirvana for stargazers.

Keep an eye out for golden eagles, wolverines, mountain goats and even grizzly bears – this really is the great outdoors. If you don’t want to drive back, there are plenty of lodges here, so you can really feel in thick of things.

From the park to the piste

Matching Glacier for beauty, Yellowstone was the first National Park in the U.S. Only a small portion is in Montana – there’s an even tinier sliver in Idaho, while the vast majority is in neighbouring Wyoming – but that’s room enough for marvellous peaks, falls, geysers and nature trails. Just north-west of Yellowstone, on route 191, is Big Sky. It works as a basecamp for the National Park, but also for some of the best skiing in the country. Those used to the busy slopes and lines for ski lifts of other major resorts are in for a surprise – such is the size of the resort that there is plenty of room for both beginners and experts.

Cities on the small side

There’s no New York, Chicago or Dallas equivalent in Montana. Even the largest cities here have retained their small town, low-rise charm. Missoula is a foodie paradise, with great markets, restaurants and cafes, while the arts and culture scene is thriving. Come in summer for outdoor theatre or cinema under that impressive sky. There’s a ghost town here too, Garnet a well-preserved reminder of the gold rush.

The brick buildings and quirky feel of Bozeman bely its recent gentrification – this is a town on the rise. There are wonderfully quiet mountains nearby to explore, places where you can truly be alone. A thriving micro-brewery scene keeps the beer flowing in the superb restaurants here. Grab breakfast in the much-touted Nova Café, which serves up both traditional classics such as biscuits and gravy, as well as eggs scrambled with bison chorizo. For dinner, Roost Fried Chicken brings southern cooking to the north. Chicken and waffles with maple pecan butter is a must.

Big skies, small towns – this is like no other state in the U.S. With car hire in Montana you’ll be able to make the most of the landscapes, mountains, parks and more in this fantastic frontier destination.