Summer in Montana. Is there anything better?  Oh sure, I mean the forest fires can be a little much, and the tourists can get a bit annoying, but other than that, a Montana Summer is certainly something special.

Oh, and speaking of tourists, the folks are already starting to show up.  In fact, I was at a popular grocery store the other day and just went around counting all of the different license plates from all the different states.

For many, this will be their first time coming to Montana. Heck, I would dare say this will be the first time a whole lot of them have ever seen mountains in real life. For first-timers, Montana can be overwhelming. They certainly don't call it "Big Sky Country" for nothing.

The sheer beauty of it all can be a lot to take in. So, for those of you that will be spending some time here in Montana this summer, allow me to give you a couple of friendly suggestions.

First, be patient.

Montana is a popular destination and just like you, lots of other folks have decided to come here as well. The roads will be crowded, the hotels will be expensive, and the restaurants will require a wait.

While this can be frustrating for you, it is also frustrating for those of us that live here. So, the last thing that our folks that work in the hospitality industry want to deal with is rude tourists complaining about the high costs of things or how long you have to wait. Be nice, it will go a long way in having a positive Montana experience.

Photo by Tony Reid on Unsplash
Photo by Tony Reid on Unsplash

Second, don't be stupid.

Many of you will be heading to Yellowstone National Park, which is one of the most popular tourist destinations globally and has been projected to host up to 5 million people this season. Keep in mind that all of those beautiful and stunning animals can and will hurt you if you get too close.

In fact, the park was in the news recently after a Bison gored a visitor who decided to get up close and personal. Reports state that the woman who was visiting from Ohio got within 10 feet of the massive mammal, and according to Smithsonian Magazine,

"park rules require visitors to stay more than 75 feet away from large animals, including bison, elk, bighorn sheep, deer, moose and coyotes, and 300 feet from bears and wolves."

Animals certainly aren't the only threat when it comes to Yellowstone National Park. Over the years there have been several injuries to visitors that have come too close to the many geothermal pools, geysers, hot springs, and steam vents that cover the area.

Photo by Austin Farrington on Unsplash
Photo by Austin Farrington on Unsplash

Park officials would remind all visitors to stay on the boardwalks and other designated areas when visiting Yellowstone National Park. If you follow the rules, chances are, you'll be just fine and have a wonderful visit with wonderful pictures that you can post on Instagram to prove that you really were here.

Montanans, for the most part, are extremely friendly and welcoming. As long as you follow the above-mentioned guidelines, I think that you will find your stay here relaxing, entertaining, and memorable. Oh and welcome to Montana.

RANKED: Here are the most popular national parks

To determine the most popular national parks in the United States, Stacker compiled data from the National Park Service on the number of recreational visits each site had in 2020. Keep reading to discover the 50 most popular national parks in the United States, in reverse order from #50 to #1. And be sure to check with individuals parks before you visit to find out about ongoing, pandemic-related safety precautions at

LOOK: Stunning vintage photos capture the beauty of America's national parks

Today these parks are located throughout the country in 25 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The land encompassing them was either purchased or donated, though much of it had been inhabited by native people for thousands of years before the founding of the United States. These areas are protected and revered as educational resources about the natural world, and as spaces for exploration.

Keep scrolling for 50 vintage photos that show the beauty of America's national parks.

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