Montana got its name on the Spanish word “montaña” meaning mountain and dubbed as the “Big Sky Country” because of its size and rolling plains. Located at the west and mid-west United States, Montana is the fourth largest state in terms of land area though population does not relatively compensate the territory size. In 2000, 902,195 people were recorded to live at the state, ranking 44th in the nation with 2.39 person per km² (48th). Almost 90% of the populations are White and the other 10% are Native Americans, Hispanic, Asian, Black, and mixed race. The mountainous terrain on Montana on the western side and an equally large Great Plain that dominate the eastern state is the main cause of the small population of the area. Neighboring states include the North and South Dakota on the east, Wyoming at the south, Idaho residing from northwest down o the southwest. The northern border of Montana is shared with Canada.
In 1804-1806, the Lewis and Clark Expedition became the first group of European-American to explore Montana, though Native Americans first inhabited the state we know today: the Crows occupied the south-central area, the Cheyenne tribe in the southeast region, the Blackfeet, Assiniboine and Gros Ventres in the central and north-central Montana and the Kootenai and Salish in the western part. Other smaller tribes recorded to have occupied Montana particularly the Flathead Lake and the western mountains were Pend d'Oreille and Kalispel respectively.
In May 26, 1864, Montana became part of the United States territory and later became the 41st member of the union in November 8, 1889. Since then, a number of government facilities were established in the territory including Fort Shaw in 1867, Camp Cooke and Fort C.F. Smith. Significantly, these three establishments were built near Montana’s main attractions: Fort Shaw is located west of Great Falls in the Sun River Valley, Camp Cooke on the Judith River and Fort C.F. Smith on the Bozeman Trail in south-central Montana Territory.
Montana sponsors several national parks for adventurers to explore. The Glacier National Park showcases a diversity of species including 70 species of mammals and almost 300 species of birds in over a million acres of forests, alpine meadows, and lakes. It houses hundreds of structure listed on the National Register of Historic Sites and six National Historic Landmarks with over 700 miles of hiking terrain.
Another popular Montana destination is the Yellowstone National Park. The world’s first national park established in 1872 covers 8,980 km² spanning in two other states including Wyoming and Idaho. The name originated from the "River of Yellow Rocks” from the yellow rocks in the Grand Canyon which contain iron, which was translated from original native words "Mitzi-a-dazi." The park is home to a wide variety of species including bison, Grizzly bears, wolves, and elk. The Yellowstone National Park is also popular for its volcanic system, largest in North America which includes hot springs and geysers plus the largest active volcano in the world.
Montana also houses 42 other parks considered as the state parks that are scattered across the state. Some of it are Anaconda Smoke Stack State Park at Anaconda, Pictograph Cave State Park at Billings, Makoshika State Park at Glendive, Giant Springs State Park at Great Falls, and Black Sandy State Park at the Capital city Helena.
Montana has many more to offer. The state has several zoos, skiing areas, heritage area, historic trail, and more.