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Big Sky Country Beckons with These Montana Quotes

With mountains towering over rugged wilderness and crystal-clear rivers running under an expansive sky, Montana's natural beauty is the epitome of postcard-perfect. Let this curated collection of Montana quotes inspire your next trip to the Treasure State or caption your cherished vacation memories.

I feel incredibly lucky to visit Montana at least once a year — typically in the summer. (And if you’ve ever experienced a Montana winter, you’d know it’s as starkly different from a Montana summer as the North Pole is from the tropics.)

Often referred to as the “last best place,” the US’s largest landlocked state possesses a rugged beauty that is home to the most native mammal species in the US. Montana has inspired writers and served as a backdrop for films and shows — from a  famous quote about Montana by John Steinbeck to the Paramount Network series, Yellowstone. And, it offers anyone who visits the opportunity to unplug and get lost in all the right ways.

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Sunset over a serene mountain lake with a forest in the foreground.
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.

Quotes About Montana’s Natural Beauty

Montana is a land of dramatic landscapes, where majestic peaks cradle sprawling valleys and the badlands gleam under a billion stars at night. Let these quotes unveil Montana’s unparalleled natural beauty, as seen through the eyes of those utterly amazed by it.

“It seems to me Montana is a great splash of grandeur. The scale is huge but not overpowering. The land is rich with grass and color, and the mountains are the kind I would create if mountains were ever put on my agenda.”
— John Steinbeck, American writer

“The Montana sunset lay between the mountains like a giant bruise from which darkened arteries spread across a poisoned sky.”
— F. Scott Fitzgerald, American novelist and essayist

“Before Alaska came along and ruined everything, one of every twenty-five square miles in America was Montanan. This much space has nurtured a healthy Cult of Place in which people find perfection, even divinity, in the landscape.”
— Ellen Meloy, American nature writer

“The allure of Montana is like a commitment to a narcotic; you can never use it up or get enough of it. Its wilderness areas probably resemble the earth on the first day of creation.”
— James Lee Burke, New York Times bestselling author 

“Of all the memorable views, the best have been framed by Montana windows.”
— William Hjortsberg, American novelist and screenwriter

A scenic sunset view over forested mountains with a quote by william hjortsberg: "of all the memorable views, the best have been framed by montana windows.

“There are grander and more sublime landscapes — to me. There are more compelling cultures. But what appeals to me about central Montana is that the combination of landscape and lifestyle is the most compelling I’ve seen on this earth. Small mountain ranges and open prairie, and different weather, different light, all within a 360-degree view.”
— Sam Abell, National Geographic photographer

“Everything is so big — the sky, the mountains, the wind-swept flatlands — it sinks into you, it shapes your body and your dreams.”
— Christopher Paolini, American writer

“Montana seems to me to be what a small boy would think Texas is like from hearing Texans.”
— John Steinbeck, American writer

“In Montana, whether you’re a farmer, whether you’re a fisherman … you know that the climate is changing, and we need to do something about it.”
— Steve Bullock, former governor of Montana

A quote by john steinbeck over a scenic view of a turquoise lake with forested shores and snowy mountains in the background.

Quotes That Express Affection for Montana

There’s something special about Montana that captures the heart. These quotes from authors, actors, and locals reflect deep love and admiration for the state, echoing the sentiments of anyone who’s had the pleasure of experiencing its charm.

“I’m in love with Montana. For other states I have admiration, respect, recognition, even some affection. But with Montana, it is love. And it’s difficult to analyze love when you’re in it.”
— John Steinbeck, American writer

“Wyoming is good, but Montana is like heaven on earth.”
— Henry Winkler, American actor best known as “The Fonz” from Happy Days

“My favorite state has not yet been invented. It will be called Montana, and it will be perfect.”
— Abraham Lincoln, 16th US president (And, yes, Lincoln actually said this!)

“I’ve stood outside my house in Montana looking at the northern lights … crackling against the night sky. To me, that’s magic.”
—Christopher Paolini, American writer

“I really enjoy my time in Montana.”
— Howie Long, former American football defensive end

“From the time I was a kid, I was crazy about anything having to do with the West. I’d look at all of these photos of Montana, and they all seemed so magical and majestic. I just wanted to go west, and I finally did it when I was barely 21. I went off to volunteer at a Navajo reservation in New Mexico.”
— Michael Keaton, American actor

Rafting on a scenic river with a quote by carl hiaasen overlaying the landscape.

Disney World is an armpit compared to Montana.”
— Carl Hiaasen, American journalist and novelist

“I would be happy living on a massive ranch in Montana and not seeing anyone except my friends and family.”
— Nick Frost, English actor and comedian

“My history was the Western. I grew up with the Lone Ranger, the Cisco Kid and Bonanza. I felt as much a child of the West as someone born in Montana or Wyoming.”
— Clive Sinclair, English entrepreneur and inventor

“Leaving New York and friends is tough, and there are things about it I still really miss. But Montana is a great place to write.”
— Jeff Giles, American writer and former deputy managing editor for Entertainment Weekly

“We go to Montana every year — that’s where my husband is from Flathead Lake, Montana, which is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to in my life. It’s amazing that his entire family lives there. There’s waterskiing, jet skiing, and kayaking, and it’s just really fun.”
— Kellie Martin, American actress

“It’s fascinating to go somewhere where you’re away from everything. There are no houses, no buildings, no roads, no people. And for a little less extreme hunting, any place in the West – Colorado, Utah, Montana – that’s just beautiful country.”
— Shawn Michaels, American pro wrestler

“I just like to have one foot in Montana and one foot out.”
— Max Baucus, former US ambassador to China born in Helena

“My soul lives in Montana. It’s where I fly fish for trout.”
— Henry Winkler, American actor best known as “The Fonz” from Happy Days

“Spending two years on my uncle’s ranch in Montana as a young man gave me the wisdom and the thrust to do westerns.”
— Robert Duvall, American actor and filmmaker

Friends enjoying a campfire sing-along at night.

Songs About Montana

From folk tunes to modern melodies, songs about Montana carry the spirit of the state in every note. These tracks, spanning genres and generations, offer a lyrical homage to the state’s diverse beauty, from its rugged wilderness to its serene prairies.

“Tell me of that Treasure State Story always new,
Tell of its beauties grand And its hearts so true.
Mountains of sunset fire The land I love the best,
Let me grasp the hand of one
From out the golden West.”
— Charles Cohan in Montana, the official state song

“Yes, there’s no place like Montana,
The Big Sky country, my home.
A place to set my spirit free,
A Rocky Mountain melody,
These things are a part of me.”
— Carleen and LeGrande Harvey in Montana Melody 

“Get lost in Montana,
Where your heart can finally roam.
Get lost in Montana,
Where the mountains call you home.”
— Adam Young of Owl City in Montana

“Oh Montana, give this child a home.
Give him the love of a good family and a woman of his own.
Give him a fire in his heart, give him a light in his eyes.
Give him the wild wind for a brother and the wild Montana skies.”
— John Denver in Wild Montana Skies

“I’m going to Montana to spend the winter
I hear the snows are deep up there
And the winds are so cold
Way out there the blues will never find me oh
I’m going to Montana to rest my soul”
— Hank Williams, Jr. in Montana Song

“From the wide rollin’ plains, cross the Rockies blue range
Wherever the proud eagle flies
A lone coyote croons to a full lover’s moon
A Montana Lullaby”
— Ken Overcast in Montana Lullaby

“Ranch hands and rodeo fans are drinking up the very last drop
And they all head for Montana at the foot of the Great Divide
To tie one up or tie one on, or to tear it down or ride
So if you’re lookin’ for a rendezvous where the Wild West never dies
You best make it on up to Montana on the right day in July”
— Chris LeDoux in Montana Rodeo

A man in a cowboy hat and plaid shirt looks down thoughtfully beside a quote about montana by ivan doig.

Funny Quotes About Montana

Whether it’s poking fun at the unpredictable weather or the wildlife that’s just a bit too close for comfort, these quotes capture the unique and often amusing experiences that come with calling Montana home. They serve as a reminder that amidst its breathtaking beauty, Montana doesn’t shy away from a good laugh, especially at its own expense.

“In Montana, a policeman will pull you over because he is lonely.”
— Rich Hall, comedian and writer

“In Montana, it is a good idea to keep your hat on your head so the wind doesn’t blow your hair off.”
— Ivan Doig, American author and novelist

Breathtaking view of a turquoise lake surrounded by mountains in glacier national park with an inspirational quote.

Montana Quotes from Movies, Books, and Television

Montana has served as the backdrop for countless narratives, each adding layers to its mystique. Explore quotes from popular culture that showcase Montana’s role in storytelling, from the rugged to the romantic.

“The world is full of bastards, the number increasing rapidly the further one gets from Missoula, Montana.”
— Norman Maclean in A River Runs Through It

“Gentlemen and ladies had good table manners and spoke and wrote grammatically. It was what identified one with the upper classes. In Montana, however, it didn’t have this effect at all. It identified one, instead, as a stuck-up Eastern ass.”
—Robert M. Pirsig in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

“Granddad always said the best things about fishing were beyond the senses. He said the mountains, rivers, and fish were the center of why you were there, but not the heart, that the heart was in those pure moments in and around the fishing, or rather what was on the other side of those moments that can only be felt, not told, because words were not up to the job. That’s what hooked your soul.”
― J.C. Bonnell in Burnt Tree Fork

“There is such a quiet desperation and chronic sense of dullness to Helena, Montana, which makes it the most socially grotesque and culturally bitter of any of the capital cities.”
― Brian D’Ambrosio in Fresh Oil and Loose Gravel: Road Poetry  

“Glacier National Park in Montana is steadfastly considered to be one of the most beautiful places in the country.”
― Stefanie Payne in A Year in the National Parks: The Greatest American Road Trip

“Montana should come with a surgeon general warning that it’s addictive. The sky is big and blue, and the air is always fresh and crisp and scented with pine. There’s a frontier spirit, but also a calmness, beauty in the landscape that slows your pulse.”
― Robin Bielman in Keeping Mr. Right Now

Rustic barn amidst a serene landscape with a quote by debra holland: "the sky is the most glorious blue i've ever seen.

“From the bluffs east of the city, Gladstone, Montana, looks as though it could have been laid out by a shotgun blast, the commercial and residential districts a tight cluster in the center and then the buckshot dispersing in the looser pattern of outlying houses and businesses owned by those Montanans for whom space is a stronger article of faith than neighborliness.”
― Larry Watson in Let Him Go

“The sky is the most glorious blue I’ve ever seen.”
—Debra Holland in Wild Montana Sky

“Not only was good ole boy intolerance the norm in big sky country, there appeared to be no need or desire to change the way things had been done since Custer tried to take out the original Americans at Little Bighorn.”
― D.K. King, Living The Big Sky Life: Urban Tales Of My Tortured Tenure In “The Last Best Place”

“I absolutely love writing and sharing my enthusiasm with students, and because of ‘Hattie Big Sky,’ Montana holds a special place in my heart.”
— Kirby Larson, American writer

“I like to describe Yellowstone as The Great Gatsby on the largest ranch in Montana. Then it’s really a study of the changing of the West.”
— Taylor Sheridan, American writer, producer, director, and actor

“In Montana, when we did Return to Lonesome Dove, we rode on the side of a hill at night in the dark; I was afraid my horse would step on one of the actors playing dead. The director said to leave it to the stunt doubles since they got paid for that.”
— William Sanderson, American actor

“Make no mistake. I love Montana, but I’m doing this for our ranch.”
— Kevin Costner as John Dutton in Yellowstone

Three black cattle on grass with a quote by jon tester: "montana's ranchers raise the best cattle in the world.

Quotes By and About People from Montana

Hear from those who know Montana best. These quotes from famous Montanans offer personal insights and stories, showcasing the profound impact that the state has on those who call it home.

“We have always been dreamers in Montana.”
— Brian Schweitzer, former governor of Montana

“We need to work our level best in this legislative session to help grow Montana’s economy, so that grandchildren can stay in Montana, grandchildren can visit their grandmother and grandfather by driving across town, not flying across the country.”
— Brian Schweitzer, former governor of Montana

“I have my tombstone already. A tombstone company in the East gave it to me when I jumped Snake Canyon. My plot is in Montana.”
— Evel Knievel, American stunt performer and entertainer born in Butte

“My blood, my roots, my soul is in the state of Montana.”
— Max Baucus, former US ambassador to China born in Helena

“I have great faith in the people of Montana; they can’t be bought.”
— Jon Tester, US senator from Montana born in Havre

“I moved at age 22 to Montana to be able to walk in really wild woods, where the chances of being killed by a bear or mountain lion are not zero.”
— Michael Finkel, author and journalist

“I found my first dinosaur bone when I was 6, growing up in Montana. Ever since then I’ve been interested in dinosaurs.”
— Jack Horner, American paleontologist born in Shelby

Woman in cowboy hat smiling with a quote about strong women by jeff ament.

“My father was an expert hunter, so we ate a lot of wild game when I was growing up in Montana. That helped broaden my palate generally, but I know it informed my distaste for factory farms and unspectacular commercial meat.”
— Steve Albini, American musician

“It’s easier for me to write certain character types because of my own life experiences, but I find it too artistically limiting to only write about red-headed kids who grew up in small-town Montana. That’s really part of the fun of fantasy, I think. Our imagination is basically unlimited. Okay, that’s a terrifying thing about fantasy, too.”
— Brent Weeks, American writer

“Our atheism family tradition is traced to a – I don’t know if it was great-great or a great-great-great-grandmother who was a poor Irish-American woman in the 1880s in western Montana.”
— Barbara Ehrenreich, American writer from Butte

“My father was the superintendent of the churches in the state of Montana. He was content in his beliefs. He befit the term ‘true Christian.’ He would turn the other cheek. He was truly a man of peace.”
— Phil Jackson, American former basketball player and coach from Deer Lodge

“Montana’s ranchers raise the best cattle in the world. If Taco Bell needs to beef up, they can give their customers the highest quality meat around by using Montana beef, and in the process, supporting agriculture jobs in Montana.”
— Jon Tester, US senator from Montana born in Havre

“The best-kept secret about Montana is the women. They are tough, smart, sexy, and kind-hearted. It’s a lucky guy that ends up with a Montana gal.”
— Jeff Ament, American musician best known as the bassist of Pearl Jam

A person standing at the end of a dock overlooking a calm lake with mountains in the background.

Quotes About Places in Montana

The Treasure State is a tapestry of picturesque towns, sprawling wilderness, and historic sites. These Montana quotes zoom in on specific places within the state, celebrating the unique beauty and character of Montana’s many landscapes.

“I write in two very different places: my desk in Palo Alto, California, is piled high with myriad jumbled books and papers whose stratigraphy is a challenge. Summers in Bozeman, Montana, I write in a spare space, surrounded by interesting rocks and fossils instead of books, on an old oak table with nothing but my laptop.”
— Adrienne Mayor, American historian of ancient science and a classical forklorist

“My father had owned a ranch when he was younger, in Montana, and he remembered riding his horse across the prairie and seeing some large bones sticking out of the ground. He was enough of a geologist, being a sand and gravel man, to have a pretty good notion that they were dinosaur bones.”
— Jack Horner, American paleontologist born in Shelby

“I have a ranch in Montana, but it’s not a real working ranch. I’ve always liked the outdoors. I come from Texas. My grandfather was a farmer; that’s as close as I come.”
— Dennis Quaid, American actor

“In ’87 – four years after Sports was released – my family and I began vacationing in Montana. I soon bought my first piece of land in Ravalli County, in the western part of the state.”
— Huey Lewis, American singer-songwriter and actor

“When I was in Greenough, Montana, I came across a bear cub. I was off this path, and I thought, If there’s a bear cub, that means there’s a mother bear somewhere nearby. So I doubled back. If I’d kept going, I’m sure they would have eventually found my sneakers, and that’s about it.”
— Al Roker, American weathercaster and journalist

“Over the years, I found myself traveling parts of the Lewis and Clark Trail, putting my hands in the river where they set out from St. Louis, viewing the Great Falls of Montana, standing by the same Pacific Ocean they saw with such joy.”
— Joseph Bruchac, American writer

Snow-capped mountain peak piercing through low-hanging clouds with a quote about montana's natural beauty by steve bullock.

“I had the chance to visit all 56 counties in Montana in my pickup. You can put Washington, D.C., in one corner of our state and put Chicago in the other corner, and that’s the size of my congressional district.”
— Steve Daines, US senator from Montana

“Every year in late June, Custer’s Last Stand is reenacted on the high plains of Montana. When Custer led out the 7th Cavalry in 2003 – the year I witnessed it – the audience stood and cheered with turbo-charged patriotism.”
— Clive Sinclair, English entrepreneur and inventor

“Richard Hugo taught me that anyone with a desire to write, an ear for language and a bit of imagination could become a writer. He also, in a way, gave me permission to write about northern Montana.”
— James Welch, Native American novelist and poet from Browning

“I’m healthy enough to still skate, so I gotta go because growing up I didn’t have – I mean, I grew up in Montana so … there was kind of a little half-pipe in my yard, and that was the extent of the skate terrain in Montana. So I’ve got to go out and make up for lost time.”
— Jeff Ament, American musician best known as the bassist of Pearl Jam

“When I was born, my father was a copper miner in Butte, Montana. It was a hard-core, blue-collar situation.”
— Barbara Ehrenreich, American writer from Butte

“Montana is perfect for telecommuting because of the quality of life, because our housing prices in most communities are below the national average.”
— Greg Gianforte, 25th governor of Montana

“What I’ve learned, traveling the country and doing book signings, Mama’s biscuits — you know, somebody in Montana’s got their version of Mama’s biscuits, somebody in California’s got their version — so it made me realize that we’re not as regionalized as we think we are.”
— Trisha Yearwood, American country singer

“People across the nation know Montana as ‘Big Sky Country’ or the ‘Last Best Place’ thanks to our stunning landscapes, blue-ribbon trout streams, and welcoming communities. Fewer people recognize that Montana has one of the most competitive business climates to go along with our exceptional quality of life.”
— Steve Bullock, former governor of Montana

“Alaska and Montana are not in the south but they definitely form part of the crimson tide of red states where Republicans are dominant.”
— Juan Williams, American journalist and political analyst

“I hope that there’s a little black boy somewhere in Montana that never thought that he would see a reflection of himself, and he turns on the television, like, ‘Oh my God, thank you.’”
— Brian Tyree Henry, American actor known for Atlanta, Boardwalk Empire, and This is Us

Snow-covered conifer trees under a clear blue sky with a quote about winter in montana.

Quotes About Montana Seasons

Experience the changing seasons of Montana through words that capture the transformation of the landscape. From the snowy blankets of winter to the lush bloom of summer, Montana’s seasons bring a new world of beauty.

“I spent most of my youth in Montana, where there are long, cold winters, but Maine has the coldest winters you could imagine. Not only are they long, not only does it snow, but it gets really damp. It’s a wet cold with a lot of wind.”
— Michael Finkel, author and journalist

“I grew up in Colorado and spent my summers in Montana as a ranch hand.”
— Chris Eigeman, American actor and film director

“The winter’s a little bit daunting in Montana.”
— Phil Jackson, American former basketball player and coach from Deer Lodge

“Summertime in Montana, I become a monosyllabic baboon. I want to ride with the cowboys, go to brandings, doctor cattle, and train my horses. But in a few months, the snow starts to fly. The days become shorter; the yellow color of interior light becomes delicious. I look at my shelves, and every book just glows, and I want to be inside of that.”
— Thomas McGuane, American writer

Hand holding a smartphone displaying a mountain river landscape at sunset with the caption "breathing in the fresh mountain air.

Montana Captions for Instagram

Ready to share your Montana adventures but still searching for the perfect words? Here’s a collection of snappy and heartfelt captions to pair with your photos, capturing the essence of your Montana experience in a few well-chosen words.

  • A bad day in Montana is better than a good day anywhere else
  • A trip to Montana? Mount me in!
  • Adventure ahead!
  • Big sky vibes
  • Breathing in the fresh mountain air
  • Chasing sunsets in the Treasure State
  • Cuteness overload in Montana
  • Escape to Montana and let yourself be free
  • Every day is a new adventure in Montana
  • Find me where the mountains touch the sky
  • Follow me to the mountains
  • Forever falling for autumn in Montana
  • Getting lost in Montana
  • Heaven is closer in a home on the range
  • I am so happy that I live in a world where there is a Montana
  • If you’re lucky enough to live in Montana, you’re lucky enough
  • If you’ve suffered from sunburn and frostbite in the same week, you’re probably from Montana
  • Just a girl who loves Montana
  • Land of the shining mountains
  • Let Montana’s mountains move you
  • Let’s play hide and peak in Montana
  • Living on mountain time
  • Lost in Montana — and I don’t want to be found
  • Love is in the fresh mountain air
A brown bear alongside a promotional quote about montana's wildlife.
  • Making Montana memories
  • Montana: A state that gets so deep into your soul, it hurts when you’re away from it
  • Montana: Bearly inhabited, howlingly wild, and deerly desired
  • Montana: Love at frost sight
  • Montana: More than a state, it’s a state of mind
  • Montana: Unspoiled and unforgettable
  • Montana: Where driving for an hour without seeing anyone is not a sign of the apocalypse
  • Montana: Where every view looks like a postcard
  • Montana: Where the elevation is usually higher than the town’s population
  • Montana: Where the landscapes are as vast as the possibilities
  • Montana: Where there’s enough space to spread your wings and soar
  • Montana in the summer is always a good idea
  • Montana is nature’s masterpiece
  • Montana moments stay with you forever
  • Montana or heaven?
  • My Montana moment
  • Natural beauty knows no bounds in Montana
  • Not all who wander are lost — some are just in Montana
  • On top of mountains, beneath the twinkling stars
  • Rocky Mountain high, Montana style
  • Stars shine brighter in the big Montana sky
  • The last best place
  • The sunsets are more magical in Montana
  • The Treasure State
  • They say Montana is fairly populated, but it’s actually MT
  • Under the big Montana sky, we are small in all the best ways
  • Where the wild things roam free
  • Wild and wonderful Montana
  • You know you’re in Montana when you hear North Dakota jokes

What’s Your Favorite Montana Quote?

Is there a quote about Montana missing from this list? What do you treasure most about the 406? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Thank you for sharing!

Purple horizontal line with a gold crown logo.

4 thoughts on “Big Sky Country Beckons with These Montana Quotes”

  1. Thanks for the really awesome caption ideas! I’ll be visiting Montana in two weeks so this was just so timely!

  2. Montana is my favorite state, hands down! I love the space, the people, and being surrounded by nature. Your quotes brought back so many memories of my time in Montana. That quote about Montana women? SPOT-ON!!! Loved it!

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