Well-positioned in the country’s Mountain West region, Montana is the fourth-largest state but only the eighth-least populous of the United States. Helena is the state’s capital, and Billings is its largest city. Montana is partially covered in mountain ranges in the west, while prairies and badlands characterize the east. The state has been the home of various Native American nations for thousands of years, including the Cheyenne, the Crow, and the Assiniboine tribes, among others.
The name Montana comes from the Spanish word for mountain: “montaña.” The citizens approved the state’s constitution in 1884, but for political reasons, Montana did not gain statehood until November 8, 1889, when President Benjamin Harrison proclaimed it the union’s 41st state. Montana boasts beautiful open spaces among the most picturesque destinations in the western region. These include Flathead Lake, Glacier National Park near the Canadian border, and Yellowstone National Park, which stretches across the Montana-Wyoming border in the south.