U.S. Route 2 - Route Description - Western Segment - Montana


US 2 is a vital northern corridor for Montana. The road travels through some of the most beautiful land in the state, especially in its western half, and has more of its mileage within Montana than in any other state. It passes through three Indian reservations, comes very close to two others, and skirts the southern border of Glacier National Park. Most of the Montana segment of US 2 runs close to the northern BNSF Railway main line, and parts of the highway show up in the Microsoft Train Simulator depiction of the Marias Pass route.

US 2 passes into Montana 10 miles (16 km) from Troy, a small town. It is also near the lowest point in Montana, where the Kootenai River leaves the state. The first large town the highway comes to is Libby. After this it meanders south and east towards Kalispell, a city of about 20,000 residents north of Flathead Lake, the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi River. From there the highway passes through the southern end of Glacier National Park and follows the Middle Fork of the Flathead River. After crossing the continental divide at Marias Pass west of East Glacier, the highway exits the Rocky Mountains and begins its trek through the northern plains. Just before entering East Glacier, it crosses the boundary of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation of northern Montana.

As the highway enters the Great Plains, the first town it encounters is Browning, the largest settlement on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. From here to the North Dakota border, the surrounding area is also known as "The Hi-Line" to Montanans from the early GN railway route. It next travels through Cut Bank to Shelby, where it becomes the northern border of the area known as the "Golden Triangle" in Montana. This area is one of the most productive farming regions in the country. From Shelby it hits a string of small towns before it goes on to Havre, near the geographical center of the road in the state. Just south of Havre and off the highway about fifteen miles (24 km) is the Rocky Boy Indian Reservation. The highway continues east to Malta, before which it travels through the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation. From Malta, the highway continues on to Glasgow, just north of Fort Peck Dam, and then into the Fort Peck Indian Reservation. The highway stays within the reservation for much of its remaining trip through Montana. On the reservation it goes through Wolf Point and Poplar, and then exits the reservation a short distance before leaving the state. The final town of Bainville says goodbye to the highway as it leaves the state, near the confluence of the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers.

Read more about this topic:  U.S. Route 2, Route Description, Western Segment

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