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Visiting Montana: Entering the State at Point of Piegan & Joining US Route 89 Destined for the Grand Canyon, AZ

Updated on April 25, 2019
State flag of Montana
State flag of Montana | Source
Port of Piegan Border Station, Montana, U.S. Route 89 near Babb
Port of Piegan Border Station, Montana, U.S. Route 89 near Babb | Source
U.S. Route 89, in Babb, Montana
U.S. Route 89, in Babb, Montana | Source

Historic beginning of the 1,252 mile / 2015 kilometre US Route 89, near Babb, Montana

This short hubpage is about entering the State of Montana at Point of Piegan (1). For visitors wishing to go to many of the Montana's outstanding attractions — including St. Mary (see also Link, below), with its Visitor Center and Entrance to Glacier National Park, the Many Glacier Hotel overlooking Swiftcurrent Lake, and Chief Mountain (see also Link, below), and others — Point of Piegan is an ideal border crossing.

Point of Piegan, was established as a port of entry to the United States in 1925, and the current border station (see photo, above) dates from 2003. This building somewhat exhibits the style of a typical log cabin, but with stonework and a roof apex more common to more substantial buildings.

The building the 2003 structure replaced, however, was essentially a large, rugged log cabin, eventually to be entered onto the National Register of Historic Places; this structure was built at a location about 0.25 miles / 0.4 kilometres from the current border station building.

This border crossing is the third busiest in Montana. (Interestingly, on one occasion when I crossed there seemed to be only one other vehicle in sight, which soon disappeared.)

It is here that the traveller joins US Route 89: the historic, north- south road — sometimes referred to as the National Park Highway — which passes through seven Western states: Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Utah and Arizona. The last four states named saw completion of US Route 89 by 1926; Montana saw its section completed in 1934. At Arizona, US Route 89 ends at Flagstaff, not far from Grand Canyon National Park.

In total, US Route 89 (2) extends a distance of 1,252 miles / 2015 kilometres.

Beginning at Point of Piegan...

April 26, 2019


(1) For details of services at Piegan Port of Entry, Montana, see also:

(2) Not to be confused with Interstate 89, which runs north-south in the eastern United States, beginning from Vermont's border with the Canadian Province of Quebec.

Some sourcing: Wikipedia

Map of U.S. Route 89
Map of U.S. Route 89 | Source

Also worth seeing

St. Mary, Montana (distance: 19.1 miles / 30.7 kilometers), with its Visitor Center and entrance to Glacier National Park, is overlooked by 2641 metre / 8665 ft. Divide Mountain.

Many Glacier Hotel, Swiftcurrent Lake, Montana (distance: 21.9 miles / 35.3 kilometres) is the creation of Louis W. Hill (1872-1948), situated at a spectacular location.

Waterton, Alberta, Canada (distance: 70.4 kilometres / 43.7 miles, via Cardston, Alberta); the lakeside village at the Canadian end of the Glacier-Waterton International Peace Park has a spectacular setting, overlooked by the historic Prince of Wales Hotel.

Great Falls,
Montana (distance: 174.1 miles / 280.2 kilometres); visitor attractions include: the Great Falls of the Missouri River, the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, the C M Russell Museum; Gibson Park; Native Montana Art Gallery and Gift; the Great Falls Symphony Association holds regular concerts at the Mansfield Center for the Performing Arts; the Great Falls Historic Trolley gives local tours from the Visitor Information Center; the Malmstrom Air Force Base Museum and Air Park; the Montana Museum of Railroad History; and many others.

Ulm, Montana (distance: 182.1 miles / 293.1 kilometres); the First Peoples' Buffalo Jump State Park contains an historic, mile-long cliff used for 600 years.


How to get there: Delta Airlines flies to Great Falls International Airport, Montana (distance from Point of Piegan: 176.1 miles / 283.4 kilometres) with wide North American connections, from where car rental is available. Some facilities may be withdrawn without notice. For up to date information, please check with the airline or your travel agent. Please refer to appropriate consular sources for any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada


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