Summer road trips are a blast in Montana.

Being the 4th largest state in the US, Montana has plenty of places to explore, and getting around our huge state takes time. Crossing Big Sky Country from Glendive to St. Regis is a nine+ hour trip. We were pondering how long it would take to drive every road in Montana. The answer might surprise you. It would take almost a year.

Google
Billings has 731 miles of public roads. Credit Google
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There are 73,571 miles of public roads in Montana.

The Montana Department of Transportation Fact Book is full of nerdy details, including how many miles of public roads crisscross the Treasure State. Putting 73,571 Montana miles into perspective, it's almost equal to circling the Earth THREE TIMES.  73,571 miles is also roughly 1/3 of the way to the moon.

Rexford, MT has just 1.4 miles of public roads. Credit Google
Rexford, MT has just 1.4 miles of public roads. Credit Google
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Towns with the most and least streets in Montana.

According to MDOT, Billings has the most public roadways, with 731 miles. On the other end of the spectrum, tiny Rexford, MT in Lincoln County has just 1.4 miles of public streets. Billings also has the busiest street in Montana, with over 45,000 vehicles per day coming through the intersection of Airport Road and Main Street.

Credit Google
Credit Google
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So... how long would it take to drive every road in Montana?

At least six months, based on my math. Here's how I arrived at this figure. I looked at my car trip computer and found that my average speed is just 30 miles per hour (based on months of my daily commute, an even mix of city and highway speed). If you drive 8 hours per day, seven days per week, with an average speed of 30 MPH, it would take 300 days to drive every public road in Montana. 

If you could get your average speed up to 45 MPH, the trip could be completed in 204 days. Wow. Somebody should try it and write a book.

The Highest Highway Passes in Montana

You'll climb or descend thousands of feet in elevation while crossing Montana on interstate highways. Here are the highest-elevation mountain passes on I-90, I-94, and I-15 in Montana. We've included a few high-climbing two-lane highways as well.

Gallery Credit: Michael Foth

20 Montana Bucket List Destinations You Have to See

Bison, birds, dinosaurs, rivers, lakes, and the most incredible scenery in Montana that you've ever seen. Here is the Bucket List of 20 places every Montanan should visit at least once.

Gallery Credit: Michael Foth

 

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