How Big Is Montana? See Its Size in Miles, Acres, and How It Compares to Other States

Best Fly fishing experience down the Montana in Alberton river gorge.
© Ansel B/

Written by Sammi Caramela

Updated: July 14, 2023

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Montana is a western state that borders Canada and features the Rocky Mountains, Great Plains, Glacier National Park, and part of Yellowstone National Park. The state is known for its diverse wildlife (including the black-footed ferret — the rarest mammal in North America) and gorgeous nature. Additionally, many associate Montana with its gold rush, which occurred in July 1862. Many Western U.S. states were part of the gold rush, which started in California during that time.

Deemed the “Treasure State” because of its rich mineral reserves, Montana is also one of the largest states in America. However, it’s also one of the least populated states — with an especially low population density. While nature lovers might plan frequent visits to the state, many people shy away from purchasing property or living in Montana due to its extreme weather conditions and lack of job opportunities.

Learn more about Montana’s size in miles and acres, how it compares to other states, and its climate and topography. 

How Many Acres Is Montana?

Montana is 94.1056 million acres in size; for reference, that makes up 3.83% of the U.S. The state uses 62% of its land (58 million acres) for agricultural production. As of 2022, Montana had 27,100 farms and ranches, with the average size being 2,137. The value of crop production in the state is $2,156,869. 

Montana is a national leader in organic wheat, dry peas, lentils, and flax production. The state is also known for its flathead cherries, huckleberries, beef, sapphire production, honey, and more.

Clark Fork River, Bearmouth, Montana

Montana is the fourth largest state in the U.S.

©Patti Anderson/

How Many Square Miles (and Km) Is Montana?

Montana is 145,545 square miles (380,800 square km). Latitudinally, the state is 559 miles; longitudinally, it is 321 miles. If you wanted to drive across Montana east to west, it would take over 10 hours — not including traffic and stops. If you were traveling north to south, it would take you up to six hours.

How Big Is Montana Compared to Other States?

Montana is the fourth largest state in America. The only larger states are Alaska, Texas, and California. The size of Montana is similar to that of the countries Norway, Zimbabwe, and Japan. In fact, the state is bigger than many countries, including the U.K.

Despite its size, the state has a population of 1.1 million people. In fact, Montana ranks as the 44th most populated, falling short of many smaller states. Per square mile, the population density is just 7.64 people, ranking it the 48th in the country. 

Montana’s low population is known for its slow living, brutally cold winters, and sweltering summers. Its rough terrain and harsh climate prevent many from moving to the state. To give you an idea of its unstable and extreme weather conditions, in January of 1972, Montana’s temperature rose 103 degrees from -54 degrees Fahrenheit to 49 degrees Fahrenheit in just one day — breaking the national record for the greatest temperature change within a 24-hour period.

Polson Montana on a sunny day

Montana is also called “Big Sky Country.”

©Janelle Garcia Photograph/

Montana Geography and Topography

While the name “Montana” translates from Spanish to the word “mountain,” the state’s average elevation is only around 3,400 feet. This makes it the lowest in elevation among the other Rocky Mountain states, likely because the eastern half of the state is much flatter.

Montana is also made up of canyons, river valleys, forests, plains, badlands, and caverns. Western Montana features the Rocky Mountains, while eastern Montana features the Great Plains — a stark geographic contrast. The Rocky Mountains are 3,000 miles of mountains extending from British Columbia and Alberta in Canada through the U.S. states of Montana, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico. The Great Plains, on the other hand, is made up of flatland, prairie land, steppe, and grassland. 

As a result of its mixed terrain, this landlocked state features many birds, rodents, beavers, badgers, porcupines, otters, bison, ticks, elk, bighorn sheep, lynx, moose, wolverines, coyotes, wolves, mink, snakes, and bats

The official state animal of Montana is the grizzly bear, the official state bird of Montana is the western meadowlark, and the official state fish of Montana is the blackspotted cutthroat trout

Flowers, meadows, forests, Rocky Mountains and Georgetown Lake, Montana

Montana has a mixed topography that contributes to its wide range of wildlife.

©Claudio Del Luongo/

Summary of Montana’s Size

Montana is a gorgeous (and large) state in the northwestern U.S. Despite its low population, the state offers thousands of miles of natural beauty, from mountain ranges to flatlands. Here are some of the specific measurements of the state of Montana.

StateAcresSquare MilesSquare KM
Montana94.1056 million145,545380,800

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About the Author

Sammi is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering cats, nature, symbolism, and spirituality. Sammi is a published author and has been writing professionally for six+ years. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Writing Arts and double minors in Journalism and Psychology. A proud New Jersey resident, Sammi loves reading, traveling, and doing yoga with her little black cat, Poe.

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