Whether you’re a local or planning a road trip, you may want to keep an eye out for some of the towns with the cheapest gas in Montana. More often than not, towns along the outskirts of major metropolitan areas offer gas savings, which may require an extra bit of planning to ensure you get a sweet deal. However, time of year, state, and the type of gas you want will also all play a role.
Today, we’ll give you a snapshot of what some of the towns with the cheapest gas in Montana are as of fall 2023. We’ll discuss Montana in general as well as when gas prices are typically lowest in this state. Keep in mind that timing is everything when it comes to gas prices. These towns may not always have the lowest prices, but they likely still offer something of interest whenever you choose to visit!
With that in mind, let’s discuss briefly what makes Montana so special and why it’s worth exploring from the comfort of your very own vehicle.
An Overview of Montana: Why You Should Fuel Up for This State
Known colloquially as “Big Sky Country”, Montana is a mountainous, unspoiled state. Bordered by Idaho, Wyoming, Canada, and the Dakotas, Montana is a state full of variety. The state itself is roughly 147,000 square miles, with less than 1,500 square miles of water located within it. In fact, Montana is the 4th largest state in the US based on land mass, despite its population census ranking solidly in the 40s!
Because of its low population and large size, Montana is full of natural wonders worth exploring. This state houses roughly 3% of Yellowstone National Park, with 3 distinct entrances located in Montana. In fact, the only entrance to Yellowstone that’s open year-round is located in Gardiner, MT, making this state a popular destination!
A portion of Glacier National Park is also found in Montana, with the rest of the park extending into Canada. There are only a few major freeways in the state, with scenic byroads winding through the entirety of Montana.
This makes Montana a popular destination for National Park tourists, RVers, campers, and global visitors seeking a relaxing, awe-inspiring trip to see some of the most beautiful places in the entire United States!
What Time of Year is Gas Cheapest in Montana?
According to the Montana Department of Transportation, the month of January typically yields reasonable rates for gasoline and diesel fuel. However, this is likely due to the fact that Montana is difficult to navigate during the winter season. Weather plays a huge role in snowy states like this, as we’ve already mentioned. You may not want to delay your road trip until wintertime just to save a few bucks on gas!
Good weather, the holidays, and things outside of local government control such as oil price inflation can all affect local gas prices. While it can be discouraging to fuel up when costs are at a premium, exploring the state of Montana is well worth it! Montana typically ranks among the top ten most expensive states to fuel up, but you may be able to find a sweet deal in some of the towns we’re about to discuss.
Towns with the Cheapest Gas in Montana
As of fall 2023, the average gas price in Montana is roughly $4.02. So, where in Montana can you find affordable gasoline? Let’s discuss some of the locations currently ranking high on our list of towns with the cheapest gas in Montana, at least as of fall 2023. Plus, let’s address what makes some of these towns special, including their locations and proximity to some of Montana’s greatest attractions!
If you’re planning to cross into North Dakota on your way through Montana, Culbertson may be a good place to stop for gas. Both regular and premium gas prices remain affordable as of September, with the cheapest regular price in the state! At $3.65, Culbertson ensures you can fuel up and keep exploring Montana without breaking the bank.
In fact, a short 30-45 minute drive north of Culbertson will bring you to the Medicine Lake National Wildlife Refuge, a glacial location that is home to approximately 100,000 different migratory birds, depending on the season! There’s also an established colony of pelicans in this refuge, safe and protected along the shores of Medicine Lake.
30-40 minutes south of Culbertson and even closer to the North Dakota border lies Sidney, MT. This town boasts a regular fuel price of $3.87 in September 2023 and is a wonderful place to stop along the Yellowstone River. The town of Sidney has a few interesting things to do, such as exploring the Mondak Heritage Center and watching varied wildlife along the shores of the Yellowstone River. The Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site is also close by.
Given its proximity to the Yellowstone River, many people choose to pass through Sidney for its hunting and fishing recreational opportunities. Many different species of fish and game can be found here, and even hunting for agate stones proves to be a popular activity in this beautiful region!
Located in the complete opposite direction from Sidney, Bigfork is a popular and upscale spot for good food, fine art, and more. Even with the notion of upscale amenities, Bigfork has a relatively low regular gas price of $3.89 this season, still lower than the state average of $4.02. This spot is worth checking out, whether you plan on passing through or long to stay a while!
Located on the banks of Flathead Lake, outdoor recreation abounds in Bigfork. Plus, the Flathead National Forest is a short, gorgeous drive away, as well as Glacier National Park barely an hour away. Bigfork offers so much more besides recreation, including live theater, dog sledding in the winter, and cherry blossom viewing in the spring, with tasty and famous Flathead cherries to eat all summer long! This is a year-round place to visit in Montana, no matter how long you stay.
While Alzada had fewer than 30 people living in it at the time of the 2010 US Census, it’s a great place to stop for gas as you venture into Montana from Wyoming. Regular fuel matches Bigfork in terms of price, and this sleepy town isn’t far from the “Welcome to Montana” state sign! It’s a perfect place to refuel and perhaps check out the Little Missouri River. Plus, you can refuel at the Stoneville Saloon, an authentic Western experience!
Located along Interstate 94, Glendive maintains affordable gas prices for any and all travelers passing through. In fact, the regular price as of September is $3.94, with premium gas currently priced at $4.44. Glendive is much larger than Alzada, boasting some of the most beautiful locations to explore the Badlands. In fact, Makoshika State Park is an extremely popular spot for seeing some of this unique and stunning terrain.
Glendive also plays host to the Glendive Dinosaur and Fossil Museum, the Glendive Short Pine Recreation Area which boasts OHV opportunities, and plenty of other shopping and dining options in town. It’s a great spot to stop, especially given its convenient location on the Interstate!
While the tiny town of Barretts doesn’t offer much in terms of things to do, you may want to fuel up here before exploring nearby Dillon. Located just a short jaunt up Interstate 15 from Barretts, Dillon offers visitors multiple ghost town opportunities, including Bannack State Park as well as the town of Coolidge, located in the Beaverhead-Deer Lodge National Forest. Gas in Barretts is priced at $3.96, making it an ideal stop before getting spooky!
Not only does Fairview offer fair gas prices, but it also brings together multiple things. For instance, the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers join here, and the town itself is split between the states of Montana and North Dakota! There’s a beautiful, historic bridge you can cross to explore the area as well as plenty of recreational opportunities. Famous for its sugar beet production, Fairview has gas prices still below the state average, at $3.98 per regular gallon.
8. Great Falls
If you’re planning on flying into Montana and renting a car, you may find yourself in Great Falls. With an international airport and a convenient, centralized location, Great Falls is a great stop as you explore everything Montana has to offer. The town itself is full of history and recreational opportunities, including the C.M. Russel Museum, Brother Van House Museum, Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge, and Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center.
This town is also known as the Electric City, with multiple power plants and dams surrounding it. With plenty of entertainment and dining opportunities, Great Falls may prove to be a good place to stop for the night, no matter the season you visit. And the town currently has a regular gas price of $3.99!
In a northwestern Montana valley lies Libby, a town close to the Kootenai National Forest. Montana’s 5th scenic byway was created around Libby, a byway that shows off the Cabinet Mountain Range, Kootenai Falls, and the Kootenai River. While Libby has slightly higher gas prices compared to the state average, this popular spot is well worth visiting. With hiking, skiing, and hunting opportunities, Libby remains a charming spot to stop should you find yourself in northwest Montana!
Established in 1908, Conrad lies along Interstate 15 north of Great Falls. Its current regular fuel price is $4.14, which makes it slightly higher than average. However, Conrad is a great place to stop if you’re interested in exploring the Rockies, particularly the Bob Marshall Wilderness portion of them. This is a good town to refuel before checking out some of the most remote, untouched wilderness areas found in the state of Montana!
Summary of 10 Towns with the Cheapest Gas in Montana
|Number||Towns in Montana||September 2023 Fuel Prices|
|7||Fairview||Regular: $3.98 |
|8||Great Falls||Regular: $3.99|
The photo featured at the top of this post is © EB Adventure Photography/Shutterstock.com
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