The plains of eastern Montana offer a more subtle beauty than the rugged mountains to the west. A land of rolling hills, dusty bluffs and badlands, and the occasional rock-walled canyon, this is classic cattle and wheat country, with grass thick and green in spring, brown and dry by fall, and blanketed by snow in winter. Temperatures can be extreme; hot in the summer under a blazing sun, and bitter cold in the winter, dipping below zero for long stretches.
Eastern Montana's history is rich: Lewis and Clark trekked along the Missouri River, and one of the most famous battles of the American West, the Battle of the Little Bighorn, was fought here.
In the old days, travel in eastern Montana was defined by the railroads. Virtually every town with 300 people and a tavern could be reached by either the main line or a spur. But the romantic days of rail travel have been replaced by the automobile, and interstates have triumphed over the rails. I-94 sweeps across the state west to east, I-15 cuts through the Rockies from Idaho to the Canadian border, and I-90 dips south from near Billings to the Crow Reservation in Sheridan, Wyoming.