US 2 in Montana


US 2
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End Bainville
Length 671 mi
Length 1,080 km




Columbia Falls


Cut Bank







Wolf Point


North Dakota

According to foodezine, US 2 is a US Highway in the US state of Montana. The road forms a long east-west route through the north of the state, from the Idaho border in the Rocky Mountains through Kalispell, Shelby, Havre and Glasgow to the North Dakota border. The road is 1,080 kilometers long.

Travel directions

Rocky Mountains

The US 2 in Glacier National Park.

In the Purcell Mountains, US 2 in Idaho enters Montana from Spokane and follows a valley to the southeast at about 700, later 1,100 meters. This area is remote with few other roads and a few villages. The surrounding mountains reach over 2000 meters and it is 200 kilometers until you reach the first larger place. That place is Kalispell, a town of 14,000 inhabitants in northwestern Montana. It is a regional center for tourism in the Northern Rocky Mountains. In Kalispell you cross the US 93. Kalispell is located in a wide valley and the road has 4 lanes all the way to Columbia Falls. Then you go back into the Rocky Mountains with peaks up to more than 3000 meters. The road runs along the edge of Glacier National Park and crosses the Continental Divide, the watershed between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, via Marias Pass. Then, over a relatively short distance, you leave the Rocky Mountains and onto the High Plains, an immense plain. The plain is at an altitude of about 1400 meters and descends very slowly to the east. The first town on the High Plains is Browning, where the US 89 crosses.

High Plains

US 2 in Glacier County, east of the Rocky Mountains.

US 2 then begins a 90-kilometer route to Shelby, across treeless steppes. In this area there are many meadows, but also rough soils. At the town of Shelby you cross the Interstate 15. One then passes through Shelby, a town of 3,000 inhabitants, the largest in the area. After Shelby, the route goes east for 100 miles through prairies without encountering anything larger than a hamlet. This part of the route is very lonely with endless meadows. Just before Havre the US 87. endsfrom Great Falls on US 2. Then you pass the 10,000 inhabitants town of Havre. The next larger town, Glasgow, is 160 miles away. US 2 follows the shallow valley of the Milk River. In the distance are some low mountain ridges. It mainly crosses unpaved county routes. The US 2 runs along the Fort Belknap Indian Reserve and in the village of Malta it crosses the US 191. After a long journey one then reaches Glasgow, which has only 3,000 inhabitants. After about 30 kilometers you reach the Missouri River, which is already quite large here and to which US 2 runs parallel for the rest of the route in Montana. You then pass Wolf Point, a small town with 2,500 inhabitants, but is considered one of the largest places within a few hundred kilometers. To the east, the area slowly becomes greener, depending on the season. The road continues south through the large Fort Peck Indian Reserve. In rolling hills with prairies one then reaches the border with North Dakota. US 2 in North Dakota then continues to Williston.


According to bittranslators, US 2 was created in 1926. The route has historically been of passing importance, mainly due to the fact that there are no alternative roads nearby. US 2 also continues north of the Missouri River, leaving few opportunities to take north-south routes. US 2 follows the historic auto trail Theodore Roosevelt International Highway. The last part of the route that was built was the Marias Pass in 1930, but the route was not yet completely paved at the time.

By 1935, a significant portion of US 2 had already been paved, especially in eastern Montana. At the time, US 2 in the Rocky Mountains was largely unpaved, only the part between Glacier National Park and Kalispell was then asphalted. In 1936 the route through Glacier National Park was paved, and by 1937 the entire US 2 east of Kalispell was asphalted. The last sections of the High Plains to be paved were between Shelby and Chester, a section west of Havre and a short section around Harlem.

By the outbreak of World War II, nearly all of US 2 was also paved west of Kalispell, with the exception of two short sections in western Montana. It took until about 1950-1951 for the border stretch near Idaho to be asphalted.

Later, an approximately 20 kilometer stretch of US 2 between Kalispell and Columbia Falls was widened to a 2×2 divided highway. This is one of the few US Highways in Montana that has 2×2 lanes. This was widened to 2×2 lanes in the first half of the 1980s.

Traffic intensities

2,100 vehicles drive daily at the Idaho border, dropping to 1,400 vehicles east of Libby. At Kalispell there are 5,600 vehicles. As far as Shelby 1,400 to 2,500 vehicles and 800 to 1,200 vehicles drove to Havre. Farther east, the intensity is at 1,200 to 1,600 vehicles, with 1,300 vehicles on the North Dakota border.

US 2 in Montana

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