Updated September 25, 2021
Whether it’s the jagged mountains or the expansive plains, the essence of Montana can be hard to put into words. It’s not just wild or rugged, it’s beyond beautiful or stunning, it evokes something more than adventure or awe.
Let these quotes about Montana articulate your love for the state – or inspire you to plan your first visit. Or just scroll down to the bottom for some silly Montana jokes and puns. And if you’re looking for Montana Instagram captions for your favorite pictures of the Big Sky, one of these just might be the perfect description.
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Best Quotes about Montana
Montana has been a source of inspiration to authors, musicians, and many others who’ve put their feelings about the state into words far more evocative than my own (although there is admittedly some debate over whether that Abraham Lincoln Montana quote is real).
Let’s start with one that’s not only real, but is probably one of the most recognizable things that’s been said about the state: the famous John Steinbeck Montana quote about love.
“I’m in love with Montana. For other states I have admiration, respect, recognition, even some affection. But with Montana, it is love. And it’s difficult to analyze love when you’re in it.” – John Steinbeck
“It seems to me Montana is a great splash of grandeur. The scale is huge but not overpowering. The land is rich with grass and color, and the mountains are the kind I would create if mountains were ever put on my agenda.” – John Steinbeck
“The Montana sunset lay between the mountains like a giant bruise from which darkened arteries spread across a poisoned sky.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald
“Wyoming is good, but Montana is like heaven on earth.” – Henry Winkler (“The Fonz”)
“My favorite state has not yet been invented. It will be called Montana, and it will be perfect.” – Abraham Lincoln
“Before Alaska came along and ruined everything, one of every twenty-five square miles in America was Montanan. This much space has nurtured a healthy Cult of Place in which people find perfection, even divinity in the landscape.” – Ellen Meloy, nature writer
“The allure of Montana is like a commitment to a narcotic; you can never use it up or get enough of it. Its wilderness areas probably resemble the earth on the first day of creation.” – James Lee Burke, author
“Of all the memorable views, the best have been framed by Montana windows.” – William Hjortsberg, author
“There are grander and more sublime landscapes – to me. There are more compelling cultures. But what appeals to me about central Montana is that the combination of landscape and lifestyle is the most compelling I’ve seen on this earth. Small mountain ranges and open prairie, and different weather, different light, all within a 360-degree view.” – Steve Abell, photographer
“Everything is so big—the sky, the mountains, the wind-swept flatlands—it sinks into you, it shapes your body and your dreams.” – Christopher Paolini, author
“Montana seems to me to be what a small boy would think Texas is like from hearing Texans.” – John Steinbeck
Montana Quotes from Songs
While some of the most memorable Montana state quotes are from books or speeches, many others come from music (fun fact: a search of iTunes turns up at least 15 songs simply titled “Montana”). These are just a few of the best lyrics that have been written about the state.
“Tell me of that Treasure State
Story always new,
Tell of its beauties grand
And its hearts so true.
Mountains of sunset fire
The land I love the best,
Let me grasp the hand of one
From out the golden West.”
– Charles Cohan, “Montana” (official state song)
“Yes, there’s no place like Montana,
The Big Sky country, my home.
A place to set my spirit free,
A Rocky Mountain melody,
These things are a part of me.”
– Carleen and LeGrande Harvey, “Montana Melody” (official state melody)
“Oh Montana, give this child a home.
Give him the love of a good family and a woman of his own.
Give him a fire in his heart, give him a light in his eyes.
Give him the wild wind for a brother and the wild Montana skies.”
– John Denver, “Wild Montana Skies”
Funny Montana Quotes
Of course, though many prominent quotes about Montana share deep thoughts, plenty of others are just for fun (although that doesn’t make them any less true!). Anyone from the Treasure State will appreciate these, and they also make funny Montana captions for Instagram.
This first quote comes from one of the most famous books about Montana (which is, of course, also a Brad Pitt movie).
“The world is full of bastards, the number increasing rapidly the further one gets from Missoula, Montana.” – Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It
“In Montana, a policeman will pull you over because he is lonely.” – Rich Hall, comedian
“The best-kept secret about Montana is the women. They are tough, smart, sexy, and kind-hearted. It’s a lucky guy that ends up with a Montana gal.” – Jeff Ament, musician (Pearl Jam)
“Disney World is an armpit compared to Montana.” – Carl Hiaasen
“In Montana, it is a good idea to keep your hat on your head so the wind doesn’t blow your hair off.” – Ivan Doig, author
Unknown Quotes about Montana
While I tried to credit the author where I could, so many sayings about Montana don’t have a known source. These quotes might be of unknown origin, but they still express sentiments that resonate. And they make perfect Montana captions – or pins for your inspirational Pinterest board.
“I am so happy that I live in a world where there is a Montana.”
“A bad day in Montana is better than a good day anywhere else.”
“If you’re lucky enough to live in Montana, you’re lucky enough.”
“Montana: A state that gets so deep into your soul, it hurts when you’re away from it.”
My Own Big Sky Quotes
Spending my entire childhood, as well as most of the past 18 months, in Montana has given me so much to write about – and spending time under the big sky and in the fresh mountain air inspires me to do it. So I decided to try to share my affinity for the state with some Montana sayings of my very own. (And before anyone comes after me, the last one is a joke! We’ve loved Bozeman in all its forms.)
If you want to use one of these for your Montana Instagram captions, tag us @montanadiscovered!
“A mere vision of Montana will make my heart sing.”
“Under the Montana sky, we are small in the best ways.”
“Escape to the mountains of Montana, and let yourself be free.”
“The moon is bigger in Montana, it seems, and the stars somehow shine brighter.”
“The greatest thing about Bozeman is how it used to be.”
Jokes about Montana
Way too many Montana jokes hinge on either dumb stereotypes or the Cat-Griz rivalry, but here are a few that anyone from the state can appreciate. Yes, there are a couple ridiculous Montana puns, but I kept them to a minimum!
Montana: where the elevation is usually higher than the town’s population.
If you’ve suffered from sunburn and frostbite in the same week, you’re probably from Montana.
They say Montana is fairly populated – but it’s actually pretty MT.
Are you from Eureka? Because you’re a great discovery.
Montana, where driving for an hour without seeing anyone is not a sign of the apocalypse
You know you’re in Montana when: you hear North Dakota jokes.
Montana Sayings to Know Before You Go
Like most places, Montana has some terms and expressions of its very own. And if you’re coming from elsewhere, you might wonder what in the world people are talking about. So before your trip, make sure you know the meanings of these Montana expressions:
Ditch: adding water to an alcoholic drink, most commonly as a “whiskey ditch”
Crick: pronunciation of the word “creek”
A couple three: a few
Rocky Mountain oysters: bull testicles (yes, really)
Cow pie: pile of cow manure
Rig: pick-up truck
406: area code of the whole state and an informal Montana slogan
Cowboy up: deal with it
What’s your favorite quote about Montana?