U.S. Route 2 in Montana

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U.S. Highway 2

US 2 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by MDT
Length666.645 mi[1] (1,072.861 km)
Major junctions
West end US 2 at the Idaho state line west of Troy
Major intersections
East end US 2 at the North Dakota state line east of Bainville
CountryUnited States
CountiesLincoln, Flathead, Glacier, Toole, Liberty, Hill, Blaine, Phillips, Valley, Roosevelt
Highway system
MT 1 MT 2

U.S. Highway 2 (US 2) is an east–west United States Numbered Highway in the state of Montana. It extends approximately 666.645 miles (1,072.861 km) from the Idaho state line east to the North Dakota state line.

Route description

US 2 in Essex

US 2 is a vital northern corridor for Montana. The road has more of its mileage within Montana than in any other state. It passes through three Indian reservations, comes very close to two others, and skirts the southern border of Glacier National Park. Most of the Montana segment of US 2 runs alongside BNSF Railway's Northern Transcon route.

US 2 passes into Montana 10 miles (16 km) from Troy, a small town. It is also near the lowest point in Montana, where the Kootenai River leaves the state. The first large town the highway comes to is Libby. After this, it meanders south and east toward Kalispell, a city of about 20,000 residents north of Flathead Lake, the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi River. From there the highway passes through the southern end of Glacier National Park and follows the Middle Fork of the Flathead River and the BNSF Railway line. After crossing the Continental Divide at Marias Pass west of East Glacier, the highway exits the Rocky Mountains and begins its trek through the northern plains. Just before entering East Glacier, it crosses the boundary of the Blackfeet Nation of northern Montana.

As the highway enters the Great Plains, specifically the northern High Plains, the first town it encounters is Browning, the largest settlement in the Blackfeet Nation. From here to the North Dakota border, the area surrounding the highway and the adjacent railroad is known as the "Hi-Line" to Montanans from the early Great Northern Railway route. The Hi-Line is one of around 50 folk regions in Montana. It next travels through Cut Bank and Shelby, where it meets Interstate 15 (I-15) and becomes the northern border of the area known as the "Golden Triangle", another folk region, in Montana. This area is one of the most agriculturally productive in the country. From Shelby, it hits a string of small towns before it goes on to Havre, near the geographical center of the road in the state and the other northern apex of the Golden Triangle. Just south of Havre and off the highway about 15 miles (24 km) is Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation. The highway continues east to Malta, before which it travels through the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation and parallels the Milk River. From Malta, the highway continues on to Glasgow, just north of the Fort Peck Dam, and then into the Fort Peck Indian Reservation. The highway stays within the reservation for much of its remaining length through Montana and parallels the Missouri River east of the dam. On the reservation, it travels through Wolf Point and Poplar and then exits the reservation a short distance before leaving the state. The final town of Bainville is the last major town on the highway as it leaves the state, near the confluence of the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers.


The route has remained mostly unchanged from its original routing, except to expand lanes or straighten and widen some narrow sections.

The most notable reroutings from the original corridor are: 1) the section from Moyie Springs, Idaho, to just inside the Montana border, which once ran much further north, as seen on the 1937 map of the area[2] (Old US 2N intersects today's US 2 about 2.6 miles (4.2 km) east of the state line); 2) passing north of Kila; 3) a route swap with Secondary Highway 206 (S-206) between Evergreen and Columbia Falls in 1983 (as seen in the 1985 state map);[3] 4) widening the highway to three or four lanes between Hungry Horse and West Glacier in 1987 (as seen on page 35 of the 2013 road log); and 5) construction of a more direct route between East Glacier and Browning over the Two Medicine River (which eliminated the concurrency with US 89 between Kiowa and Browning). All these former segments are still in use today. The former section from East Glacier to Kiowa is Montana Highway 49 (MT 49).

One former segment of the original 1926 corridor is maintained as a hiking trail, just east of the intersection with MT 56.

At Marias Pass, the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Monument, a 60-foot-tall (18 m) obelisk patterned after the Washington Monument, was built in 1931 to honor the 25th anniversary of the U.S. Forest Service. It originally stood right in the middle of the highway, with traffic flowing around it. In 1989, it was placed in a rest area/memorial park south of the highway, and the highway at the summit was widened to four lanes to allow slower vehicles to be passed before descending the pass.[4]

Major intersections

US 2 west – Bonners Ferry
Continuation into Idaho
S-508 north (Yaak River Road)
MT 56 south – Thompson Falls
MT 37 north (California Avenue) – Eureka
S-482 south
S-482 north
S-556 south (Thompson River Road)
US 93 Alt. – Whitefish, Missoula
Kalispell bypass

S-424 north / S-503 south (Meridian Road)
121.016194.756 US 93 (Main Street) – Whitefish, Missoula
MT 35 south – Bigfork
S-548 west (Reserve Drive)

MT 40 west to US 93 – Whitefish
Columbia Falls136.876220.281
S-486 north (Nucleus Avenue)
S-206 south
West Glacier153.146246.465Going-to-the-Sun Road
county line
196.587316.376Marias Pass
GlacierEast Glacier208.143334.974
MT 49 north (Looking Glass Hill Road) – Glacier National Park
MT 49 closed in winter
US 89 north – St. Mary
West end of US 89 concurrency
S-464 north
US 89 south – Great Falls
East end of US 89 concurrency
S-444 north
S-358 south – Valier
Cut Bank255.029410.429
S-213 north
TooleShelby278.317447.908 I-15 – Lethbridge, Great FallsExit 363 on I-15; west end of I-15 BL concurrency
I-15 BL north (Oilfield Avenue) – Lethbridge
East end of 1-15 Bus. concurrency
S-417 south
S-343 north – Galata
S-409 north – Whitlash
S-223 south (5th Street W) – Fort Benton
S-224 north – Joplin
S-432 south (Rudyard Road S)
S-255 north (Rudyard Road N)

S-449 north / S-448 south – Gildford
US 87 south – Great Falls
US 87 northern terminus
S-234 south (5th Avenue) – Beaver Creek Recreation Area

S-232 north (7th Avenue) to S-233 – Canada

S-240 south (Cleveland Road) to S-529
S-325 north
S-241 north
Fort Belknap Agency428.664689.868
MT 66 south – Hays
S-204 south (Sage Road)
S-363 south
US 191 north – Loring, Swift Current
West end of US 191 concurrency
US 191 south – Lewistown
East end of US 191 concurrency
S-243 north
S-537 north (Montana Street)
MT 42 south – Fort Peck
543.178874.160 MT 24 – Opheim, Fort Peck
MT 117 south – Fort Peck
S-438 north
S-250 north
Wolf Point590.055949.601
MT 25 south – Circle
596.680960.263 MT 13 – Scobey, Circle
S-251 north
S-480 south
S-344 north
MT 16 south (Broadway) – Sidney
West end of MT 16 concurrency
MT 16 north (1st Avenue E) – Plentywood, Regina
East end of MT 16 concurrency; west end of Theodore Roosevelt Expressway
Bainville658.4121,059.611 S-327 (Clinton Street)
S-405 north
US 2 east (Theodore Roosevelt Expressway) – Williston
Continuation into North Dakota
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ a b Montana Department of Transportation (January 19, 2022). "ALTIS Road Log Report" (PDF). Helena: Montana Department of Transportation. pp. 32–43. Retrieved December 23, 2017.
  2. ^ Texaco; Rand McNally and Company (1937). Road Map: Idaho, Montana, Wyoming (Map). c. 1:1,774,080. Chicago: Rand McNally and Company. Retrieved February 24, 2018.
  3. ^ Montana Promotion Division (1985). State Highway Map (PDF) (Map). c. 1:1,393,920. Helena: Montana Department of Transportation. Retrieved February 24, 2018.
  4. ^ Franz, Justin (May 6, 2012). "Places: Marias Pass". Flathead Beacon. Retrieved February 23, 2018.

U.S. Route 2
Previous state:
Montana Next state:
North Dakota