State Route 287, 3 and 35 in Montana

By | October 18, 2022

State Route 287 in Montana

Begin Twin Bridges
End Ennis
Length 43 mi
Length 69 km
Twin BridgesSheridan

Virginia City


Highway 287 (MT-287) is a state route in the U.S. state of Montana. The road forms an east-west route in the southwest of the state, from Twin Bridges to Ennis. Highway 287 is 69 kilometers long.

  • ElectronicsMatter: State facts of Montana, covering history, geography, demography, economics, politics, and administrative division of Montana.

Travel directions

Highway 287 begins in Twin Bridges on Highway 41 and then follows the Ruby River to the southeast. The road leads through the Rocky Mountains, and runs east of Virginia City over an approximately 2,100-meter high mountain pass. The area is quite sparsely populated, agricultural in the west and more steppe in the east, with mountain ranges with peaks up to 3,000 meters in the region. Highway 287 ends in Ennis on US 287.


The area was a rapidly growing region in the 19th century due to mining. Virginia City, which now has fewer than 200 inhabitants, was even the capital of the Montana Territory between 1865 and 1875. The eastern portion of the route between Virginia City and Ennis was already partially paved in the 1930s and numbered as Highway 34. At the end of the 1930s, the western part was also largely asphalted. By 1940, the route from Twin Bridges to Virginia City was asphalted, but there was still a partial gravel road between Virginia City and Ennis. This part was paved around 1955.

The road was renumbered as Highway 287 in 1962. This route was longer at the time, and ran from the border with Idaho (Raynolds Pass) to Whitehall. There was also a Highway 287 Alternate from Ennis to US 10 west of Three Forks. In 1965, US 287 was routed over Highway 287 & Highway 287 Alternate, leaving the western branch. The section from Twin Bridges to Whitehall was thereafter renumbered Highway 55.

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Traffic intensities

1,000 to 1,500 vehicles drive daily on Highway 287.

State Route 3 in Montana

Get started billings
End Great Falls
Length 222 mi
Length 357 km






Great Falls

Highway 3 (MT-3) is a state route in the U.S. state of Montana. The road forms an east-west route from Billings to Great Falls, two of the largest cities in Montana. The vast majority, however, coincide with other US Highways. Highway 3 is 357 kilometers in total, but only the 76 kilometer stretch from Billings to Lavina is an individual route.

Travel directions

Highway 3 passes through the city of Billings as 27th Street, one of Billings’ main city thoroughfares. The road runs straight through the center and usually has four lanes, often with lane separation. On the north side of Billings is a steep slope, Highway 3 rises up the plateau here and leads past the airport. The road is then single-lane and heads north over the fairly flat steppe, paralleling US 87 for an increasing distance. The amount of elevation changes are limited further along the route, the road only passes through a few villages and then joins US 12 at Lavina.

The remainder of the route coincides with other US Highways, from Lavina 79 kilometers US 12 west to Harlowton, then US 191 66 kilometers north to near Lewistown, then US 87 and Highway 200 westward to Great Falls. In Great Falls, Highway 3 forms 10th Avenue, a major urban arterial that connects to Interstate 315.


The road from Billings to Lavina was originally numbered Highway 25, which was a poorly constructed dirt road. Highway 25 continued north from Billings to Lewistown, on what are still unpaved roads through remote territory today. In the second half of the 1930s, the road in the vicinity of Billings was paved, but was not completely paved from Billings to Lavina until the late 1940s. The road has been numbered as Highway 3 since 1957. It wasn’t until 1998 that Highway 3 appeared on official Montana road maps west of Lavina, across US 12, US 191, and US 87 to Great Falls.

Traffic intensities

15,000 to 18,000 vehicles drive daily to Billings, dropping to 10,000 vehicles at the airport and 2,500 vehicles on the outskirts of town. Further to Lavina, 1,600 to 2,000 vehicles a day drive.

State Route 35 in Montana

Get started Polson
End evergreen
Length 51 mi
Length 82 km

Woods Bay

big fork



Highway 35 (MT-35) is a state route in the U.S. state of Montana. The road forms a north-south route along the east side of Flathead Lake in the Rocky Mountains, from Polson to Evergreen. Highway 35 is 82 kilometers long.

Travel directions

Highway 35 begins in Polson on the south side of the large Flathead Lake on US 93 and continues along the east shore of the lake. The road usually runs at 900 meters above sea level, directly to the east is a mountain ridge with peaks up to 2,300 meters. It is a scenically beautiful road, Highway 35 often runs directly along the shore of Flathead Lake, which is otherwise not substantially built-up. Highway 35 runs more or less parallel to US 93 and ends in Evergreen, a town right next to larger Kalispell.


Highway 35 is one of the original state highways and has always run from Polson to Evergreen. In 1935 the road was a gravel road. The road was paved in the second half of the 1930s, only a section along the southeast side of Flathead Lake was paved a little later.

Traffic intensities

2,000 to 4,000 vehicles drive daily around Flathead Lake and 5,500 vehicles on the northern section between Bigfork and Creston. This rises to 8,000 vehicles between Creston and Evergreen.

State Route 35 in Montana