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Pros and Cons of Living in Montana

Pros and Cons of Living in Montana

Exploring the pros and cons of living in Great Falls, Montana, the pros and cons of living in Helena, Montana, and the pros and cons of living in Kalispell, Montana can help you decide if this picturesque state is the right place for you. Montana offers stunning natural beauty and a high quality of life but also comes with its own set of challenges. Whether you’re considering moving from California to Montana or another state, this guide will provide valuable insights.

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Pros and Cons of Living in Great Falls, Montana


Affordable Cost of Living: 

Great Falls is known for its affordable cost of living compared to the national average. According to Zillow Research, the median home price in Great Falls is around $230,000, which is significantly lower than the national median of $291,700.

LocationMedian Home Price
Great Falls, MT$230,000
National Average$291,700

Access to Nature and Outdoor Activities: 

Great Falls offers abundant opportunities for outdoor recreation. The Missouri River runs through the city, providing excellent fishing, boating, and hiking. Nearby Giant Springs State Park is one of the largest freshwater springs in the country.


Limited Job Opportunities: 

While Great Falls has a diverse economy, job opportunities can be limited compared to larger cities. Major employment sectors include healthcare, education, and government, but specialized job markets are smaller.

Weather Extremes: 

Great Falls experiences significant weather extremes. Winters can be harsh with temperatures often dropping below freezing, and summers can be hot, reaching upwards of 90°F.

Pros and Cons of Living in Helena, Montana


Rich Historical and Cultural Heritage: 

Helena, the state capital, boasts a rich history and vibrant cultural scene. Historical sites like the Montana State Capitol and the Helena Cathedral offer cultural and educational experiences. The city also hosts various cultural events and festivals throughout the year.

Strong Sense of Community: 

Helena is known for its strong community spirit. Residents engage in numerous local events, and the town has a welcoming atmosphere that fosters a sense of belonging.


Higher Cost of Living Compared to Other Montana Cities: While Helena offers many amenities, the cost of living is higher than in some other Montana cities. Housing prices are on the rise, with the median home price around $350,000 according to Zillow Research.

LocationMedian Home Price
Helena, MT$350,000
National Average$291,700

Limited Entertainment and Nightlife: 

Although Helena has cultural attractions, it lacks the vibrant nightlife and entertainment options found in larger cities. Residents often travel to nearby cities for more extensive entertainment options.

Pros and Cons of Living in Kalispell, Montana


Proximity to Glacier National Park: 

Kalispell’s location near Glacier National Park is a significant draw. The park offers unparalleled outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and wildlife viewing, making it a paradise for nature lovers.

Growing Economy and Job Market: 

Kalispell has a growing economy with increasing job opportunities. Key sectors include healthcare, retail, and tourism. The city’s economic growth has been robust, attracting new businesses and residents.


Seasonal Tourist Influx: 

Kalispell experiences a significant influx of tourists, particularly in the summer months. While tourism boosts the local economy, it can also lead to congestion and higher prices during peak seasons.

Limited Public Transportation: 

Public transportation options in Kalispell are limited. Most residents rely on personal vehicles for commuting, which can be challenging for those without access to a car.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Living in Montana?


Low Population Density: 

Montana is known for its low population density, offering residents plenty of space and a sense of tranquility. This spacious living environment is appealing to those seeking a quieter, more rural lifestyle.

High Quality of Life: 

Montana consistently ranks high in quality of life metrics. The state offers excellent healthcare, education, and community well-being. The natural beauty and outdoor lifestyle contribute to a healthier and more active way of life.


Geographic Isolation: 

Montana’s geographic isolation can be a disadvantage. Major cities are far apart, and the state is distant from larger metropolitan areas, which can make travel and access to services more challenging.

Limited Access to Healthcare

While healthcare in Montana is generally good, access to specialized medical services can be limited, particularly in rural areas. Residents often need to travel to larger cities for certain medical treatments.

In conclusion, understanding the pros and cons of living in Great Falls, Montana, Helena, Montana, and Kalispell, Montana can help you make an informed decision. Montana offers affordable living, strong community ties, and stunning natural landscapes but also presents challenges such as limited job opportunities and weather extremes. Whether you’re thinking of moving from California to Montana or considering another change, this guide covers all you need to know.

Related FAQs

What is the cost of living in Great Falls, Helena, and Kalispell, Montana?

The cost of living varies, with Great Falls being the most affordable and Helena having higher housing prices.

Are there good job opportunities in Great Falls, Helena, and Kalispell, Montana?

Job opportunities are present but limited in specialized fields. Kalispell is experiencing economic growth, while Great Falls and Helena offer stable employment in key sectors.

What is the weather like in Great Falls, Helena, and Kalispell, Montana?

Weather varies significantly, with Great Falls experiencing harsh winters, Helena having a temperate climate, and Kalispell being known for its seasonal weather patterns.

What are the best things to do in Great Falls, Helena, and Kalispell, Montana?

Popular activities include exploring historic sites in Helena, outdoor recreation in Great Falls, and visiting Glacier National Park near Kalispell.

Is Montana a good place to raise a family?

Montana is considered a good place to raise a family due to its high quality of life, excellent education system, and strong community values.