Intercity Travel in Montana can have it’s challenges. In particular if you are looking for public transportation as it’s less available than other major cities in the United States. So we are here to help in giving you options for travel between certain cities in Montana. In this case Between Butte and Missoula Montana. Also perhaps some detour suggestions along the way too.
Driving from Butte to Missoula MT
Driving is by far the easiest option for travel from Butte to Missoula Montana.
The distance from Butte to Missoula is 118 miles and takes about 1hr 45mins to 2 hours depending on traffic.
By far the quickest way to travel from Butte to Missoula is via I-90W. You can essentially follow I-90 all the way from Butte to Missoula as the highway passes through both cities.
There are some detours you could take such as via Montana 1N, however its not a good alternative unless there’s something very wrong on I-90. It a considerably time-consuming detour.
If you have the time and are looking for a great pit-stop on the way. I would highly recommend Grant-Kohr’s Ranch National Historical Site which is just off the highway in Deer Lodge Montana (about 40 miles | 40 minutes from Butte). It’s a great stop and an unique place to see.
Taxi / Uber from Butte to Missoula Montana
Taxis and Ubers are an option, but certainly an expensive option between Butte and Missoula Montana. Expect to pay over $200 dollars to travel between the two cities. $250-300+ is not unheard of.
There are several taxi companies in Butte. A couple to try include. Mining City Taxi (406-723-6511) or Butte Cab Company (406-498-9713).
If it’s late or early you might want to try a taxi as it can sometimes be hard to find an Uber/Lyft in Butte.
Car Rentals in Butte Montana
There are a large number of options for car rentals in Butte Montana.
You can also rent at the Butte Airport which has several options close to the terminal and I find closer to downtown than the Bozeman Airport to the city. You can find most of these options on RentalCars.com or Priceline. Which is probably the best option for renting a car.
There are also car dealerships in Butte such as Leskovar Honda that rent cars as well.
Be sure to get a rental for the weather that you may experience. I would recommend a 4WD/AWD if you plan to be there anytime where snow is a possibility.
Traveling by Bus from Butte MT to Missoula Montana
Bus Travel is not the best option for travel between the places in terms of schedules as there is only one daily. Time-wise it is not much different than driving and is a direct line between both cities taking approximately 1 hour and 55 minutes.
Jefferson Lines has a bus from Butte MT to Missoula MT daily that is from 05:20AM to 07:15AM
Train between Butte and Missoula Montana
There is no train that runs between Butte and Missoula Montana. Overall, train options in Montana are very limited. The only Amtrak options are in Northern Montana that service Glacier National Parks and towns along the path close to the Canada border. The Empire Builder Line runs from Chicago to Seattle.
Driving from Missoula to Butte MT
Driving is by far the easiest option for travel from Missoula to Butte.
The distance from Missoula to Butte is 118 miles and takes about 1hr 45mins to 2 hours depending on traffic.
By far the quickest way to travel between cities is via I-90E. You can essentially follow I-90 all the way from Missoula to Butte as the highway passes through both cities.
There are some detours you could take such as via Montana 1S, however its not a good alternative unless there’s something very wrong on I-90. It a considerably time-consuming detour.
If you have the time, I recommend visiting Grant-Kohr’s Ranch National Historical Site, just off the highway in Deer Lodge MT (about 80 miles | 1hr 15 mins from Missoula). A unique NPS site that is a working cattle ranch.
Taxi / Uber from Missoula to Butte Montana
Taxis and Ubers can be an expensive option for travel between Missoula and Butte Montana. Expect to pay over $200 dollars to travel between the two cities. $250-300+ is not unexpected.
A few options in Missoula to check for taxis include:
- Huckleberry Taxi Company: (406) 369-3520
- Yellow Cab Taxi Company: (406) 543-6644
- Missoula Green Taxi: (406) 728-8294
It’s not my favorite option as it can be expensive and difficult to find a taxi/uber sometimes. But definitely an option if you are in a pinch.
Car Rentals in Missoula MT
Given that Missoula Montana is a larger city than Butte, there are more options for car rentals from Missoula. There’s quite a few options from the airport such as Budget, Avis, Alamo, and Hertz. I would recommend checking rentalcars.com or Priceline for the best prices. (I often find it better than checking the company sites directly)
There are also several in-city options with Enterprise, Dollar, Avis having locations although outside of the downtown area. You’ll likely need to uber/taxi to these options first to rent.
Traveling by Bus from Missoula to Butte Montana
There is only one daily for buses between Missoula and Butte Montana, so you’ll need to be sure the time works for your schedule. Time-wise it is not much different than driving and is a direct line between both cities taking approximately 1 hour and 55 minutes.
Jefferson Lines has a bus from Butte MT to Missoula MT daily that is from 10:20PM to 12:15AM
Recommend Side Trips
Did you know that the National Park Service runs a working cattle ranch? Donated to the NPS service years ago to showcase this part of American life/history, it is a fascinating look into ranching that otherwise most Americans won’t get to see.
Mining has had a huge impact on Montana and Butte in Particular. You’ll get a chance to explore the history of mining and even the opportunity to explore part of the Orphan Girl Mine, which was a copper/zinc mine owned by the Anaconda Corporation. Copper and Zinc had such an impact on Butte and Montana so it’s worth exploring the legacy.
Explore the very interesting and historical buildings of Fort Missoula in Missoula Montana. The museum itself was established in 1975 to protect and maintains historical artifacts of western Montana. The fort contains over 20 historic buildings and nearly 50,000 artifacts across a 32 acre park.