Montana Vacation Planning: Montana's Most Bizarre Statues
Montana's Most Bizarre Statues
There’s nothing an American traveler loves more than bizarre statues and roadside attractions. Every state is full to bursting with amazing works of dedication and small-town pride, and Montana is no exception! Here’s a collection of some of Montana’s most iconic, unique, and hidden pieces of sculpture art both fine and folk.
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The Garden of 1000 Buddhas - Arlee
images via ewambuddhagarden.org
Hidden in the hills next to the tiny town of Arlee outside of Missoula lies an amazing site - one thousand Buddha statues. Dedicated as a part of the International peace Center, this garden is a place perfect for curious tourists and peace-seekers alike. At the middle of the garden is a giant statue of Yum Chenmo, The Great Mother of Transcendent Wisdom. All the smaller Buddha statues are Montana-made, and the garden is open year-round.
For more information, check out the garden's official website.
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Rainbofallo - Great Falls
image via visitgreatfallsmontana.org
This hybrid statue stands proud just outside the River’s Edge Trail by Great Falls. This particular beast was part of a 2005 auction hosted by the C.M. Russell Museum featuring more than a dozen different buffalo statues created by different local artists. The Rainboffalo was created by Chris Miller.
This statue faced some issues in 2014 when it was removed due to vandalism issues. But thanks to restoration efforts by different Great Falls foundation, the Rainboffalo stands proud once again!
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Our Lady of the Rockies - Butte
image via ourladyoftherockies.net
A monumental statue visible from the interstate, and accessible via roads and hiking trails, Our Lady of the Rockies is a must see for the Montana traveler. The 90 foot tall statue stands on the continental divide at an elevation of 8,510 feet, and overlooks the old copper mining city of Butte. The base of the statue was poured in 1985, and is dedicated to women workers of all trades, and to working mothers in specific.
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The World's Largest Penguin Statue - Cut Bank
images via http://eccentricroadside.blogspot.com
What’s better than a rainbow Trout Buffalo? Why, a giant talking penguin, of course! This statue located in the town of Cut Bank makes for quite the sight. The Penguin stands at 27 feet tall - about 3 stories - is made of concrete, and weighs about five tons. Made in 1989 in honor of Cut Bank’s claim of having the coldest recorded weather in the lower 48. Whether this claim is founded or not doesn’t stop the giant statue in front of the Glacier Gateway Inn from calling out “Welcome to Cut Bank, the Coldest Spot in the Nation” every once in awhile.
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The Giant Purple Spoon - East Glacier Park
image via takinbreeze.com
The US is full of "the World's Largest" style roadside attractions, but this giant purple spoon might just take the cake for Montana's most original. Hidden in a small town outside of Glacier National Park, this spoon makes for one heck of a sight. This 25 foot tall piece of purple cutlery stands in the yard of a locally run shop selling hand-crafted wooden cooking spoons called the Spiral Spoon. The owners of the Spiral Spoon, Charlie and Jo Wagner, was unveiled in 2005, and is made of plywood, Styrofoam, sawdust, toilet paper, and lots of glue.
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Paul Bunyan's Frying Pan - Libby
image via roadsideamerica.com
A giant frying pan may be the last thing you’d expect to see in a tiny town of huckleberry patches and and hiking trails, but giant frying pan there certainly is! Proudly owned by the town of Libby, Paul Bunyan’s Frying Pan has the capacity to fry 72 dozen eggs at a time - and it’s done this many times! Originally forged by the construction crew working on the Libby Dam in the 1970’s, the pan was a common site at Libby’s annual Logger Days, serving up everything from oysters to fish to bread and more. The pan was later retired, and now stands as one fantastic tourist attraction. Paul Bunyan’s Frying Pan is 18 inches deep, 11 feet wide, and 25 feet long.
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Creepy Crawler Giant Baby - Miles City
image via johncerneymurals.com
No Montana scenery is complete without a mural of a giant baby chasing a life-sized rhinoceros, velociraptor and bison, right? Well, Miles City seems to think so! Located about 9 miles east of the town off of Highway 94, Creepy Crawler Giant Baby was made by muralist John Cerney out of 175 painted plywood panels. The project was sponsored by the local high school art club, and was installed in 2015. This mural stands on private property, but it is clearly visible from the road!
Check out more of John Cerney's whimsical mural projects on his personal website.
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Glendi the Triceratops Statue - Glendive
image via sillyamerica.com
Life-sized and lovable, Glendi the Triceratops has claimed one of Glendive’s public parks as her stomping grounds, and she’s big enough to keep it. Dedicated to the community and constructed from all metal, Glendi is a sight to behold. For the dinosaur-loving inner child we all possess, this is one statue not to be missed!
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The Two Story Outhouse - Nevada City
Not exactly a statue, but too good not to include, Nevada City's two story outhouse - known as Big John or Big Bad John - is one heck of a sight! Nevada City itself is a ghost town lying nest to Virginia City, and is a fantastic travel destination even if bizarre outhouses aren't your thing.
Truly, Montana is filled with wonders!
- by Emma Katherine Roberts