What is 406 Day?
What is 406 Day? It’s April 6th and you have absolutely no idea why your Montana friends are celebrating right now. Is it someone’s birthday? A historic event? Religious holiday? Nope! Montanans are celebrating today because April 6th can be written as 4-06, or 406. As far as Montanans are concerned, it's the perfect date to celebrate Montana Day! But why 406? And how exactly are Montanans celebrating this day?
When area codes were first implemented in the national system, 34 states had only one area code and Hawaii and Alaska didn’t have any! However as populations have grown the number of area codes have as well. Now there are only 12 states that have a single area code for the whole state, and Montana is by far the largest (after Alaska of course)! Despite being the fourth largest state in land area, Montana is the 43rd largest state in population. So no matter how far you travel in Montana, from Lolo to Wibaux the area code will always be 406.
The Last Best Place
If you ever decided to travel across the entire 406, you will be able to get a glimpse of why we are so proud of our home. Montana was named after the Spanish word for mountains, and you’ll see why after only a few hours of driving. Montana has roughly 100 named mountain ranges and just over 94 million acres of space. As you explore the state you will discover 10 national forests that cover approximately 19 million acres of land, over 50 state parks, and 2 national parks. That includes the world’s first ever national park, Yellowstone National Park and the world’s first international peace park, Waterton Glacier International Peace Park. Water from the glaciers pool in over 3,200 lakes and race through over 100 named rivers and creeks. All of this helps support diverse and beautiful wildlife. Montana is home to over 100 different species of mammals from the tiny pikas to elegant bobcats to mighty grizzlies. Swimming in Montana’s lakes and streams you can find 85 species of fish and flying through the biggest sky you’ve ever seen are over 400 species of bird. So it’s really no surprise that everyone in Montana is more than willing to jump on the opportunity to show off some of their Montana pride!
One Big Main Street
“It’s no secret that Montana is the best state in the nation to live, work, and play,” Governor Bullock said. “We are one big town with a really long Main Street, we have the kindest people with a can-do attitude, the most spectacular public lands for all to enjoy, and a unique ingenuity that creates thriving businesses and a growing economy.”
Montana is undeniably gorgeous, but our Montana pride comes from more than just our looks! Any and every outdoor activity you can imagine, you can experience in our beautiful Big Sky Country. From rock climbing the gorgeous mountains to ice climbing frozen waterfalls to kayaking lazy rivers to white water rafting, Montana has something for everyone outdoor enthusiast from thrill seekers to bird watchers. Not only that but with such a small population you’ll finally understand the whole “it’s a small world” thing. Travel between cities and you’ll likely meet people who knew that one random co-worker you had two years ago and are the second cousin of your freshman roommate. Montana is all about connections, with each other and our beautiful wilderness.
Big Sky, Big Pride!
So how are you going to show off your Big Sky pride? A hike through Montana’s breathtaking wilderness is definitely one way to do it! Try and see if you can spot some of Montana’s famous wildlife like moose, marmots, otters or mountain goats! Or wander through our gorgeous rolling fields and watch the swifts and flycatchers twist and dive through the sky, maybe you’ll get lucky and see a hawk or bald eagle! Maybe you would prefer celebrating the close community of Montana by taking a walk through a small town or going and exploring one of our historic Main Streets. Another great way to show off your love for Montana is by supporting local businesses and artisans! Montana is a place overflowing with inspiration for writers, painters, dreamers, sculptors, explorers, welders, and so many more, why not be one of them?
If you're looking to celebrate your Montana pride with some 406 merch, the Montana Gift Corral has got you covered! From stickers to jewelry to hats to mugs, the Montana Gift Corral has all of your 406 needs! So dress up, and go out and explore the things that make Montana the Last Best Place!
By: Issa Rabideaux
Updated by: Cassi Miller