8 Best Places To Fly A Drone In Montana (2024)

David Cassiel

In this article, we’ve scouted out the best places to fly a drone in Montana.

Outdoor enthusiasts are generally known to find Montana to be a refuge. You name it: winter sports, sea sports, riding, and hiking. Because of the untamed, unearthly splendor, those who have been there refer to it as Big Sky Country.

You will be taken aback by a magnificent trip through the Rockies or along one of the longest state borders with Canada. In addition, it is one of the most northern and fourth-largest states. Because of its small population, nature enthusiasts and birders come here all year long. Montana is undoubtedly a dream vacation spot.

In this article, I will reveal to you where to fly your drone in Montana as well as where it is permitted and not permitted by the law to fly a drone. I will also offer regulatory guidance to assist you in maintaining compliance with federal, state, and local laws.

Drone Regulations In Montana

The federal drone laws governing drone operations in Montana, which were created by the Federal Aviation Administration, classify drone operations as either recreational or commercial.

Federal Regulations In Montana

Recreational drone pilots are subject to the FAA rules for recreational flyers, which require them to register their drones if they weigh more than 250 g and complete The Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST) before they can operate their drone for recreational purposes in the United States of America.

Commercial drone pilots are subject to FAA rules for commercial pilots, which require them to follow The Part 107 regulations, complete a multiple-choice exam, and earn a drone pilot certification from the FAA before they can operate their drone for commercial purposes in the United States of America.

View of Missoula from Mount Sentinel, in Missoula, Montana.
Best places to fly a drone in Montana.
View of Missoula from Mount Sentinel, in Missoula, Montana

When flying within five miles of an airport, drone pilots are no longer needed to independently contact air traffic control. Instead, to obtain airspace authorization to fly in regulated airspace near and above numerous airports, both commercial and leisure fliers can use the automated LAANC system. You must apply for airspace authorization if you are operating in Class B, C, D, or E regulated airspace. In areas where LAANC is not available, you can use the FAA Drone Zone or LAANC.

Interested in becoming an FAA-certified drone pilot so you can operate under the Part 107 regulations and make money flying your drone? Check out our industry-leading online training course over at Drone Pilot Ground School.

State and Local Regulations In Montana

Here is an in-depth guide to the drone laws in Montana that we put together. Be sure to check them out to see the state and local drone laws you need to adhere to in Montana. You should always exercise sound judgment when in doubt and adhere to the FAA’s regulations.

DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this website should be construed as legal advice and is solely provided for informative reasons. If there is anything we missed or if you have any further questions, please contact us at info [at] droneller [dot] com, and we will do our best to assist you.

Best Places To Fly A Drone In Billings, Montana

Here are my top recommendations for where to fly a drone in Billings, Montana. These places were chosen because of their accessibility, airspace constraints, and tourist attractions.

1. Acton Recreation Area

46.0335241, -108.689028

The Acton Recreation Area is about 3,800 acres of diverse terrain, about 18 miles north of Billings. There’s a lot of wildlife in this area of sandstone bluffs, steep drainages, minor badlands, eroded shale, and scattered Ponderosa forest.

There are roughly 6.6 miles of roads approved for motorized usage, in addition to the fantastic chances for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, camping, and hunting (during the appropriate season).

2. Coulson Park

45.7869205, -108.482694

Coulson Park, a 50+-acre park that is currently classified as an undeveloped natural area, is located next to the Yellowstone River and across from the infamous Sacrifice Cliff’s southern rim rocks. It also serves as an entrance to Billings via Interstate 90 and is watched over by the Yellowstone Bridge.

There are lots of trees here if you like to fly a drone in the shade. Coulson Park’s peacefulness as a natural setting is slightly disturbed by the industrial sector next to it, but it also offers some interesting shooting opportunities.

3. John H. Dover Memorial Park

2531 Mary St, Billings, MT 59105, United States

John H. Dover Memorial Park is a signature natural-area park in Billings, Montana. The 2-mile John H. Dover Memorial Park Loop has a river and is mostly used for hiking, strolling, nature outings, and bird watching. The trail is best utilized from May through October.

The John H. Dover Memorial Park is the ideal location to use your drones if you want to take pictures of the Yellowstone River because it has approximately three miles of riverbank. With its vast open fields and many walking pathways, the region is also conducive to flying.

4. Moss Mansion

914 Division St, Billings, MT 59101, United States

The Moss Mansion Historic House Museum is a red-stone mansion built in 1903 by Preston Boyd Moss (P.B. Moss) and his wife, Martha Ursula Woodson Moss (Mattie). The Moss Mansion Historic House Museum is located at 914 Division Street in Billings, Montana, United States.

While a visit to the museum is strongly advised, you can also take a few minutes to utilize a drone to capture images of the home and its surroundings. You should be aware that this is private land; therefore, we highly advise requesting permission before using your drone here.

5. South Hills Motorcycle Area

45.7378996, -108.522904

South Hills Motorcycle Area is a 700-acre property that is exclusively accessible by dirt bikers and features miles of trails, multiple play areas, and some challenging hill climbs.

The riding area is open every day of the year from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. There is just a single, steep primary entry point for parking, but it offers access to all other routes.

The off-road biking region south of Billings offers challenging terrain that appeals to mountain bikers, hikers, and dirt riders alike.

Another excellent location for drone flights is the open space directly next to the Yellowstone River. There’s a strong probability that the local bikers would agree to your taking action photos of them, so you may also make that offer.

6. Two Moon Park

850 Two Moon Park Rd, Billings, MT 59105, United States

The Yellowstone River borders Two Moon Park on the south and a high, wooded bluff on the north. Two Moon Park is named after the Northern Cheyenne chief who took part in the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

The park has a main route that circles it, but it is also connected to various additional roads and trails that wind across open meadows and dip beneath bowers reminiscent of Hansel and Gretel.

A large variety of birds are drawn to the park’s downstream end’s Weeping Wall, which is pierced by leaking springs and covers the cliff side in sheaths of ice in the winter.

You may join the paved Dutcher Trail at the upper gate of Two Moon Park, which travels farther north to the far end of the Heights and upstream to Coulson Park.

Best Places To Fly A Drone In Helena, Montana

Here are my top recommendations for where to fly a drone in Helena, Montana. These places were chosen because of their accessibility, airspace constraints, and tourist attractions.

1. Crow Peak and Elkhorn Peak

46.2938317, -111.912909

The four-hour ascent to the twin summits of Crow Peak and Elkhorn Peak will excite adventurous hikers. This track is fairly difficult, which is nice because it rarely gets crowded.

After climbing either of the two summits, you should have no problem locating a big open area where you may safely launch your drone for a little flight as a reward. Be aware of heavy winds before flying your drone, as you would with any high point.

2. Lake Helena

46.695072, -111.969195

Lake Helena is a body of water along Prickly Pear Creek in the Helena Valley of Lewis and Clark County in southwestern Montana. It is 3,647 feet (1,112 m) above sea level and has a size of 2,073 acres (8 km2).

Today, riding along the nearby trails and fishing at Lake Helena have both grown in popularity. There are several great places to fly your drone nearby. It offers fantastic photo opportunities of the mountains to the north.

Final Thoughts on Where To Fly A Drone In Montana

So there you have it: the best places to fly a drone in Montana!

I hope you have a great time exploring the beautiful landscape of Montana from above. You can also check out where to fly a drone in other states and cities in the United States.

Always remember to obey the federal, state, and local drone laws in Montana to avoid having issues with the law and authorities.

And don’t forget to share this article with a friend and other drone pilots who will benefit from this information using the share icons below.

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