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Old 04-19-2012, 12:54 PM
 
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Which airport would be the best to use to get to Helena? Yes, I know there is an airport there but flights are very expensive (smaller, regional airport I am guessing). Which would be the best alternative? Is driving from Spokane reasonable? It looks like it is a 3 hour drive or so. Is the road through the mountains, something someone from a "flat" state could do? . Suggestions?

I don't have any issues driving a few hours as we could explore the area as well.
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Old 04-19-2012, 01:15 PM
 
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No, Spokane is way too far away, a day's drive. It depends on where you are flying from, have you checked Alligent Air? They fly into Bozeman, Missoula, Billings from lots of places, and it is really reasonable flights. I did Delta from Helena to Chicago a few weeks ago, layover in SLC, it was $450 RT. Not too bad.
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Old 04-19-2012, 01:19 PM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
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Usually it is cheaper to fly into Bozeman, Butte or Great Falls. All 3 of those airports are about the same size as Helena, but are usually far cheaper for some reason.

They are all three within about 90 miles of Helena so only about an hour and 1/2 drive with good roads.

I used to really like Horizon/Alaska Air service between Helena and SEATAC, small turboprop planes, but they used to serve local micro brew beer and locally raised wines during the trip
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Old 04-19-2012, 05:18 PM
 
Location: Down the road a bit in Maine
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You didn't say where you were coming from? Most places will change over in Denver, also just found out that Frontier Airlines is going to Great Falls as of 5/14/12.
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Old 04-19-2012, 06:34 PM
 
Location: Approximately 50 miles from Missoula MT/38 yrs full time after 4 yrs part time
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
Which airport would be the best to use to get to Helena? Yes, I know there is an airport there but flights are very expensive (smaller, regional airport I am guessing). Which would be the best alternative? Is driving from Spokane reasonable? It looks like it is a 3 hour drive or so. Is the road through the mountains, something someone from a "flat" state could do? . Suggestions?

I don't have any issues driving a few hours as we could explore the area as well.
Other factors that should be taken into consideration:

Where you're flying from.

When you are going to be leaving MT....where are you going to be leaving from.

Are you going to be using a "rental car" for all the time you will be in MT.

.....and to answer your question re: Spokane/Helena drive time is 5 hours.

Check your flights and related costs through: "KAYAK.com........just MHO.
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Old 04-19-2012, 06:44 PM
 
Location: Lehigh Valley, PA
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Actually most flights in and out of Helena for most southern and eastern originating flights connect out of Salt Lake City.
I lived in Helena for fourteen years leaving the state in 2008.
I flew many, many times for business.
The old adage " You can't get there from here" applies to Montana.





Quote:
Originally Posted by Travel Mom View Post
You didn't say where you were coming from? Most places will change over in Denver, also just found out that Frontier Airlines is going to Great Falls as of 5/14/12.
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Old 04-20-2012, 11:08 AM
 
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Montana Griz is correct; it's not a day's drive from Spokane to Helena; it's a 5-hour drive and quite lovely, but you do have to go over three mountain passes, and the driving can be hairy if you're not used to it (the interstate highway is of course quite safe, but when I've driven flatlanders around they seem to think we're on the verge of plunging off the mountain side... and no cracks about my driving! lol)

Flying in and out of Montana is ridiculously expensive. If Bozeman isn't a lot cheaper for you I'd just bite the bullet and fly in & out of Helena.
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Old 04-20-2012, 03:23 PM
 
1,077 posts, read 2,484,254 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasper12 View Post
No, Spokane is way too far away, a day's drive. It depends on where you are flying from, have you checked Alligent Air? They fly into Bozeman, Missoula, Billings from lots of places, and it is really reasonable flights. I did Delta from Helena to Chicago a few weeks ago, layover in SLC, it was $450 RT. Not too bad.

Spokane is not a day's drive. Members of my family drive from Great Falls to Spokane 4-5 times a month stopping at my house along the way. It usually takes them about 4 1/2 to five hours. There are two big passes to go over but as long as there is no snow you should be fine. It's beautiful.
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Old 04-20-2012, 06:54 PM
 
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5 hours is a days drive to me.
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Old 04-20-2012, 07:15 PM
 
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I don't know why I was thinking Spokane was 3 hours away, 5 is still better than 18. I'm coming from Minnesota, sorry about that. From the flights I have priced out, Helena has been almost twice what the flights to Spokane were. We would be getting a rental car either way (unlimited mileage with our club membership) so not a worry. We will be coming sometime in June.

Is it WORTH driving from Spokane, sightseeing for someone that has never been to either place?

Travel Mom--good news about Frontier. I think that is the new airline out of Minneapolis. I will have to check that out. Not sure when they start flying out of here though.
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