Believe it or not, many individuals do live off grid in Montana, albeit not the entire state is appropriate for living off grid. The biggest issue with living off grid in Montana is the weather. The ease or difficulty of living off grid in any state is largely governed by the local climate, and Montana is no exception. Montana is 147,040 square miles in size, and there are plenty of ideal areas to live off grid.
The greatest spots to live off grid in Montana are those where land is reasonably inexpensive, the climate is moderate enough to grow vegetables, and the winters are milder than the rest of the state. Beaverhead County, Missoula County, Madison County, Ravalli County, Granite County, Yellowstone County, and Treasure County are the greatest counties in Montana for living off grid.
In general, living off grid will be much easier in Montana’s South and Southwest regions, owing to the somewhat chilly climate in the North and North East parts of the state. Most individuals who live off grid in Montana use firewood to heat their homes throughout the winter, primarily because no other option works off grid and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.
If you’d like more information on off grid living in Montana, check out my Complete Guide.
What are the Best Counties for Off Grid Living in Montana?
Beaverhead County is perhaps the best spot in Montana to live off grid. The low population density and big size of the county are the key reasons this is one of the greatest counties for off grid living. Beaverhead County now has roughly 10,000 people living in an area of 5,543 square miles. Furthermore, Beaverhead County’s unique geographical location makes the climate much warmer than in the northern sections of the state, allowing you to grow veggies for a longer period.
Madison County has a low population density, with only about 8k people residing there. The county is relatively huge, with approximately 3,587 square miles. You will have no trouble finding cheap land for off grid living in this area. Madison County is located in southern Montana, which means that summer temperatures are greater. The growing season is a little longer than in the state’s northern regions.
Ravalli County has a relatively high population density, with approximately 45k inhabitants living in approximately 2,394 square miles. Having said that, Ravalli County is still a wonderful site for off grid life; the lands are very fertile, and you will have no trouble cultivating veggies in this county.
Granite County has roughly 3000 people and a land area of 1,728 square miles. Despite being in the state’s western region, this county enjoys a milder climate than the northern parts of Montana. Because the population density is minimal, you will have no trouble finding a low-cost off grid homestead.
Missoula County has one of the highest population densities in Montana. However, because of the increased population density, the cost of living is somewhat lower than in isolated locations. Missoula County currently has roughly 120k inhabitants living in 2,598 square miles, and some may believe that the high population density makes it unsuitable for off grid living. The milder climate makes it significantly simpler to cultivate vegetables in this county than in northern counties.
Yellowstone County has approximately 162k people living in an area of approximately 2,635 square miles. Although the population density appears to be rather high, Billings is home to over 100,000 people. The remainder of the population is dispersed around the county. Yellowstone County is ideal for off grid living since the growing season is much longer than in the northern sections of the state. The winters are also much warmer.
Treasure County has one of the lowest populations in the state, with less than 700 people living in 979 square miles. This implies that land is exceedingly inexpensive. You will have no trouble finding dirt cheap acreage appropriate for homesteading and off grid life. However, because of the low population density, the cost of living is much greater than in other counties, making it largely suitable for self-sufficient persons.
Final Thoughts on Off Grid Counties in Montana
As you can see, Montana has a few fantastic areas to live off grid. These counties each have a lower cost of living than the national average; nevertheless, keep in mind that, while the winters are milder in these states, they are still harsh for someone new to Montana.
If you’re interested in more off grid resources, I recommend watching these documentaries about off grid living.