Winter driving in Montana can be a challenge.

Some may prefer the word terrifying, depending on how comfortable they are with traveling in snow, ice, blowing snow, drifts, whiteouts, black ice, heavy fog, etc. Good times, right?

Most of us are familiar with Montana 511, the state-run website for road conditions, accidents, and construction updates around the Treasure State. The desktop version is okay (with multiple layers and details), but the Montana Department of Transportations 511 mobile app version is... fair.

Montana 511 map. Credit MDOT
Montana 511 map. Credit MDOT

There's a better app for that.

Browsing Reddit today, I came across a thread about a new app that is much easier to navigate than MDOT's version, particularly if you're looking for traffic cameras. There are 73 permanent cameras on the interstate and two-lane highways across the state, along with a fluctuating number of construction cams. These traffic cams are often a better way to get an up-to-the-minute look at road conditions, particularly over mountain passes.

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Looks a little dicey here. Credit MDOT
Looks a little dicey here. Credit MDOT

The Montana Road Conditions app is free.

Disclosure: I'm not a huge app person. It's got to be something I consider very useful before I download it. If the app doesn't somehow make my life easier or help solve a problem, I'm just not that interested. That said, this new free app is pretty awesome and is now downloaded on my phone.

Screenshots of Montana Road Conditions App/Canva
Screenshots of Montana Road Conditions App/MDOT/Canva

It's super easy to navigate.

When you open the app, you're asked to give a title to whatever route you're taking. I named mine "Laurel to Helena." Then, just click on each camera on the map that you'd like to add to your trip. I chose almost every cam on my hypothetical route: Reed Point, Livingston, Bozeman Pass, Toston Bridge, and Spokane Creek (near East Helena). Most of the cameras have an option to select which direction view you'd like to see.

The app then loads all of the cams along your route in one simple, scrollable screen. Perfect for hands-free driving. You can refresh every fifteen minutes. There are no ads, pop-ups, or data collection. Currently, the app is only available for iOS, but according to the developer, Android versions may be coming soon. Here's the link if you'd like to download it to your iPhone.

LOOK: Counties with the highest unemployment in Montana

Stacker compiled a list of the counties with the highest unemployment in Montana using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Counties are ranked by unemployment rate in November 2023.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

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