Route: Interstate 15 North. This is designated as a scenic highway by AAA.
Alternate route: Highway 89 to Yellowstone National Park. Winding through canyonland and primeval forest this route tranverses three states bordered by some of the craggiest peaks in the west. Nearby attractions include Fossil Butte National Monyument, Lava Hot Springs, Periodic Springs. If you take this route, I suggest kickstands up at 5 a.m.
Alternate Lodging: Hampton Inn, 2301 14th St. SW, Great Falls, MT (406) 453-2674 -- from I-15, take I-315 and then take 14th St. Exit. Price quoted as of December 24 2008 was $99 but will be cheaper for AAA/AARP members.
Lodging: Best Western Heritage Inn, 1700 Fox Farm Road, Great Falls, MT (406) 761-1900. From 1-15, take I-315/US 89 and take Fox Farm Road south. 4 rooms reserved confirmed at $116.