When you think of travel opportunities in Montana, Glacier and Yellowstone Parks may be the first places that come to mind. Southwest Montana is conveniently located between Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks, along the I-15 corridor. The best part is, Southwest Montana offers you more history, and a real feeling of the Old West to go along with the natural splendors. You will definitely want to take your time as you experience all that our piece of Montana has to offer. From mining to ranching, from ghost towns to museums, we truly have it all right here! There is no doubt that you can really feel the Old West come alive as you visit one of our area’s many museums and historical sites. Our area is truly rich in history!
We also have some of the most scenic vistas you will ever experience, starting with majestic mountains, lush meadows, spirited rivers, meandering creeks, and wildlife galore! Of course, this means we also have some of the best outdoor activities you can imagine. Whether you like to fish, hike, bike, rockhound, explore, watch wildlife, golf, ski, or swim — we have what you are looking for.
Click on a travel area to learn more about specific opportunities!
The Anaconda and Philipsburg Area encompasses the Pintler Mountains and offers incredible recreation during every season with Discovery Ski Area and Georgetown Lake at the center. Anaconda was founded by Copper King Marcus Daly while Philipsburg was founded as a trading center. This area is known for gem mining.
In Butte, Copper is King. Often called “the richest hill on earth,” the mines of Butte brought together a diverse population of immigrants who in turn shaped Butte’s culture which remains today. Butte’s unique landscape provides countless opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. If that isn’t enough, Butte is home to the largest National Historic Landmark District in the country.
While much of Southwest Montana is rich in mining history, the Deer Lodge Area was settled by ranchers. They found the valleys to be prime for raising cattle which could be marketed to mining towns throughout the region and settlers traveling the Oregon Trail. This area runs all the way north to Ovando and Lincoln, offering an outdoor paradise for recreators.
The Dillon and Beaverhead Area encompasses some of Southwest Montana’s most pristine land, being home to a portion of the Continental Divide Trail, the Centennial Valley, the Pioneer Scenic Byway and Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge. The area’s fame, however, comes from the sites along the Lewis and Clark Trail and the site of the first major gold rush.
Helena is Montana’s Capital City, boasting a rich history that was spurred by the Gold Rush in the late 19th Century. In addition to a history that will pique your interest, the Helena Area is home to numerous lakes, an incredible trail system, and charming communities. Explore the museums, main streets and mountains that make Montana unique.
History buffs find their perfect vacation in Virginia City while outdoorsmen flock to the area for some of the best blue-ribbon fishing. While the Madison is the region’s more well-known treasure, the Ruby Valley is home to the confluence of three popular rivers (Big Hole, Beaverhead, Ruby) to form the Jefferson, making Twin Bridges and Ennis perfect fly-fishing destinations.