Dillon and Beaverhead County Area

Dillon and Beaverhead County

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.

Dillon and Beaverhead County Area Communities

Bannack was Montana’s first Territorial Capital following a massive gold rush along Grasshopper Creek. The discovery of gold brought thousands to the area including the infamous sheriff Henry Plummer who is said to have been the leader of the lawless Road Agents. Bannack has been preserved as one of Montana’s State Parks, offering visitors the opportunity to wander the halls of nearly 60 structures.

Visit Bannack

Dell is a primarily ranching community, nestled between the Blacktail and Tendoy Mountains. This charming town was originally built along the Utah and Northern Railroad, and is now a perfect gateway into a backcountry Montana drive. The Big Sheep Creek Backcountry Byway is a scenic drive for those brave enough to travel down the 50 mile gravel road. The Dell Mercantile is the perfect pre-road trip stop for those visiting the byway.

Visit Dell

Lewis & Clark passed through the Beaverhead on their 1806 Expedition. In fact, Dillon is famous as the site where Sacagawea recognized the land of her people at Beaverhead Rock. While in the area you can also visit Clark’s Lookout. Jackson and Elkhorn Hot Springs sit within an hour of town, as well as Clark Canyon Reservoir, Bannack Ghost Town State Park and the Centennial Valley.

Visit Dillon

Nestled between the Beaverhead and Big Hole Rivers north of Dillon, Glen offers fishermen an ideal getaway. In addition to the blue-ribbon streams, Glen is just 10-miles from Brownes Lake which boasts wonderful rainbow trout fishing. The Corps of Discovery travelled the Beaverhead River near Glen which is where Sacagawea recognized Beaverhead Rock as a landmark of her people.

Visit Glen

Jackson is known for its hot springs and outdoor recreation opportunity. Winter sport lovers will find the location and terrain of Jackson perfect for snowy adventures. Located in close proximity to a number of mountain ranges and the headwaters of the Big Hole River, Jackson is a hub of outdoor activity in both winter and summer. The Montana Snowkite Rodeo, a unique three-day experience, is an annual event based out of Jackson Hot Springs Lodge.

Visit Jackson

Beaverhead County is outlined by the Continental Divide. The community of Lakeview sits in the foothills of the Continental Divide 90 miles south of Dillon. Lakeview offers visitors a perfect entry point to the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest for horseback riding, hiking, and fishing and a beautiful drive to the Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge which offers an incredible array of wildlife viewing.

Visit Lakeview

Originally named Allerdice, Lima is a community reliant upon its neighboring wilderness. Lima is a great jumping off point for those looking to go backpacking, hiking, camping, or birding in the nearby Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest and the Red Rocks Lakes National Wildlife Refuge. Additionally, Lima is a fly-fishing and river-floating destination with a number of guides and outfitters in the area.

Visit Lima

Polaris is located on one of Southwest Montana’s Scenic Byways which winds through the Pioneer Mountains. Visitors will find a recreational paradise with a wide variety of trails, Maverick Mountain Ski HIll, and a number of campgrounds and picnic areas. Rockhounding is a popular activity at nearby Crystal Park and you can reward yourself with a soak at Elkhorn Hot Springs.

Visit Polaris

Located on Montana Highway 43, Wise River is the small town at the point where the Wise River flows into the Big Hole. This charming Montana town is home to decent pocket fishing locations, as well as a few scattered forest service campgrounds. The Pioneer Mountains Scenic Byway goes along the Wise River, offering travelers beautiful views of the mountains and a number of scenic turnout opportunities for the more adventurous souls.

Visit Wise River

Located in the middle of the Big Hole Valley, Wisdom is home to the Big Hole Battlefield. The battlefield is perfect for those looking to enjoy a beautiful walk and a nice picnic while learning about some significant Montana history. Wisdom has a number of restaurants and bars for visitors to enjoy, as well as coffee available at the Hook and Horn for a pick-me-up.

Visit Wisdom


Recreate Responsibly

We’re committed to keeping Montana’s outdoor spaces, communities, residents, and visitors safe. As you enjoy all the area has to offer, please join us in following these guidelines for responsible recreation.

  • Know before you go
  • Practice physical distancing
  • Plan ahead
  • Play it safe
  • Explore locally
  • Leave no trace
  • Build an inclusive outdoors

More Info

County Health Departments:

Related Content

Planning a vacation or day trip to Montana’s Beaverhead County? Learn more about the recreation, history and destinations found nearby! Start planning your trip to Dillon and the surrounding communities.

Mountain Biking

Biking is quickly becoming one of Southwest Montana‚Äôs most popular pastimes. Helena and Butte in particular have…

More Info


A registered historic landmark and the site of Montana's first major gold discovery on July 28, 1862. Please visit our…

More Info

Lewis & Clark Trail Sites

Captain Meriwether Lewis began his famous exploration of the Louisiana Purchase in July 5th, 1803. He left Washington…

More Info

Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge

Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge is located in the extreme southwest portion of Montana near the Idaho border. The…

More Info

Crystal Park

Crystal Park is a unique recreation area at an elevation of 7,800 feet in the Pioneer Mountains in southwest Montana…

More Info

Outfitters & Guides

The outfitters of Southwest Montana offer a wide variety of amenities, from full service lodges to day trips, we have it…

More Info

Clark Canyon Reservoir

Recreation on Clark Canyon Reservoir and Barrett’s Diversion Dam, located on the Beaverhead River south of Dillon, Montana…

More Info

Snowstorms & Hot Springs

As you may have heard, or experienced, Montana was hit with a record setting snowstorm the fourth weekend in October…

More Info

The Mountains are Calling

In the heart of the expansive Beaverhead Valley, Dillon is an outdoor-er’s paradise, and not just because it is home to…

More Info

Meander Through the Big Hole Valley

If you’re looking for an adventure in Southwest Montana, chances are you have a few criteria in mind. Remarkable scenery…

More Info

Big Hole Battlefield

Big Hole National Battlefield is a memorial to the people who fought and died here on August 9 and 10, 1877. About 750…

More Info

Dillon's State Parks

As you are planning your travels around Southwest Montana this summer, don’t forget to make the State Parks a major part…

More Info

Dillon Weather

Currently 77° Sunny
78°F / 46°F
84°F / 51°F
88°F / 57°F
83°F / 59°F

Visit Dillon and Beaverhead County