When planning a trip to Montana, it might be easy to overlook East Helena, or to assume that it is little more than a suburb of Helena. That would be a mistake. The unique character and pride of community make East Helena a refreshing stop on any visit to Southwest Montana. East Helena began as a stop on the stage line, called Prickly Pear Junction. It blossomed into a community with the construction of a lead smelter in 1888. For over a century, the lead smelter drove the East Helena economy. Although the smelter shut down, and the iconic smelter stacks were destroyed, East Helena remains a vibrant and unified community. The East Helena rodeo rivals any in the state for fun-filled rodeo action. The Fourth of July fireworks show really has no equal for sheer pyrotechnic prowess. With Canyon Ferry, Holter, and Hauser Reservoirs on the Missouri River just a few miles from town, East Helena is the ideal community to visit, explore, and experience while plunging into the best recreation valley in the state.
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