Dillon Area

Dillon and its surrounding communities carry on a centuries-old tradition of hospitality that began with the meeting of Lewis & Clark and the Shoshone Indians at Camp Fortunate. Today, the Beaverhead, Big Hole, Grasshopper, Horse Prairie, Centennial and Red Rock Valleys still offer much to see and do. The landscape is wide-open and ringed with peaks over 10,000 feet high. The climate is cool and dry, and wildlife abounds. Cattle and sheep ranches established more than a century ago are still in operation. Bannack was the first territorial capital, and was the scene of Montana’s first gold strike. The Battle of the Big Hole was fought on the banks of Trail Creek during the Nez Perce War of 1877. Dillon still contains much of its original 1880s architecture. This is truly "Southwest Montana."

Historical Highlights

Bannack State Park

Bannack State Park

Camp Fortunate Interpretive Center

Lewis and Clark exhibits, Beaverhead Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Information Center. New log building showcases wood constructions and furnishings. Located in historic downtown Dillon. 406-683-5511.

Beaverhead County Museum

Indoor and outdoor exhibits in Dillon. Genealogy research center. Extensive bird display and boardwalk. One-room schoolhouse, Union Pacific Railroad Depot, theater and a look at a restored Lewis and Clark diorama. 406-683-5027.

Big Hole National Battlefield

Memoralizes the Nez Perce and U.S. Troops who clashed at the Battle of the Big Hole in 1877. National Park Interpretive Center, trails, picnic sites. Special events. Open year-round. Ten miles west of Wisdom. 406-689-3155. Click for details

Bannack State Park

The first territorial capital and home to Montana’s first gold strike is a history-rich ghost town. In addition to year-round special events, activities include walking tours, gold panning, picnicking, camping and ice skating. Located 26 miles southwest of Dillon. 406-834-3413. Click for details

Lewis & Clark Trail Sites

Sites of special interest: Beaverhead Rock, Clark’s Lookout State Park, Lewis and Clark Diorama, Camp Fortunate Overlook, Lemhi Pass National Historic Landmark and Gibbon’s Pass-Trail Creek. 406-683-5511.

Scenic Highlights

Pioneer Mountains Scenic Byway

Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge

Pioneer Mountains Scenic Byway

Scenic route through national forest to Wise River beginning 30 miles northwest of Dillon. Spectacular scenery, outdoor recreation, wildlife and ghost towns along the way. 406-683-5511. Click for details

Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge

Remote lakes in the Centennial Valley east of Lima. Home to many species of wildlife and birds. Nesting areas for endangered trumpeter swans. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 406-276-3536. Click for details

Recreational Highlights

Big Hole River

Big Hole River

Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest

Largest National Forest in Montana, encompassing several mountain ranges. Diverse wildlife habitat and fisheries, year-round outdoor recreational opportunities, Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness, Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, Lewis and Clark and Nez Perce National Historic Trails, Crystal Park Mineral Collecting Area. U.S. Forest Service, 406-683-3900. Click for details

Crystal Park

Search for crystals in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest 26 miles south from Wise River on the Pioneer Scenic Byway. 406-683-3900. Click for details

Clark Canyon Reservoir

Many fishing accesses and boat launch sites, camping and picnicking facilities, 20 miles south of Dillon. Ice fishing in the winter. Camp Fortunate Overlook along the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail. Cattail Marsh Nature Trail. U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, 406-683-6472. Click for details

Beaverhead and Big Hole Rivers

Miles of blue-ribbon trout streams, especially favored by fly fishermen. Public fishing access sites. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, 406-994-4402 and U.S. Bureau of Land Management, 406-683-2337.

Cattail Marsh Nature Trail

Near Clark Canyon Dam south of Dillon. Drive over the dam and turn right at the fishing access sign. Bureau of Reclamation, 406-683-6472. Click for details

Kids’ Fishing Pond

By YMCA on Swenson Way, in Dillon. 406-683-5511.

Other Dillon Area Communities

Near Wise River, MT

Near Wise River, MT


A small town near Red Rock River, this ranching community is surrounded by broad expanses of open rangeland. 406-276-3535. View Dell information and listings


Near the headwaters of the Big Hole River, the Jackson area offers exceptional fishing, hunting, skiing and snowmobiling. Jackson Hot Springs Lodge is a central attraction based around the natural hot springs mineral pool first discovered by Captain William Clark in 1806. 406-683-5511. View Jackson information and listings


Southern gateway to Montana, Red Rock Lakes and Centennial Valley. Bird watching and wildlife viewing at an elevation of 6,232 feet and beautiful scenery of the Continental Divide. Lima Historical Society Museum, city pool and park. 406-276-3535. View Lima information and listings


Known for great fishing on the Big Hole River between Butte and Dillon. 406-683-5511. View Melrose information and listings


Along the Pioneer Mountains Scenic Byway in the Grasshopper Valley, this historic ranching and mining community enjoys outdoor recreation year-round. Activities include skiing and snowmobiling, hot springs, hiking and trail riding, digging for crystals, camping, fishing and hunting. View Polaris information and listings


Nestled in the beautiful Big Hole Valley, this cowboy town adopted the name given to the Big Hole River by Lewis and Clark in 1805. The Big Hole National Battlefield and surrounding Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest provide a wealth of outdoor recreation opportunities. 406-683-5511. View Wisdom information and listings

Wise River

Surrounded by breathtaking scenery located at the north end of the Pioneer Mountains Scenic Byway. High peaks, quiet lakes, and rippling rivers offer many outdoor opportunities. 406-683-5511. View Wise River information and listings

Dillon Area

Includes Dell, Jackson, Lima, Melrose, Polaris, Wisdom and Wise River

Dillon Area

Other Southwest Montana Areas:

Know the name of the business or event you are looking for? Please make a selection:

Southwest Montana, 1105 Main St, Deer Lodge, MT 59722  •  Southwest Montana Press Room  •  Link to Our Website
©2020 Southwest Montana. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy. Website design and hosting by Tempest Technologies, LLC.