Dillon To Philipsburg
History. Scenery. Relaxation. That sums up the route between Dillon and Philipsburg. As you may know, Southwest Montana is famous for the gold rush era which brought thousands who hoped to strike it rich to the state. In addition, the Corps of Discovery traveled through Southwest Montana as they searched for the Northwest Passage. Visitors from all over come to the area to follow in the footsteps of giants while making their own memories. While exploring the region take the time to dig deeper into the history and culture of the area while immersing yourself in our western way of life. What will define your Montana experience?
In Dillon, visit the Beaverhead County Museum and shop for outdoor gear and clothing at the Patagonia Outlet. Looking for more to explore? Grab a local brew at Beaverhead Brewing, swing by the Milk Pail for a milkshake unlike any other, the Hotel Metlen is a symbol of Dillon’s Old West history and features a bar where many have had paranormal experiences. The Dillon area is famous on the Lewis and Clark Trail as the region in which Sacagawea recognized the land of her people, as such there are multiple historic sites in the area. The Andrus Hotel is recently renovated and a perfect place to rest for the night!
Located on South Montana Street, the mission of Beaverhead County Museum is to collect and preserve the natural, physical and human history of Beaverhead County and to make this history accessible to all. The museum features a homesteader’s cabin, the first flush toilet in Dillon, mining and agricultural equipment, a natural history exhibit, and more.
Dillon’s Patagonia outlet is well known throughout Montana as the only Patagonia store in the state. Their biggest sales happen annually on Memorial Day and Labor Day. In addition to the gear available for purchase, the outlet can do most worn wear repairs on the premise, making it the go to Patagonia destination in the area.
The Lewis and Clark Expedition made their way through Montana in 1805. Moving up the Missouri River they encountered amazing natural wonders, endured grueling hardships, were met and aided by many Native American tribes and crossed the Rocky Mountains a number of sites on the Lewis & Clark Trail can be found in the Dillon area.
If you are ready for a little exploration, grab some breakfast and then head west of Dillon on Highway 278 stop and walk the deserted streets of Bannack, and discover for yourself the way the West really was. Bannack, Montana’s first territorial capital, is one of the best preserved Montana ghost towns, and allows visitors to wander through the still standing structures. Continue westward and stop for a soak (and maybe a night) at Jackson Hot Springs or Elkhorn Hot Springs.
Breakfast is arguably the best meal of the day. In each of our Southwest Montana communities you will find cozy cafes, cute coffee shops, and trendy diners for breakfast. Stop for pastries and coffee at the Montana-owned Great Harvest Bakery, grab a hearty breakfast at 4Bs, stop by Muffaletta’s Cafe for a delicious meal, or grab a cup of coffee to tide you over at Sweetwater Coffee.
Bannack was the first territorial capital of Montana. The gold rush brought thousands to settle along Grasshopper Creek, and quickly the area became a central hub in the Montana territory. Today, the town stands as a ghost town, abandoned in ruin and decay, yet the structures hold countless stories and make the perfect base for exploration.
Natural Hot Springs are a Montana visitor (and local) favorite, there are six in Southwest Montana! On this route, you’ll find both Jackson and Elkhorn Hot Springs. Both have developed pools and offer lodging on site. Think of these as your basecamp for adventure, or the perfect stop for a quick and relaxing soak.
Head to Wisdom and turn on Highway 43 for a visit to the Big Hole Battlefield National Historic Site. Learn about the Nez Perce War of 1877 and Chief Joseph’s tragic flight to freedom. Turn back to Wisdom and stop for a delicious lunch at The Crossing Bar and Grill. Go north on Highway 43, and take the scenic Mill Creek Road, Route 569, to Anaconda. We love the Marcus Daly Motel and Fairmont Hot Springs. In Anaconda visit Montana Zipline Adventures, the Copper Village Museum, wander the historic streets, catch a show at the Washoe Theater, golf at Old Works, and wander along one of the beautifully maintained trails!
Big Hole National Battlefield commemorates the battle that took place on August 9, 1877 between the US and the Nez Perce. As the smoke settled, 90 Nez Perce lives had been taken along with 31 soldiers and volunteers. This site honors all who were present on that day.
Looking for a place to grab a bite to eat as you travel through Southwest Montana? The Crossing Bar and Grill and the Antlers Saloon are both great options in Wisdom, Montana. Looking for coffee? You can swing by the Hook and Horn for a little caffeine as well as bakery items!
The Copper Village Museum & Arts Center calls Anaconda’s former city hall home. While enjoying the museum, visitors have reported cold spots, disembodied footsteps, moving objects, and opening and closing doors. Some believe that the ghosts of a prisoner and fireman walk the halls of the building.
Drive the Pintler Veterans Memorial Scenic Highway (Highway 1) to Anaconda, then on to Philipsburg, a National Historic Business District with quaint shops, auto or walking tours, and guides. Dig for sapphires at Gem Mountain, Montana Gems, or Sapphire Gallery, and treat yourself to candy, fudge, and chocolate truffles at the famous Sweet Palace. Continue northward to Drummond and Interstate Highway 90 West and travel on to Missoula and Glacier National Park.
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.
Panning for treasure can be a risky business. There is something incredibly delightful about the process of searching for treasure. If you’d like to experience the joy of find gemstones, Philipsburg has not one but three gem hunting opportunities. You can pan for sapphires in the Sapphire Gallery, Montana Gems, and Gem Mountain.
Give in to your sweet tooth at the Sweet Palace, the grandest candy emporium in the American West, featuring chocolates, fresh fudge, homemade buttery caramels, and 72 flavors of salt water taffy. There are over 1100 selections of candies from all over the world and those made right in the store. We look forward to serving you!