Helena, Montana boasts endless outdoor activities under a big blue sky. Helena is the epicenter of Lewis & Clark’s explorations and the famous Last Chance Gulch gold rush. Sometimes overlooked as a primary tourism destination, Helena holds delightful surprises for travelers of all ages.
Hop on the Last Chance Tour Train. View the opulent mansions of Helena’s Gold Rush millionaires. See the first “modern” cabin built in Helena in 1864. The Old Fire Tower is one of the few remaining fire towers in the United States. In one-hour, the Last Chance Tour is a complete history lesson. Continue a trek through history at Blackfoot Valley Historical Society Museum. The museum features a collection of gold mine displays and interesting artifacts. Ride the handcrafted Great Northern Carousel and indulge in an old-fashioned ice cream cone at the Painted Pony. Hear chilling tales of ghosts and hauntings at Elkhorn Ghost Town. Visit the Greek Renaissance Montana State Capitol Building. Step back in history at Fort Harrison, the World War II birthplace of the U.S. and Canadian Special Services Force and the home of the Montana Military Museum. See Helena from the water with a guided tour down the Missouri River. Pan for gold or other precious gems in area streams. Time your visit right for the Last Chance Community Pow-Wow when Native American tribes in full tribal dress celebrate their culture.
Get outdoors in the fresh air at Elkhorn Wildlife Management Area or Canyon Ferry Management Area. Hike the Continental Divide or 700 miles of trails in the Helena National Forest. Watch for elk, moose and mink. Climb Mount Helena for an incredible view of the Helena Valley and the city. Bike paths explored by Lewis & Clark. Pitch a tent on the shores of Hauser Lake or MacDonald Pass. Fish, canoe or kayak on area lakes and take an invigorating dip in the chilly waters. Ski or snowboard at the nearby Great Divide Snowsports Area. There’s never a dull day in outdoors in Helena.
Written by: Lynne Christen