Page 34 - HC Vacation Guide 2021
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What: This is a 60-mile drive between Anaconda and Drummond. Along the route, pass by Philipsburg, Georgetown Lake and Granite ghost town. To get there: The scenic route can be accessed from Interstate 90 at either Drummond or Anaconda.
What: If you like a town with real Western flavor, try roaming the streets of Augusta. Visit the general store, stop in at the old-fashioned saloon, buy souvenirs in the local stores and purchase Western wildlife photos from the studio of nationally known photographer Gus Wolf. To get there: Go north on Interstate 15 to Wolf Creek, take the Highway 287 exit and cross Highway 200. Stop at the Hutterite Colony along the route to purchase fresh vegetables or chicken.
What: Within a half-hour’s drive from Helena is
the historic Boulder Hot Springs – a unique bed and breakfast offering fully restored bedrooms in the 100-year-old grand inn. Soak in the springs, hike on the edge of the Deer Lodge National Forest, or enjoy a relaxing massage. To get there: Take Interstate 15 south about 30 miles. Take the Boulder exit and follow Highway 69 through town. The springs are located 3 miles south of Boulder on Highway 69. More info: (406) 225-4339 or
What: Exhibits at this museum, located about
30 miles southeast of Helena at the south end of Canyon Ferry Lake, cover area mining, agriculture, toys, schools and industry. In addition, it features a Lewis and Clark exhibit. To get there: The museum is located at 133 N. Walnut in Townsend. Open daily 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. mid-May through mid- September. More info: (406) 266-5252
What: Montana’s predominant geological feature, the Continental Divide, offers breathtaking scenery just west of Helena. To get there: Here are four routes you can drive over the divide:
Day Trips
Montana Avenue to Lincoln Road and turn left. Travel west through Canyon Creek and watch for the Stemple Pass turnoff to the left. Stay on Lincoln Road to the top of the divide to get to Flesher Pass.
• Mullan Pass: Mullan Pass is rich in history that includes its discovery by U.S. Army Capt. John Mullan in 1853, and a campground
at the top of the divide that was the site of Montana Territory’s first Masonic meeting
in July 1862. To get there, drive west on
U.S. Highway 12 and turn north at the Fort Harrison sign. Once you pass the fort, cross the railroad tracks and you’ll be on Birdseye Road. Follow it to the sign for Austin and turn left onto the gravel road. After crossing the divide, the road rejoins U.S. Highway 12 at the western foot of MacDonald Pass. Four- wheel drive is recommended.
What: 1 hour outside of Helena tour the Old Montana State Prison, visit the Grant-Kohrs Ranch, and discover Montana history in Deer Lodge. To get there: Take US-Hwy 12 W towards Missoula for about .44 miles, then turn left onto US Hwy
10 S (US Highway 10 S is 0.3 miles past Eder Ln. If you are on US Highway 12 E and reach Garrison Junction Rd you’ve gone about 0.1 miles too far) Then Stay straight to go onto I-90 E and take the I-90 Bus exit, EXIT 184 toward Deer Lodge.
What: Fairmont Hot Springs Resort is known throughout the Northwest for its pools. There are two oversized olympic swimming pools and two mineral soaking pools. To get there: Take US Hwy 12 W towards Missoula then merge onto I-90 E for 35 miles, then take exit 211 towards S 441. More info: (406) 797-3241 or
What: For more than 1,000 years, American Indians of the Great Plains hunted bison by herding them over cliffs. Ulm Pishkun is one of the largest buffalo jumps in the world and was used from 900 to 1500 AD. To get there: Take Interstate 15 north 70 miles to just 9 miles before Great Falls. Turn off at Ulm and follow the signs for four miles. When: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily from April 1 to Sept. 30. More info: (406) 866-2217
What: Museum housed in the 1898 Clancy Schoolhouse exhibits mining, ranching and railroading exhibits. To get there: Located in Clancy, just off of Interstate 15, 10 minutes south.
What: Take a two-hour tour of one of the Northwest’s premier limestone caverns – also, Montana’s first state park. The temperature in
the caverns is cool, so bring a jacket. To get there: Located about 65 miles south of Helena in Jefferson County, the caverns are three miles off Highway 2 , just east of Whitehall. When: May 1-Sept. 30. More info: (406) 287-3541
What: Music, rodeo, Sculptures in the Wild and art are just a few of the activities waiting for visitors to the picturesque town of Lincoln, located about 60 miles northwest of Helena. To get there: Take Interstate 15 to the Lincoln Road exit, follow Lincoln Road west for about 40 miles until you reach Highway 200, and turn left. More info: (406) 362- 4949 or
What: This historic mining town is located about an hour from Helena. Attractions include the Granite County Museum and Cultural Center, the Sapphire Gallery (where visitors can wash gravel for sapphires), ghost towns and more. Where: Take U.S. Highway 12 west over the Continental Divide to its intersection with Interstate 90 at Garrison. Take I-90 west to Drummond, then head south on Highway 1 about 26 miles to Philipsburg. More info: (406) 859-3388 or
What: This six-acre garden is Montana’s only botanical gardens and arboretum. It includes thousands of plants that thrive in Montana’s harsh climate. The gardens feature more than 100 varieties of roses and more than 200 varieties of conifers from all over the world. To get there: Head south on Interstate 15, take the Jefferson City exit and follow the signs. 38 Tizer Lake Rd. More info: (406) 933-8789 or (866) 933-8789
What: Named after the white deposits left by
the hot water that bubbles up in what is now the city’s public park, White Sulphur Springs offers golf, fishing, boating, mineral baths, and more. To get there: take U.S. Highway 12/287 east 32 miles to Townsend. Continue on U.S. Highway 12 from Townsend for 42 miles.
What: About a half hour north of Helena, the villages of Wolf Creek and Craig straddle the Missouri River and boast some of the best trout fishing in the world.To get there: Take Interstate 15 north of Helena past the high plains Sieben Ranch before traveling through the scenic Wolf Creek Canyon.
MacDonald Pass: MacDonald Pass is a paved route that provides a scenic turnout on the east slope of the 6,323-foot pass southwest of Helena. To take this route, follow U.S. Highway 12 West.
Flesher Pass and Stemple Pass: Flesher,
at an elevation of 6,350 feet, is about 39 miles from Helena and paved all the way on Highway 279 to Lincoln. Stemple Pass, 28 miles from Helena, has an elevation of 6,349 feet with access on a gravel road. To get to either of these passes, drive north on

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