Montana Southwest Travel Region
Gold West Country

Southwestern Montana sits at the heart of Montana history. Its state capitol, Helena, marks a stopping point for the Lewis and Clark expedition, some 200 years ago as they traversed their way to the Pacific Ocean. More recently, Helena was the site of one of the richest gold strikes in U.S. History at Last Chance Gulch. Visitors can learn about Helena's boom town history by taking a train ride through the capitol, or by visiting the Montana's Museum in Helena.

From Helena you can pick any compass direction and you are within a half a day's drive of recreational attractions. Almost half of this region of Montana is covered by national forests and the nearby lakes and rivers offer ideal opportunities for scenic hiking. Boat tours are available in the nearby Gates of the Mountains canyon, so named by Meriwether Lewis during his voyage down the Missouri River.

By taking US Highway 15 south to US 90, and then going a short distance northeast you will find Butte, another former boom town. The World Museum of Mining and Hell Roarin' Gulch offer an up-close view of an old mining town and actual mining specimens.

Driving tours include the Pintler Scenic Loop, a circuitous route that winds over high mountain passes and through the historic mining towns of Anaconda and Philipsburg. Visitors can enjoy Anaconda's three historic districts by joining a walking tour of its turn-of-the-century buildings. Georgetown Lake, 10 miles from Philipsburg is a favorite boating destination.

The Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest offers numerous camping opportunities, with recreation areas salted throughout. State parks include the Lewis and Clark Caverns south of Butte and the Painted Rocks State Park, off Highway 93. The region's many rivers provide ideal settings for fly fishing and river rafting.

Related Web Sites

Gold West Country
This site was created in co-operation with the State of Montana. Has information on historic and scenic attractions, and family and winter activities.

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