Things to do in Southwestern Montana

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Things to do in Southwestern Montana

Montana is known for being an outdoor recreation paradise and there is no more popular outdoor pursuit that you can do in southwestern Montana than fly fishing.

There are literary hundreds of fishing spots where you can fish for brown trout such as the upper section of Beaverhead River, and the Squaw Creek section of the Big Hole River.


Camping trips are another of the popular things to do in southwestern Montana, and the good news is that southwestern Montana boasts plenty of camp grounds to choose from.
Southwestern Montana

Whether you’re planning to drive your RV, or rent a cabin southwestern Montana boasts many spots where you can camp your RV such as Alhambra RV Park in Clancy, and Countryside RV Park in Dillon.

If you’re looking for places that offer both cabin rentals and camp space to set up a tent, head to either Fairmont RV Park in Anaconda, 2 Bar Lazy HRV Campgrounds in Butte, or Rustic Wagon Campground in West Yellowstone.
Alhambra RV Park Montana

If you prefer to stay closer to nature, there are more camping options in places such as Lost Creek State Park where you can enjoy primitive camping for around $7 a night; and Missouri Headwaters State Park which boasts an RV site and camp space for tents.

Hiking & Biking

One of the best places in southwestern Montana where you can find a ton of trails and enjoy stunning scenery is in Madison Buffalo Jump State Park, which is located a short drive south of Manhattan Montana.

Other great hiking spots where you can enjoy fun walks in southwest Montana include Lost Creek State Park and Missouri Headwaters State Park where you can follow the trail that Lewis and Clark took in early 1800’s.

Other Recreational Activities

Besides camping and hiking, other popular things to do in southwestern Montana include wildlife viewing, fishing, hunting and snow-related activities.

Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge in Lima is one of the best spots in southwestern Montana to do all of the above. The refuge boasts plenty of opportunities for observing wildlife, hunting elk and deer, and pond fishing.

During the cold months, Red Rock Lakes Refuge is also a great spot for enjoying cross country skiing and snowmobiling, although only in Red Rock Pass and Elk Lake roads.
Red Rock Lakes

Other great spots for enjoy snowmobiling and other snow related activities like sledding and downhill skiing in southwestern Montana include:

-Yellowstone National Park: is one of the most popular spots for snowmobiling, and booking guided snowmobile tours.

-West Yellowstone: is another great spot for snowmobiling and sledding. West Yellowstone is also one of the most interesting places to visit in Montana during the month of March when the World Snowmobile Expo is held.

-Big Sky: is one of the best places in southwestern Montana where you can do downhill skiing.

-Maverick Mountain Ski Area: is, without a doubt, one of the top 10 places to ski in the US, and one of the best spots in southwestern Montana for alpine skiing, cross country skiing and snowboarding.

Places Of Interest

World Museum of Mining

The World Museum of Mining is located in Butte, and visiting this place is one of the must things to do in southwestern Montana hands down!

A visit to the museum of mining truly feels like a step back in time, and you’ll get a chance to see the old mines and the original equipment like cages, gas masks and jack-hammers used by the miners.

Dumas Brothel & Copper King Mansion National

While in Butte, you’ll also want to check out the Dumas Brothel and Copper King Mansion National.

Dumas Brothel was the longest operating prostitution house in the US when it got shut down in the 1980’s, and today the place is open for tours.
Butte Montana

Copper King Mansion National is another historic place in Butte that is worth passing since it offers guided tours that will allow you to get a glimpse of how the wealthy of the day lived! (See. Places to visit in Butte MT)

Beaverhead Rock Historical Marker

Visiting Beaverhead Rock Marker is another popular thing to do in southwestern Montana. Beaverhead Rock is said to resemble the head of a beaver, which actually does when looking at the rock from a far.

If you’re wondering how to find Beaverhead Rock, the landmark is located along Route 41, just before the left-turning East Bench Road.

Southwestern Montana Ghost Towns

If you’ve always wanted to experience what life would’ve been in the 19th century for an westerner, you’ll be glad to know that southwestern Montana is home to two of the best ghost towns in the US. They include:

-Bannack Ghost Town: is located in Bannack state park (just a short drive west of Dillon), and visiting this attraction is one of the best things to do in southwestern Montana since the ghost town is relatively in good condition and open for tours to the public.
Bannack ghost town Montana

You’ll be able to book guided tours to explore the buildings and the gold mill where you’ll be able to learn about the processes used back then to extract gold.

-Virginia City Ghost Town: is located roughly between the towns of Alder and Ennis, and it’s perhaps one of the best ghost towns out of the two.

Virginia City ghost town has been slightly remodeled, though the entire town is pretty much as it was back in the early 1900’s, and the best thing is that the town even offers nightly entertainment 19th century style!

Lemhi Pass

Lemhi Pass is another national historical landmark that you can’t miss visiting, as you’ll get the chance to follow the exact route Lewis and Clark took, while enjoying stunning views of the Rocky Mountains.
Lemhi Pass Montana

Big Hole National Battlefield Park

Big Hole National Battlefield is another place that you can add to your itinerary of things to do in southwestern Montana. You’ll be able to learn at the visitor’s center more about the actual battle that took place here, as well as enjoy nature guided tours with a park’s ranger.
Big Hole River Montana

Crystal Park

Crystal Park is another great place worth checking out, especially if you enjoy digging for precious metals. Crystal Park is located within the Beaverhead National Forest, and allows you to digg for crystals and keep whatever crystals you find!

See. Top Places to go on a Road Trip
Best Hiking Spots in the US
Most Scenic Drives in the US
Best National Parks to Visit in the US