Adult bull moose reflects on the beauty of MT.
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Its location along the Continental Divide and within Silver Bow Creek Valley set Butte up beautifully for all kinds of wonderful outdoor recreation. Indeed within this part of Southwest Montana you can bask in the ever-changing beauty of the Rocky Mountain landscapes all year long.
The renowned Continental Divide Scenic Trail, or CDNST, may be accessed from thirteen trailheads in and around Butte, providing access to remote and pristine areas where the wilderness takes centerstage. Some of these trails–as well as others around Butte–are for expert hikers only; others are much more cruise-y and still others offer the choice between both. The Maud S. Canyon Loop on the far righthand side of your Discovery Map is one such example. You can either choose a steep ascent up to the train tracks or amble along the flatter trail that’s peppered with historic plaques. No matter where you decide to go in the area, do your research ahead of time, go prepared and be sure to sign in at the trailhead when possible.
Also on the eastern edge of town, you can visit Our Lady of the Rockies (pictured), a towering ninety-foot statue that allows you to survey the mountains and valleys of the region as far as a hundred miles out. During the season, buses ferry you up to this iconic site dedicated to women throughout the world.
The town of Anaconda west of Butte boasts its own beacon: an old smokestack that’s one of the tallest free-standing brick structures in the world. Check it out at Anaconda Smoke Stack State Park. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it’s pretty cool–the whole landscape is worth taking in in fact.
You’ll find lots of great places to bike as well as hike around here; one look at some of the lunar-like terrain of Anaconda and you’ll understand why it rates especially high for mountain biking. Those looking to add some history to their recreation will enjoy the Upper & Lower Old Works Trails that are punctuated with descriptive signs that tell the story of Anaconda’s rich mining history. You can expect beautiful views of the Anaconda Mountain Range and the Old Works Golf Course, too.
Fortunately there are some good places in town to outfit you as well as some nice bars and restaurants to toast your day. Good watering holes have always been a thing of the past and will likely always be a part of today and forever more!
Since this is Montana, the great outdoors beckons. You’ll find all kinds of outfitters throughout for hunting, fishing, hiking or even just glamping about. Note that if you want a highly experienced guide, line one up in advance. You’ll find excellent purveyors of all kinds of supplies and resources for the great outdoors in Ennis, Philipsburg, Wisdom, Wide Market and beyond. Whatever the occasion, be prepared!
Winters are cold, long and dark here but what a joy it is to surround yourself with the snow-white mountain-scapes of the Rockies. Skiers–both alpine and nordic–will want to check out Discovery Ski Area, Maverick Mountain Ski Area and Mount Haggin Nordic Ski Area. More adventurous types might seek out backcountry skiing but here, too, it’s best to line up a guide.
If you’re more into casual touring, the Copper Village Museum & Arts Center and The Marcus Daly Historical Society of Anaconda () showcase many interesting permanent and temporary exhibits within their historic building. You might even be able to do a little shopping, too. Within the same vein (couldn’t help that pun!), check out the Old Montana Prison Museum Complex in Deer Lodge. Here within five museums you’ll likely find out about tales of the West the likes of which you’ve never heard of or seen before.