Montana State

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Historic Sites
Tourist Attractions

Historic Sites

Fort Owen State Park
Built of adobe and logs, Fort Owen is the site of the first permanent while settlement in Montana. Major John Owen established the fort as a regional trade center in 1850 and period furnishings and artifacts are displayed in the restored rooms of the east barracks. This site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For information call: (406)542-5500

Fort Benton
Established in 1864, Fort Benton is known as the "Birthplace of Montana". An American Fur Company trading post at first, it became the hub for trade and travel throughout the northwestern United States and Canada. Fifty steamboats a season would dock along its levee, bringing fur traders, gold seekers and settlers to the land of their dreams. Freight destined for isolated settlements would be loaded onto wagons and pulled by thousands of oxen along the trails of the northern plains. Today, Fort Benton is recognized as a National Historic Landmark, because of the importance it played as the head of navigation on the Missouri River and the opening of the northwest and western Canada. Walk along the steamboat levee and the part of the town once known as "the bloodiest block in the west". View the ruins of "Historic Fort Benton" which is currently under archaeological study and in the process of being reconstructed. Explore the Museum of the Upper Missouri and the Museum of the Great Northern Plains. For information call: (406)622-3864

Sluice Boxes
Sluice Boxes State Monument is located along Belt Creek in north central Montana. Tent camping is permitted but no facilities are available. There is a trailhead accessing the Lewis & Clark Forest and the Little Belt Mountains. Fishing is permitted on the creek. For information call: (406)454-5840

Pompeys Pillar National Historic Landmark
Pompeys Pillar is a rock outcropping that rises 200 feet above the Yellowstone River 30 miles east of Billings. Pompeys Pillar is like a sandstone history book that reads like a who's who of western frontier history. Look on the rockface for the remains of animal drawings created by people who used the area for rendezvous, campsites, and hunting. In 1806 Captain William Clark carved his signature and the date in this rock. It is the only site on the trail where visible evidence of the Lewis and Clark Expedition may be viewed by the public. Interpretive tours. For information call: (406)238-1540

Fort Assinniboine Historic Site, Northern Agricultural Research Center
Fort Assinniboine Historic Site was constructed in 1879, and became the largest military fort west of the Mississippi River. The post had 104 buildings and was contained within a 40 mile long by 15 mile wide military reservation. Several of the original buildings still stand. The primary mission of the Fort's garrison was to prevent attacks from the some 5,000 Lakota Sioux Indians led by Sitting Bull, and other chiefs who had fled to the safety of Canada after the Battle of the Little Big Horn. The fort served as a base for patrols along the Canadian border and the Milk River Valley. Fort Assinniboine became the state's military head quarters, with the responsibility of maintaining control over the Blackfoot Confederacy and other northern Montana Indian Reservations. The most famous soldier to serve at the Fort was John J. Pershing, who was assigned to the post in 1896. He commanded H Troop, the Black "Buffalo Soldiers" of the 10th Cavalry. It became a state agricultural experiment station in 1911, and continues so today. For information call: (406)265-4000

Tourist Attractions

Fairmont Hot Springs Resort
Fairmont Hot Springs Resort is a year-round resort offering many activities. Facilities include two restaurants, lodge, convention center and a lounge. Fairmont is known throughout the Northwest for its pools. There are two Olympic-sized swimming pools, two mineral soaking pools, one of each located indoors and outdoors. Fairmont's 350' enclosed waterslide is open year round. Horseback riding, tennis, basketball and hiking are all available. The Massage Studio provides complete spa services and products at the Resort. Massage, salt glow body rubs, herbal body wraps, just to name a few. The best of Montana all in one place. For information call: (406)797-3241

Bannack Ghost Town
First territorial capital, alive with saloons and dance halls, gambling, an gunfights, and vigilante justice (the town's sheriff, Henry Plummer, was hanged by vigilantes in 1864). Montana's first largest gold strike on July 28, 1862, on Grasshopper Creek, creating a population boom of 3,000 within a year. A wild and roaring camp. When the gold disappeared, so did the people. Now a state park, located southwest of Dillon. Original structures still standing are the Montana Territorial Capitol, the Hotel Meade, the Masonic Temple, and the town jail. For information call: (406)834-3413

Spanish Peaks Brewery and Italian Caffe
Spanish Peaks Brewery & Italian Caffe, whether it's Lunch, Dinner or hearty Ale House Fare, Bozeman's only Micro-Brewery offers a distinct menu in either the casual atmosphere of the Ale House or the more intimate Italian Caffe. Enjoy Brick-Oven Pizza, Fresh Pasta and Seafood and compliment your meal with on of Spanish Peaks' hand-crafted beers or fine wine. Specialty coffees and desserts are available. And on Sundays, the brewer's choice of ale is featured at a special price. For information call: (406)585-2296

Sand Creek Wildlife Station, Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge
The west end of the Charles M. Russell NWR, managed from the Sand Creek Wildlife Stations, provides a unique representation of the rugged Missouri River Breaks and adjacent sagebrush grassland. The landscape is little changed from the time that Lewis and Clark came up the valley in 1804. The Breaks (deep canyons) formed when the Missouri River was forced into a new channel by glaciers during the Ice Age. The steep, rapidly eroding canyons resulted in sites favorable for the establishment of Douglas-fir, Ponderosa pine and Rocky Mountain juniper. Plains cottonwood line the Missouri River and sagebrush grassland finger out onto the ridges between the canyons. Mule and white-tailed deer, elk, pronghorn, coyote, bobcat, prairie dogs, raptors and grouse are common. Big horn sheep inhabit remote buttes and cliffs, and occasionally the tracks of mountain lion can be seen in the mud or snow. The rare black-footed ferret was recently reintroduced to the refuge. Fishing is popular in the Missouri River an Fort Peck Reservoir. Hunters pursue deer, elk and grouse in the fall. Elk watching during the rut, in a 'closed' portion of the refuge, is growing in popularity, Dozens or more can be seen in early morning or at dusk, the bulls bugling their challenge to rival males. Primitive camping is allowed on nearly the entire refuge, as is hiking, bird watching and horseback riding. Solitude will reward the ambitious hiker, and spectacular views can be enjoyed from the ridge tops and canyon rims. For information call: (406)464-5181

Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park was established in 1910. It is a land of mountain ranges carved by prehistoric ice rivers. It features alpine meadows, deep forests, waterfalls, about 50 glistening glaciers and 200 sparkling lakes. The vistas seen from Going-To-The-Sun Road are breathtaking, a photographers paradise. Relatively few miles of road exist in the park's 1,600 square miles of picturesque landscape, thus preserving its primitive and unspoiled beauty enlivened by a spring and summer profusion of wildflowers. Set in a rugged section of the northern Rockies, Glacier National Park joins Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta, Canada. Together they create Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park World Heritage Site - an ideal 'two nation vacation.' Going-to-the-Sun Road, a spectacular 52-mile highway through Glacier, crosses the Continental Divide at Logan Pass and traverses the towering Garden Wall. Maximum vehicle dimensions over Logan Pass are 20 feet long (including bumpers) and 8 feet wide (including mirrors). Oversize vehicles may be parked at various points. Rental cars are available at nearby towns; a shuttle service may be available, call the park for details. For information call: (406)888-7800

Yellowstone National Park
By Act of Congress on March 1, 1872, Yellowstone National Park was "dedicated and set apart as a public park or pleasuring ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people" and "for the preservation, from injury or spoliation, of all timber, mineral deposits, natural curiosities, or wonders and their retention in their natural condition." Yellowstone is the first and oldest national park in the world. The commanding features that initially attracted interest, and led to the preservation of Yellowstone as a national park, were geological: the geothermal phenomena (there are more geysers and hot springs here than in the rest of the world combined), the colorful Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River, fossil forests, and the size and elevation of Yellowstone Lake. The human history of the park is evidenced by cultural sites dating back 12,000 years. More recent history can be seen in the historic structures and sites that represent the various periods of park administration and visitor facilities development. Ninety-nine percent of the park's 3,400 square miles (2.2 million acres) remains undeveloped, providing a wide range of habitat types that support one of the continent's largest and most varied large mammal populations. Yellowstone is a true wilderness, one of the few large, natural areas remaining in the lower 48 states of the United States. Here, you meet nature on its terms, not yours. Park regulations exist for your safety and for the protection of natural and cultural resources. Please obey all park rules and regulations. For information call: (307)344-7381