In the Rocky Mountains and adjacent to the clear waters of the Missouri River, visitors to Helena can enjoy a wide array of recreational activities including mountain climbing, skiing, boating, and hunting. Local activities will keep you busy as well with theater and symphony performances, the jazz festival, concerts, rodeos, running races such as the renowned “Governor’s Cup,” and participation in the largest sled dog race in the lower 48 states. Of course don’t forget movie theaters, sporting activities, and night clubs.
Everyone from fly-fishing purists to downrigger enthusiasts can enjoy excellent fishing in Helena area lakes and streams. Visit one of four pristine lakes – Hauser, Helena, Holter, and Canyon Ferry. Contact Montana Fish, Wildlife, & Parks at (406) 444-4720 for more information.
Helena was born in 1864 when prospectors known as the Four Georgians struck gold on their attempt at a place they called “Last Chance Gulch,” now Helena’s main street. Watch large-scale mining operations or prospect for gold in public streams and retail mines. Today, it is believed that half the world’s sapphires are found in Montana. For more information contact the following: Helena National Forest (406) 449-5201, Spokane Bar Sapphire Mine (406) 227-8989.
The forests surrounding Helena are home to an abundance of deer and elk as well as home to hunters in the fall. Contact Montana Fish, Wildlife, & Parks at (406) 444-4720.
You can hike right in town on Mount Helena, a 620 acre park that looks down on the city from its 5,468 foot peak. A number of well-marked trails provide options for hiking to the peak, circling the mountain, or walking out into Helena National Forest. Take your choice of more than 700 miles of trails in the National Forest. There are five local access points to the Continental Divide Scenic Trail which passes within 13 miles of Helena.
Pitch your camp any way you like in Helena, from primitive camping in the National Forest to R.V. camping with all the comforts of home. The National Forest, State Parks, and private campgrounds provide a wide range of options.
Helena hosts year-round festival fun, theatre, and symphony events. For details check out our events calendar.
You don’t have to look far to enjoy winter recreation in the Helena area. The hills around town are perfect for sledding and acres of frozen lakes offer an ideal surface for ice boating or skating. If ice fishing is your sport, angle for perch, rainbow trout, or kokanee salmon. Enjoy skiing or snowboarding on our great mountain located just 23 miles from Helena at historic Marysville. The Great Divide Snowsports Area offers by far the largest acreage and most varied terrain of any community snowsports area in Montana.
Helena is home to the Montana Historical – Montana Museum, the Holter Museum (contemporary), and the Fort Harrison Museum (military). Local tours include the Last Chance Tour Train, the Original Governor’s Mansion, the Archie Bray Foundation for Ceramic Arts, Gates of the Mountains boat tour, and a State Capitol tour.
Call the Chamber office at (406) 442-4120 or check our member directory for more details on any of these locations.