Web Hopping

Get a window on Gold Rush-era Montana with a vacation visit to the state’s capital city of Helena, a historic community surrounded by the scenery of forests and the northern Rockies.


Helena is one of the “Dozen Distinctive Destinations” chosen this month by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a private nonprofit organization that works to preserve the irreplaceable in America. The group says Helena, in a region of scenic mountains and wide-open spaces, is notable for historic gold-mining era businesses, pioneer dwellings and “spectacular 19th-century mansions.”


See for yourself. The local promotional Web site has buckets of information to help you plan a visit. Clicking on the first one in the row of stamps will take you a section on history, where you can briefly learn about the 1888 governor’s mansion, Last Chance Gulch, and the restored Reeder’s Alley miners’ village.


You don’t have to go far to get away from it all. The city is surrounded by huge parcels of the Helena National Forest, which offers sightseeing, camping and miles of trails.


After exploring Helena, use the city as a base for exploring Gold West Country the tourist region that extends across Montana’s mountainous southwest corner. Click on “Maps” for a guide to the East Loop Tour around the Helena area and Canyon Ferry Lake. The Grand Loop Tour will take you to Butte, Dillon, Anaconda and Deer Lodge, and across the Continental Divide.


Aim your car up Interstate 15 to Great Falls, which is planning a celebration in June to commemorate the Lewis &Clark Expedition’s portage around the Great Falls of the Missouri River. While you’re there you can golf, fish, canoe and enjoy parks and preserves. And check out “Day Trips” for other spots in the area to explore.


Great Falls is in the area of north-central Montana the promoters call Russell Country, for Western artist Charlie Russell. Check out the calendar for events such as the Black Powder Shoot in late May at Havre, and dig into “Recreation” for spots like the Two Medicine Dinosaur Center, where you can get your hands dirty learning about fossils.

visitmt.com www.mt.gov/tourism/parks.asp

Give yourself the luxury of sufficient travel time to see more of Montana. The state’s official Travel Montana site has tips on other places to visit and a link to Montanakids.com for things to amuse younger travelers. And if you click on “Features &Extras” you’ll find a gallery of stunning scenic photographs. The state has a separate National &State Parks site with links to information on must-visit destinations including Glacier and Yellowstone.

Roger Petterson, Associated Press

Talk to us

More in Life

Made by Bruce Hutchison, the poster for “A Momentary Diversion on the Road to the Grave” is an homage to 1985 classic “The Goonies.” (Photo provided)
Indie film premiering on Whidbey Island

Filmed almost entirely on Whidbey Island, “A Momentary Diversion on the Road to the Grave” is set to premiere in Langley.

TSR image for calendar
Music, theater and more: What’s happening in Snohomish County

This weekend in Snohomish: The Snohomish Blues Invasion and the Snohomish Studio Tour 2023.

Dark gray wheels and black exterior accents provide extra visual appeal for the 2024 Subaru Impreza’s RS trim. (Subaru)
2024 Subaru Impreza loses a little, gains a lot

The brand’s compact car is fully redesigned. A couple of things are gone, but many more have arrived.

A clump of flowering ornamental grass or pennisetum alopecuroides in an autumn garden.
My garden runneth over with fountain grasses, and for good reason

These late-blooming perennials come in many varieties. They work well as accents, groundcovers, edgings or in containers.

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay walks into the Prohibition Grille along Hewitt Avenue in Everett Wednesday Dec. 5, 2012 while reportedly filming an episode of Kitchen Nightmares at the Everett restaurant. (Mark Mulligan / The Herald)
Even more films and TV shows filmed in Snohomish County

Readers point out projects previously missed in this series, from reality television to low-budget indie films.

A woman diverts from her walk on Colby Avenue to take a closer look at a pickup truck that was partly crushed by a fallen tree during an overnight wind storm Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022, in north Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / Herald file)
Storm season is coming. Here’s how to prepare for power outages.

The most important action you can take is to make an emergency preparedness kit.

Do you prefer green or red grapes? This antique Moser pitcher is decorated with enameled grapevines on shaded red-to-green glass.
Grapevine pitcher was made by renowned Bohemian company

Also, queries about grandmother’s coffee set and late husband’s Beatles records and memorabilia collection.

The city of Mukilteo is having a naming contest for its new $75,000 RC Mowers R-52, a remote-operated robotic mower. (Submitted photo)
Mukilteo muncher: Name the $75,000 robot mower

The city is having a naming contest for its new sod-slaying, hedge-hogging, forest-clumping, Mr-mow-it-all.

Death of parent with child. Piece of paper with parents and children is torn in half.
Helping children cope with the hard realities of divorce

I’s important to set aside one’s feelings and find a way to make this challenging transition as comfortable for children as you can.

Most Read