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Experience: Butte

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July 2011

Copper Kings

and Cowboys

Butte doesn't just have history, it makes history. This is the town that turned itself into The Richest Hill on Earth, dug a pit so big you can see it from space, and spawned a hero the day native son Bobby Knievel changed his name to Evel. But with neighbors like rough-riding Bannack, adventure-minded Dillon, and the whole of the storied Pintler Scenic Loop, what were you expecting?
Butte, America
Just because you missed Butte's turn-of-the century heyday doesn't mean you can't relive it. Slumber like a mining baron at the Copper King Mansion; join the working class at the World Museum of Mining; and sneak a peek at brothels, speakeasies, and jails on an Old Butte Historical Adventure. Then, soak up the modern delights: Fairmont Hot Springs Resort, the thought-provoking Berkeley Pit, and the Freeway Tavern's infamous, ill-named pork chop sandwich.
EXPLORE BUTTE ›
Nugget Hardened barbers in Wild West Bannack, circa 1863, didn't even pause a shave when bullets regularly flew through town. Local Scoop It's not a trip to Butte unless you eat one: Joe's Pasty Shop.

Follow a gravel road through the Sapphire Mountains to Skalkaho Falls.
A Lovely Loop
Moose Drool truffles from The Sweet Palace tempt many onto a "quick" Pintler Veterans' Memorial Scenic Highway detour, at least until they end up charmed into an old-fashioned Opera House Theatre Company play and a historic Broadway Hotel overnighter in Philipsburg. (That's if the mining-themed Old Works Golf Course and opulent Washoe Theatre in Anaconda doesn't suck them in first.) Make the whole loop through Deer Lodge to do a little time in the Old Montana Prison and cowboy-up at the Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site.
DISCOVER THE LOOP ›
Dillon-Dallying
If you're the frugal outdoorsy type, Dillon's your town. Here, Patagonia Outlet offers rock-bottom outdoor couture, and dinner comes courtesy of La Fiesta Mexicana's converted school bus. There's trails galore in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, fish topping 20 inches in the Beaverhead River, and quartz crystals strewn across Crystal Park. You can even get your history al fresco here, wandering the ghostly streets of double-crossed, Wild West Bannack State Park.
Gravy-soaked meat pasties, scandal-laden brothels, rip-snortin' ghost towns and breathtaking (literally) hikes, clearly, this is no trip for the faint of heart. Which is exactly why you're going.

READY TO PLAN YOUR ADVENTURE?

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