4 DAYSDOWNLOAD THE HIGHWAY MAP
Wander through authentic 1800s ghost towns on this rambling route over mountains, across the Continental Divide and along blue-ribbon trout streams. Legend has it that some of the smaller towns harbor gold rush–era ghosts.
ROUTE: HELENA > BUTTE > WISE RIVER > VIRGINIA CITY > ENNIS > BUTTE
Start in the state capital, Helena, on foot or bike. The city is known for its network of classic multiuse single-track trails and its self-guided walking tours. Book a two-hour boat tour down the Missouri River through the Gates of the Mountains. The river route appears to be blocked by 1,200-foot-tall cliffs. Only those on the journey via boat can see the “gate” magically open to reveal a path down the river.
Discover Butte, once known as the Richest Hill on Earth thanks to the multi-billion-dollar mining industry of the 1800s. Discover the town’s colorful history on a trolley tour or an underground tour. Be sure to grab a drink at a local brewery or distillery.
Bannack State Park, Nevada City and Virginia City & Ennis
Stop in at Montana’s three best-preserved ghost towns: Bannack State Park, Nevada City and Virginia City, which remains a living town with about 190 full-time residents. The three towns house a collection of 19th-century buildings and Americana, including more than 100 arcade and music machines.
Spend time in the tiny town of Ennis with a fly-fishing outfitter or relax with a soak in one of the area’s natural hot springs.
The Butte Hill and its huge copper deposits was once known as "the richest hill on earth." Today Butte's colorful history can be seen in its preserved Victorian uptown business district and stately mansions. The Butte Trolley tours historic sites in the summer. Activities and guided services for this area include ranch vacations, natural hot springs, hiking, boating, resort cabins, river floats, hunting, fishing, horseback rides, golf, cross-country and downhill skiing, and snowmobiling. If you are traveling in March, don't forget to experience Butte's Irish history with all of its St. Patrick's Day festivities!