Official Guide 2014-2015
A Publication of the Helena Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau
HELENACHAMBER.COM / HELENAMT.COM
table of contents
HELENA NOW plus
AN EXCERPT FROM historian Ellen Baumler’s new book
2014-2015 official guide to helena
10 ATTRACTIONS ADVENTURE ZONE 16 EVENTS FUN TO BE DONE 20 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT LOOK, LISTEN, LOVE IT 23 SHOPPING WE LOVE GOOD BUYS 24 AREA MAPS FIND YOUR WAY 26 RECREATION & SPORTS GET OUT AND GO! 32 DAY TRIPS ONE-DAY WONDER 34 WHERE TO STAY A PLACE TO REST YOUR HEAD 40 WHERE TO EAT GOOD TASTE 42 RELOCATION WELCOME HOME TO HELENA
PHOTOS: ELIZA WILEY/HELENA INDEPENDENT RECORD
BROUGHT TO YOU BY CONVENTION and VISITORS BUREAU
Any reproduction or reprint of this guide, or portion thereof, without written permission from the Helena Area Chamber of Commerce is prohibited. Info is subject to change without notification. Please call published telephone numbrs to confirm details. No accommodations funds were used to produce this guide. Circulation 25,000. June 2014. ©Helena Area Chamber of Commerce Convention and Visitors Bureau.
2014-2015 OFFICIAL GUIDE
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H E R I TA G E R E A LT Y 700 West Custer Helena, Montana 59602 Each Office Is Independently Owned And Operated.
Cradled in the foothills of the Montana Rockies, surrounded by pristine forests, alive with history and culture, lies Helena. This charming Victorian city is the capital of Montana. The city is alive with community spirit, street festivals, theater, art, museums, symphonies, fairs and endless outdoor adventure and recreation. If you’re interested in making Helena home, call us today and we’ll give you several more reasons why we love Helena.
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helena 150 years in the making
Welcome to Helena, Montana’s capital city! The 2014-2015 Official Guide to Helena brings you the best ideas for enjoying the Queen City – from exploring and playing to living and working.
We’re Celebrating 150 Years!
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2014-2015 OFFICIAL GUIDE
history lesson EXCERPT
HELENA: the Town that Gold Built T he F i r s t 1 5 0 Y ea r s
Watch for historian Ellen Baumler’s book coming mid-year 2014
Helena has a grandeur
Helena is a place of transformations, of mystery and mystique.
that belies its small size. The town claims a colorful, unique past that begins with the yellow treasure once hidden beneath the gulch. Its gold fueled financial empires and laid the town’s early foundation. No other town in Montana with gold rush roots grew into a cosmopolitan settlement. Bannack, Virginia City, Blackfoot City, Montana City, Garnet and Granite all gave up the ghost when the gold played out. Bozeman sprang from agriculture, Missoula from trade and timber, Great Falls for its hydroelectric dam, and Billings for the railroad. Although Butte began as a gold camp, it soon died out for lack of water, and it was copper that made it boom. Only Helena can rightly claim to be “the town that gold built.” Traces of Helena’s pioneers remain throughout the community in its historic landmarks, its public art, and its community memory. These color the stories that
continue to fascinate residents and visitors. But Helena is also a place of transformations, of mystery and mystique, magnificently nestled in its crooked bed along the famous gulch in the shadow of the Sleeping Giant. Modern-day Helenans love their gulch no less than those who hunted and mined its natural resources long ago. To appreciate the city’s progress today, one must look to the past. Helena’s remarkable journey from then to now has been fraught with obstacles. Its modern pulse, 150 years later, is a result of the fierce individuality and determination of its enthusiastic citizens, both past and present. Native traditions, oral histories, archaeology, and eyewitness accounts help piece together the long prehistory of the Helena valley. Generations of Native Americans hunted this well-traveled corridor, aware that it was not a place to tarry long; oral traditions cont. pg 8
Division of Glacier Bank
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2014-2015 OFFICIAL GUIDE
history lesson warned that earthquakes sometimes shook the earth. Lewis and Clark trekked through, describing the Bear’s Tooth—once a local landmark—and naming the “Gates of the Rocky Mountains,” the pristine waterway that flows between steep limestone walls. Ancient people left mysterious marks and images painted on the rock faces for modern visitors to ponder. Montana’s first gold discoveries brought hopeful miners to the valley. By 1863, local mining camps already thrived at Montana City, Jefferson City, and Silver City where miners worked claims scattered along Little Prickly Pear Creek. With the first greening of spring in 1864, John S. Cowan of Georgia, D. J. Miller of Alabama, John Crabb of Iowa, and Reginald (Bob) Stanley of Nuneaton, England set out from Alder Gulch without directions or compass or roads to follow. They reached the Little Blackfoot River where the previous Fall, Stanley had found some color in his pan. But this time the men were discouraged and found none, so they pushed on, over the mountains to try the east side of the Continental Divide. Lost in the mist, cold and wet, the four wandered and climbed until after several miserable days, the sun emerged and the
party reached the top. Stanley climbed to the summit of a high peak. He saw the Missouri River far to the east and the sweeping valley below. Encouraged, they pushed down the mountain and that evening camped in a narrow gulch where a stream trickled through gravel. While their horses grazed, the men passed the evening panning. They did find color, more than they had found elsewhere, but they were anxious to find better diggings and so they pressed on. Six weeks later, they had found nothing. The four discouraged miners began to talk of the gulch where they had spent their first night camped on the east side of the mountains. Nearly out of provisions, the men returned to the little steam to take one last chance. It was the evening of July 14, 1864. Stanley later wrote: “…while my partners dug some holes near the mouth of the gulch, I took pick, shovel and pan and made my way upstream looking for a bar on which to put down a hole likely to have bedrock. [It was] a fine still evening with the charm of treading the unknown and unexplored.… A tiny stream rippled under gravel banks, bordered with choke cherry and sarvice berry bushes….
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I commenced a hole on the bar and put it down to bedrock, some six or seven feet. Taking a pan of gravel from the bottom, I clambered out and panned it in the little stream close by. Three or four little flat, smooth nuggets was the result; nuggets that made the pan ring when dropped into it….” Stanley’s account describes the “Georgian method” of placer mining, digging pits to bedrock and then panning the gravel at the bottom. Before the rush to California in the late 1840s and 1850s, most of the gold mining in the States was done in Georgia and in the South. Only Cowan was from Georgia, but the discovery men were known thereafter as “the Georgians” not for their places of birth, but for the way they worked their claim. Stanley also noted on a return visit to Helena in November 1883 that the men made their camp at the discovery site “on bar ground back of the present site of the First National Bank.” This definitively identifies the parking lot south of today’s Colwell Building, near the intersection of Last Chance Gulch and Wall streets, as the place where the first gold was found. The gulch was thick with rattlesnakes and so the men outlined their campsite with a horsehair lariat, believing this would keep the snakes at bay. They took their time and chose the best ground before Crabb and Cowan went to Virginia City for supplies and a whipsaw to build their sluice boxes. While Cowan and Crabb were discreet, their purchase of a whipsaw was proof to other idle miners that they had found enough color to warrant building sluice boxes. Other miners followed Cowan and Crabb to Last Chance and secured claims. There was no great stampede; rather, a slow trickling in of eager prospectors. The Georgians christened the new diggings “Rattlesnake District.” It was a wild and lonely place. A monster rattler with ten buttons on his tail, nailed to a post, warned of the danger and huge horse flies bothered the horses. A monstrous grizzly bear that made nightly visits at the gulch’s south end, gorging on the chokecherries along Last Chance Creek, inspired the name Grizzly Gulch. The howling and barking of wolves and coyotes, Stanley recalled, “made the nights hideous.” Other miners joined the Georgians to pitch tents and mine claims during the summer of 1864. Some stayed and some moved on discouraged by the scant supply of water. In mid- September, the first group of emigrants arrived with the Thomas A. Holmes wagon train from Shakopee,
history lesson Minnesota. When the group left Minnesota on May 16, 1864, they were headed to the gold fields of eastern Idaho Territory. On May 26, Congress created the Territory of Montana, and suddenly the emigrants were not headed to Idaho any longer, but to the western gold fields of Montana. The train included several hundred men and fourteen women. Only half of their names were recorded. Many hailed from Minnesota, but emigrants also came from Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin, and some were European-born immigrants. The incomplete roster includes a number of pioneers who stayed and became citizens of Helena. Among them were longtime Helena attorneys John H. Shober and his partner Thomas J. Lowry; pioneer rancher Nicholas Hilger; and John Somerville who would soon play a key role in Helena’s history. Most of these emigrants had no experience as miners, and the Montana Post poked fun at them, noting that they used blunt picks and worked “like chickens on a grain pile.” But some had good luck. John Marvin Blake of Wisconsin found one of the largest gold nuggets in the area, worth $2,300. With his fortune Blake studied dentistry in Philadelphia and returned to practice in Helena for fifty years. Others opened businesses and made places for themselves in the new community. The discovery at Last Chance quickly prompted intensive prospecting in the surrounding hills. On the heels of the Georgians, others made both placer and lode discoveries and camps grew around them. In September 1864, James Whitlatch discovered the first lode four miles south of Last Chance Gulch. That became the Whitlatch-Union Mine and the town of Unionville grew to serve it. Others profitably worked placers at Grizzly, Tucker, Nelson, and Dry gulches. By 1869 these, along with Last Chance, collectively yielded nearly $18 million worth of gold. Last Chance and Grizzly together yielded $12 million, just under $207 million by today’s standards. In the fall of 1864, miners prepared for impending winter and began building cabins. Wilson Butts was among them, whose claim was in a good location with easy access to the limited water of Last Chance Creek. His tiny cabin of hand-hewn log at is known today as the Pioneer Cabin at 208 S. Park. It is the oldest dwelling in Helena with a documented history (see photo on page 6).
Ephemeral stories about Helena’s naming include naming the town for the goddess Helena and for Helena Goldberg, a fabulous cook who supposedly fed many an earlyday miner. The Goldbergs, however, moved from Virginia City after Helena had already received its name. Historians generally agree that the naming of the gold camp took place on October 30, 1864, and that the town was named neither after a person nor a goddess. Some thirty or more miners crowded into the cabin of George J. Wood to organize the new settlement. They elected John Somerville chairman and Thomas Cooper secretary. Wood, D. L. Cutler, and H. Bruce were elected commissioners. When it came down to choosing a better name for the camp than Last Chance, miners joked, proposing Pumpkinville or Squashtown. Several legitimate proposals included Cutler’s suggestion, Winona, and Cooper suggested Rochester. Another more popular suggestion was Tomah, supposedly after a Native American chief who watched the destruction of the landscape. Some, however, thought the word was short for Tomahawk. John Somerville then proposed Helena. Civil War sentiments ran high, and Helena
in this early stage was a Union camp. Someone questioned naming the new settlement after Helena, Arkansas, a rebel town in a Confederate state. Somerville, a staunch Minnesota Unionist, was a very tall man. He rose to his full height in the tiny cabin and declared that the town should be named Helena after his hometown in Scott County, Minnesota, “... the best town,” he declared, “in the best county, in the best state.” Put to a vote, Helena won. The original pronunciation was “Heleena,” accenting the second syllable. When Reginald Stanley visited in 1883, he was surprised to discover that the accent on Helena had shifted to the first syllable and the town was now pronounced “HEL-ena.” One explanation, according to the Helena Herald, was that a hack driver painted the name of the town on his cab but misspelled it “Hellena.” The accent on the misspelling obviously fell on the first syllable. Seeing that cab on the streets for a year and a half had people pronouncing Helena the new way, first in jest—perhaps recalling those hell-roaring early years— and then it became habit. Over the course of a year and a half or so, the new pronunciation just stuck. •
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Last Chance Tour Train
Whether you’re a history buff, an arts connoisseur or an outdoors enthusiast, Helena has something to keep your mind and body occupied. CATHEDRAL OF ST. HELENA
What: The twin spires of the Cathedral of
St. Helena may be the Queen City’s most recognizable landmark. The cornerstone for the cathedral was laid in 1908, and took nearly 20 years to complete the building. The church is modeled after Vienna’s Votive Church of the Sacred Heart, in the Gothic style. The Cathedral is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and was built 10
PHOTOS (LEFT PAGE): ELIZA WILEY/HELENA INDEPENDENT RECORD
with limestone from Bedford, Indiana, considered to be a sturdier stone than Montana sandstone. An extensive restoration of the Cathedral has been taking place since 2002. Where: 530 N. Ewing, Lawrence and Warren Streets. When: Guided tours available after Memorial Day to Labor Day Tuesday–Thursday, 1–3 p.m. To schedule a tour for ten or more people, call the office well in advance of the date at 442-5825. More Info: (406) 442-5825 or sthelenas.org
CENTENNIAL WATERSLIDE AT THE BROADWATER ATHLETIC CLUB AND HOT SPRINGS
What: Temperature controlled slides and pools for swimming and sliding. Where: 4920 U.S. Highway 12 W. More Info: (406) 443-5777
What: Skate park, horseshoe pits, trailhead to Helena’s walking trail. Where: Across the street from Memorial Park at 1200 N. Last Chance Gulch More Info: helenamt.gov
Last Chance Gulch Walking Mall
What: More than 53 acres of various plant species labeled with genus and species names. Where: Capitol complex grounds
HELENA FIRE TOWER
Great Northern Carousel
EXPLORATION WORKS! MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND CULTURE
What: Scientific discovery and cultural understanding center featuring hands-on exhibits and experiments for all ages. Exhibits change frequently. Where: 995 Carousel Way. When: Varying hours, Tuesday–Sunday. More Info: (406) 457-1800 or explorationworks.org
GATES OF THE MOUNTAINS
What: One of the few remaining wooden fire towers in the nation. Built in 1874 after a fire destroyed most of the downtown business district. Nicknamed the “Guardian of the Gulch.” Where: Follow Cruse Avenue south just past where it crosses Broadway.
HELENA MASONIC GRAND LODGE What: Museum featuring Masonic
history, including the Masonic apron of Meriwether Lewis. Where: 425 N Park Avenue. More Info: (406) 442-7774 or firstname.lastname@example.org
LAST CHANCE GULCH HELENA’S WALKING MALL
What: Historic site documented by Meriwether Lewis in 1805, Missouri River. In his journal, Lewis wrote,“I called it the gates of the rocky mountains.” Where: Take Interstate 15 north of Helena for 16 miles to exit 209. When: Guided boat tours available every day May through September. More Info: (406) 458-5241
What: The state’s only downtown, outdoor walking mall featuring restaurants and boutiques. The mall marks the site where gold was first discovered in Helena in 1864. The site takes its name from the Four Georgians who discovered gold there. Helena was their “last chance” to discover gold before giving up and going home.
GREAT NORTHERN CAROUSEL
HELENA WALKING TOURS APP
What: This world-class carousel features
37 hand-carved Montana animals and 14 Helena scenic-carved rounding boards and stained glass artwork. Also, enjoy homemade ice cream at the Great Northern Ice Cream Company. Where: 989 Carousel Way, Great Northern Town Center. When: Open year round, hours vary. More Info: (406) 457-5353 or gncarousel.com
What: The Historic Helena Walking Tours app allows the user to explore Helena with the incredible knowledge of Montana Historical Society historian Ellen Baumler only a smart phone swipe. Where: The app divides historic Helena into three sections: Central, Downtown and the West Side. As you walk through an area, the phone will buzz with an alert that a historic location
Put on your walking shoes! Download the free app Use iTunes or Google Play. Search “Helena Montana” and look for the Helena application by Madden Media. Lots of features Be sure to allow the app to use your current location to access them. start exploring! Perfect for tourists and locals alike!
is close by. The map feature can also track locations using real time Google map technology allowing users to visually follow a route. The app helps the out-of-towner navigate historic Helena and find not only all Helena’s hidden treasures, but also the stories that make them fascinating. The walking tour app also includes a couple of sample hikes that are popular in the area, as well as a guide to Helena’s many galleries and museums. More Info: Walking tour app available at iTunes or Google Play. Simply search “Helena Montana” and look for the Helena application by Madden Media.
LAST CHANCE TOUR TRAIN
What: One-hour narrated tour of Helena
attractions ranging from the Queen City’s oldest cabin to the Victorian mansions of former millionaires. Where: Corner of 6th Avenue and Roberts Street. When: June–September. More Info: (406) 442-1023 or lctours.com 2014-2015 OFFICIAL GUIDE
Memorial Park Original Governor’s Mansion
Last Chance Ranch’s Wagonride Dinner Show
LAST CHANCE RANCH’S WAGONRIDE DINNER SHOW
What: Travel by horse-drawn wagons
through a turn-of-the-century homestead south of Helena. All-you-can-eat prime rib dinners with live western music by the campfire featuring Montana’s own Bruce Anfinson. When: Seasonal. More Info: (406) 442-2884, (800) 505-2884 or lastchanceranch.biz.
LEWIS AND CLARK COUNTY COURTHOUSE
What: Home to the courtrooms and
chambers for the First Judicial District’s judges. The historic, four-story building was constructed between 1885 and 1887. It was originally a full story taller, but the earthquakes of 1935 required the removal of the building’s clock tower. During the 19th century, the building was the territorial and the state capitol. Where: 228 Broadway When: Open during regular business hours, 8 a.m.–5 p.m., Monday through Friday. 12
LEWIS AND CLARK LIBRARY
What: Established in 1868, the Lewis and Clark Library is the oldest library in the state. It features books, DVDs, CDs, magazines, videos, computers and more. Where: 120 S Last Chance Gulch When: Open Monday through Friday, varying hours. More Info: (406) 447-1690 or lewisandclarklibrary.org
LEWIS AND CLARK: THE MONTANA EXPERIENCE What: Permanent outdoor exhibit
documenting Lewis and Clark’s journey through Montana. Features the Great Falls of the Missouri, The Gates of the Mountains, bronze statues of animals the explorers encountered along their trek and more. Where: Great Northern Town Center. When: Every day, year round
MEMORIAL PARK/LAST CHANCE SPLASH AND WATERPARK
What: Swimming pool, waterslides, splash
park, Frontier Fun town playground. Park
Find even more attractions online: heleneamt.com
also features barbecue pits, picnic shelters and more. When: Park open year round, pool and splash park open seasonally. Where: 1203 N Last Chance Gulch. More Info: helenamt.gov
MONTANA DEPARTMENT OF FISH, WILDLIFE AND PARKS What: Offers many displays, including
mounts, travel info, vacation planners, highway maps, Montana hunting and fishing regulations, and a gift shop. Where: 1420 E 6th Avenue. When: Open during regular business hours, 8 a.m.–5 p.m., Monday through Friday. More Info: (406) 444-2535 or fwp.mt.gov
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2014-2015 OFFICIAL GUIDE
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Montana's Museum PHOTOS, LEFT & RIGHT: ELIZA WILEY/HELENA INDEPENDENT RECORD
MONTANA WILD CENTER
The Capitol Building
MONTANA MILITARY MUSEUM
What: Museum documenting the history of
the military in Montana. See period uniforms, weapons, medical equipment and more. View the 20th Century Gallery which covers the 163rd Infantry Regiment, Montana Navy and Marine Corps, and First Special Service Force. Where: Fort Harrison. Drive west of Helena on U.S. 12 and follow the signs to Fort Harrison. Once inside the main gate, take a right at the first intersection. The museum is located in the cluster of buildings to the left. When: 9 a.m.– 4 p.m. Thursdays. More Info: (406) 458-9847 or montanaguard.com/museum
by Charles M. Russell, sculptures of U.S. Representative Jeannette Rankin, and Mike Mansfield and his wife, Maureen, and much more. Where: 1301 East 6th Avenue. When: Free one-hour guided tours available on the hour between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., Monday through Saturday. On Sundays between May and September, tours are available on the hour between noon and 3 p.m. Meet guides or pick up a self-guided tour book at the first-floor security station. More Info: montanahistoricalsociety.com
ORIGINAL GOVERNOR’S MANSION
What: Built in 1888, this was the home of
Montana governors and their families from 1913 to 1959. Where: 304 North Ewing, corner of Sixth Avenue and Ewing Street. More Info: (406) 444-4789 or montanahistoricalsociety.com
REEDER’S ALLEY/ PIONEER CABIN
What: Reeder’s Alley, now a small business
center, is Helena’s most complete remaining block from the pioneer era. At its foot, the 1864 Pioneer Cabin is the oldest home in Helena. Where: 200 S. Park Ave. More Info: (406) 449-6688
SPRING MEADOW LAKE
What: Popular family retreat featuring opportunities for swimming, barbecuing, bird watching and more. Where: Travel west on Euclid Avenue, turn right on Joslyn Street and veer left onto Country Club Avenue. The lake is on your left. When: Open year round sunrise to sunset. More Info: (406) 495-3270
What: Museum houses a variety of exhibits
including the Montana Historical Society’s permanent collection of Charles M. Russell’s Western paintings and sculptures. Also, look for the Museum Store which features gifts and books related to the history of Montana and the West. Where: 225 N. Roberts Street across from the Capitol in the Montana Historical Society building. More Info: (406) 444-2694 or montanahistoricalsociety.com
UPPER WEST SIDE
MONTANA STATE CAPITOL
What: Constructed in 1902, and restored
in 2002, this is the seat of Montana government. This ornate building features murals
What: A Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks’ education facility featuring Montana’s fish and wildlife species as well as a wildlife center facility to care for orphaned and injured wildlife from around the state. Where: 2668 Broadwater Avenue, off U.S. Highway 12 West adjacent to Spring Meadow Lake State Park. When: Open to the public from Memorial Day to Labor Day. More Info: (406) 444-9944
The Capitol Barrel Vault
What: At one time in its history, Helena was believed to have more millionaires per capita than any other city in the United States. Many of the homes built by these millionaires still stand today. Where: West of Last Chance Gulch and into the West Hills (in between Last Chance Gulch and Mount Helena). 2014-2015 OFFICIAL GUIDE
Governor’s Cup Race and Expo
fun to be done
Mark your calendars for these unmissable events. From outdoor symphonies to stampedes, to rodeos and races, the Helena area's finest events will embrace you.
What: Food, fun, free music. Where: Various downtown locations When: 5–9 p.m. on Wednesdays, June 4–August 27, 2014. More info: downtownhelena.com or (406) 447-1535
CHALK UP HELENA
What: Reveal your inner artist at the fun, family-friendly side-
walk street painting festival for all ages with judges’ and peoples’ choice awards on Helena’s Downtown Walking Mall. When: Sat., July 19, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. More info: (406) 447-8491 or helenapublicarts.com
EAST HELENA RODEO AND PARADE
What: Four-day rodeo featuring all rodeo events, entertainment, food. Where: East Helena Rodeo Grounds, quarter-mile south of U.S. Highway 12 on Highway 518 When: Begins on the second Thursday in July. More info: (406) 458-8124
Where: Fuller Ave, downtown Helena (9 a.m.– 1 p.m., April 26– Nov. 1, 2014); Gateway Center (9 a.m.– 1 p.m., Nov. 8–Dec. 20, 2014); East Helena City Hall (4–6 p.m., July 22–Sept. 23, 2014) More info: (406) 202-1886 or (406) 449-7446 16
East Helena Rodeo and Parade
PHOTOS: ELIZA WILEY/HELENA INDEPENDENT RECORD
GOVERNORâ€™S CUP RACE AND EXPO
What: USATF certified marathon, half marathon, 10K, 5K and family 1-mile fun run. Proceeds are donated to the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana Caring Foundation of Montana in support of the Healthy Montana Kids CHIP Program. Where: In and around Helena. When: June 14, 2014. More info: govcupmt.com Find even more events online: heleneamt.com
KOMEN MONTANA RACE FOR THE CURE What: 5K Run/Walk and One Mile Fun Walk/Run.
Largest event centered around breast cancer research in the state. Where: Start and finish at the Capitol. When: Third Saturday in May. More info: komenmontana.org
2014-2015 OFFICIAL GUIDE
Symphony Under the Stars
LAST CHANCE COMMUNITY POW WOW
What: American Indian drumming, dancing, food and crafts. Where: Lewis and Clark County Fairgrounds, corner of Custer Avenue and Henderson. When: Begins on a Friday in September. More info: (406) 439-5631, email@example.com, or lccpwhelena.com
LAST CHANCE STAMPEDE AND FAIR
What: Professional rodeo, carnival, parades, livestock, fair exhibits, trade show, food, live entertainment. Where: Lewis and Clark County Fairgrounds, corner of Custer Avenue and Henderson. When: July 23–26. More info: (406) 457-8516, lccfairgrounds.com or lastchancestampede.com
SYMPHONY UNDER THE STARS
What: Annual, free, outdoor concert event presented by the Helena Symphony Orchestra and Chorale members and Carroll College. The concert culminates with a spectacular fireworks display. When: Saturday, July 19, 8 p.m. Where: Hillside at Carroll College, 1601 N Benton. More info: (406) 442-1860 or helenasymphony.org PHOTO: ELIZA WILEY/HELENA INDEPENDENT RECORD
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From food to fun in a historic setting
“Where the locals go!” 447-1535 www.downtownhelena.com @downtownhelena 406.443.5400
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arts & entertainment
look listen ARCHIE BRAY FOUNDATION FOR THE CERAMIC ARTS
What: Created in 1951, the foundation works to provide an environment that stimulates creative work in ceramics. It is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places and regularly houses artists-in-residence. Where: 2915 Country Club Drive. When: Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., and Sunday, 1 p.m.–5 p.m. More info: (406) 443-3502 or archiebray.org
What: Community theatre that features high-quality musical and dramatic plays year round, drawing from a deep and rich pool of local talent. Nationally renowned Theatre School has after school programs for kids K through 12th grade plus a two-week summer camp in July. Where: 325 N Park Avenue. More info: (406) 447-1574 or grandstreettheatre.com
HELENA AREA OPEN STUDIOS TOUR
What: Watch the creative process of local artists using a variety of artistic mediums in their own studios. The two-day tour also gives the public an opportunity to purchase art directly from the participating artists. When: Sept. 21–22, noon–5 p.m. More info: (406) 447-8491 or helenapublicarts.com
HELENA SYMPHONY AND CHORALE What: This group features some
of the finest musicians in the Helena area and performs several times during the year throughout the Helena area, including at the popular Symphony Under the Stars. The symphony is under the direction of Maestro Allan R. Scott. Where: Helena Civic Center, 340 Neill Avenue, corner of Neill and Park. More info:(406) 442-1860 or helenasymphony.org
HOLTER MUSEUM OF ART
What: Located in the heart of downtown, this museum hosts nationally known and local artists, with new shows opening every six weeks. Where: 12 E Lawrence. When: Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m., Sunday, noon–4 p.m. More info: (406) 442-6400 or holtermuseum.org Archie Bray
ove it! The Queen City treasures her reputation as one of the top 100 small arts communities in America. Our downtown galleries speak to the quality of our painters, sculptors and woodworkers, while stages around town give voice to our talented actors. Summer festivals provide soothing sounds to the ears of lovers of all kinds of music.
PHOTOS: (LEFT) ELIZA WILEY/HELENA INDEPENDENT RECORD; (CENTER) ALLEN S. LEFOHN; (TOP RIGHT) JEFF DOWNING
Grandstreet Theatre’s production of Les Misérables
MONTANA SHAKESPEARE COMPANY
What: The state’s resident, professional Shakespeare theater company, dedicated to producing high quality, full length productions of the bard’s great works in Helena. 2014 marks the group’s 17th season. Where: Great Northern Town Center Amphitheater. When: Season begins July 10. More info: (406) 431-1154 or montanashakespeare.org
MYRNA LOY CENTER
HOLTER MUSEUM OF ART
What: Named after Helena’s first lady of the screen, “the Myrna” offers current film, live performances and video editing and media services. Where: 15 S Ewing. More info: (406) 443-0287 or myrnaloycenter.com
STATE CAPITAL BAND
What: Formed in 1902, this is one of the
oldest continually performing adult bands in the nation. Some of Helena’s finest musicians play in its free concerts. Where: Memorial Park on Last Chance Gulch. When: Thursday evenings from late June to early August 2014-2015 OFFICIAL GUIDE Maestro Allan R. Scott and the Helena Symphony
Montana’s Only Botanical Garden & Arboretum
Open daily from 10 am - 6 pm
Including holidays! Nursery open April thru September Gardens open May through September
38 Tizer Lake Road, Jefferson City (406) 933-8789 or (866) 933-8789 toll free tizergardens.com
Directions: Travel 18 miles south of Helena on I-15 to Exit 176 at Jefferson City. Turn left and then right on to Hwy 282. Gardens are only 1.2 miles from the Interstate. Follow the signs.
Great Northern Town Center. The up side of downtown.
Whatever your taste in dining, shopping, art and family entertainment, you’ll find an extra portion here. Helena Great Northern Hotel • www.gnhotelhelena.com | Great Northern Town Center • www.gntowncenter.com Food • Furniture • CoCktails • Clothing • iCe Cream • art • entertainment • giFts • CoFFee Carousel • movies • miCrobreWs • Classes • sCienCe museum • salons • suPerb serviCes
Great Northern Town Center
As Helena grows, so does its reputation as a regional shopping center — our parking lots are routinely filled with cars from visitors from other Montana cities who know how to find both quality goods and bargain prices. LAST CHANCE GULCH
Go ahead and yell “Eureka!” on Downtown Helena’s Last Chance Gulch – after all, it’s been done before. Gold was discovered on the gulch on July 14, 1864, and before long, Helena was on the map. Today, the gulch is home to treasures of another kind, in the form of historic buildings, restaurants, and interesting shops to suit the taste of the most discerning visitors.
GREAT NORTHERN TOWN CENTER
The land on which the Great Northern Town Center now sits was the former site of the depot for the Great Northern Railroad. Situated at the north end of downtown, it brings a touch of tasteful, modern development – and several additional shopping opportunities – to the downtown area. This includes unique boutiques, galleries, salons, and restaurants.
OTHER SHOPPING AREAS
Other areas of town will appeal to the consummate consumer, from the Mid Towne district to the Capital Hill Mall, to the quickly expanding city’s north side. 2014-2015 OFFICIAL GUIDE
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Boat Tours LEGEND Campgrounds
Marinas Rock Hounding
Little Prickly Pear Creek
Downhill Ski Area
n Conti ental
X-Country Ski Trails
LT NS FOREST
ELKHORN MOUNTAINS NATIONAL
88 18 18
RIMINI 13 13
MONTANA CITY CLANCY
JEFFERSON CITY 15 DEERLODGE
Little Blackfoot River
Downhill Ski Area
X-Country Ski Trails
GATES OF THE MOUNTAINS WILDERNESS
Great Divide Ski Area
Wolf Creek Canyon offers camping and fishing along Recreation Road.
Gates of the Mountains offers boat tours along the historic Missouri River, featuring stops at Meriwether Campground near the site of the tragic 1949 Mann Gulch Fire.
Holter Lake has camping and fishing along the eastern shore.
Lake Helena is a popular, year-round fishing and bird watching area.
The Helena National Forest surrounding the town of York has snowmobile and hiking trails as well as Vigilante Campground.
Canyon Ferry Lake is the center for water sports in the Helena area, offering complete boating services, campgrounds, and both public and private marinas.
find your way 11
The Little Blackfoot River near Elliston offers camping on the Helena National Forest and excellent fishing along the river.
Rimini, an old mining town, offers snowmobile trails in winter, and camping and picnicking at Moose Creek Campground and Tenmile Picnic Area.
Park Lake, 15 miles southwest of Helena, is popular for fishing and camping during the summer months.
Great Divide Ski Area offers down-hill skiing above the historic gold mining town of Marysville.
The Townsend Area offers boating and fishing on Canyon Ferry Lake and the Missouri River.
Stemple Pass, 30 miles northwest of Helena, has the finest cross-country and telemark skiing in the Helena area.
The Elkhorn Mountains have scenic mountain trails and the ghost town of Elkhorn.
The Smith River is popular for its fine trout fishing and is 60 mile, three-to-four-day flat trips. Permit required.
Spring Meadow State Park within the Capital City itself offers swimming, hiking, and fishing. Mount Helena City Park has six miles of hiking trails, plus access to the Mount Helena Ridge National Recreation Trail.
Lincoln and the Blackfoot River valley are a popular gateway to the vast Bob Marshall-Scapegoat Wilderness complex. The area is renowned for its snowmobile and hiking trails.
MacDonald Pass, 20 miles west of Helena, offers camping, cross-country skiing and hiking along the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail.
Tizer Botanic Gardens and Arboretum includes thousands of plants and several theme gardens. Located 18 miles south of Helena on exit 176 on 1-15.
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He nd ers on S
Carroll College 88 34 34 ulc
To Townsend & Bozeman
St. Peter’s Hospital
27 27 10 10
To East Helena
13 13 Queen City Ice Palace
Original Governor’s Mansion
26 20 26 20
16 16 19 19 17 17
31 Helena College of U of M
Mount Helena Parking Lot & Trailhead
Helena Regional Airport
25 25 Mansion District
Helena National Forest Headquarters yD 14 r. 14
Mount Helena City Park
6 6 Batch Field
28 28 Sky
rk T rail
U.S. Post Office
Canyon Ferry Rd. 430
se A ve.
7 7 Bill Roberts Golf Course
Spring Meadow Lake State Park 2 12
To G Fo ol x fC R ou idg rs e Yo e rk Rd .
To Gates of the Mountains
Green Meadow Golf Course Custer Ave. try 30 Cl 30 55 3 Archie ub A ve Ryan/Exchange . Bray 3 Field Co
To Great Falls
11 Lewis & Clark County Fairgrounds
Fort William Henry Harrison
Green Meadow Dr.
Downtown Visitor Center Corner of 6th and Cruse Montana City
LandmarkS & Attractions 1
Lewis & Clark County Fairgrounds
19 Grandstreet Theatre
20 Fire Tower Park
3 Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts
21 Reeders Alley
4 Mount Helena City Park
22 Memorial Park
5 Ryan/Exchange Fields
23 Kindrick Field
24 Spring Meadow-Centennial Park TraiL
To Boulder & Jefferson City
2 Spring Meadow Lake State Park
7 Bill Roberts Golf Course
25 Mansion District
8 Centennial/Bausch Park
26 Downtown Walking Mall
9 Downtown Visitor Center/Chamber
27 Last Chance Tour Train
10 Montana History Museum
28 Siebel Soccer Complex Park
11 State Capitol
29 Great Northern Business District/Carousel/Exploration Works
12 Visitor Center
30 Green Meadow Golf Course
13 Queen City Ice Palace
31 Helena College University of Montana
14 Helena National Forest Headquarters
32 Fort William Henry Harrison/Military Museum
15 Civic Center Map | Nick Ladas, Robert Peccia & Associates 16 Holter Museum
33 Helena College Airport Campus
17 Cathedral of St. Helena
35 Benton Avenue Historic Cemetery
Myrna Loy Center
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recreation & sports
From the heights of the Continental Divide to Canyon Ferry Lake, the Helena area offers an opportunity for fresh air and sunshine, no matter what your passion.
HIKING AND BACKPACKING
MOUNT HELENA CITY PARK
Mount Helena City Park, listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, is Helena’s most noticeable landmark, featuring many trails of various levels of difficulty across the park’s 630 acres. Maps of those trails are located at the base of the mountain in a kiosk at the Adams Street parking lot (turn right off of Park Avenue and follow the directional signs through Reeder’s Village).
TROUT CREEK CANYON TRAIL Spring Meadow State Park
This easy, three-mile trail provides spectacular views of steep-walled limestone formations within a canyon northeast of Helena in the Big Belt Mountains. From Helena, proceed northeast on Highway 280 to York. Continue driving northeast past York to the end of the road and Vigilante Campground
Find even more activities online: heleneamt.com PHOTO: ELIZA WILEY/HELENA INDEPENDENT RECORD
This canyon located northeast of Helena is a fantastic destination on a hot summer day. Temperatures within the small canyon remain cool year round. Travel 16 miles east of Helena on State Highway 280 to York, then 8 miles north of York on County Road 4 to Nelson, then east on Forest Road approximately 4 miles to signed trailhead.
Trolley to the Trails
Important Contacts PHOTO: ELIZA WILEY/HELENA INDEPENDENT RECORD
CASEY MEADOWS TRAIL
This easy walk in the Elkhorn Mountains features a gradual elevation gain of about 1,300 feet on the three-mile route to the meadow. Other trails intersect at the meadow for hikers seeking additional recreational opportunities. From Helena, take Interstate 15 south to Montana City and turn right at the school. Follow this road past Saddle Mountain Estates to Forest Road 294 and the Casey Meadows Trailhead.
CROW CREEK FALLS
To get to Crow Creek Falls, travel south to Townsend on Highway 12/287 for 30 miles to Indian Creek Road (FR 360). Follow this road for approximately 11 miles to the junction with West on Creek Road (FR 4031). Travel about 2.5 miles on FR 4031 until its junction with Weasel Creek Road (FR 405). Follow FR 405 to the Eagle Guard Station. The trailhead is west of this station. From the trail-head, hikers can take two routes to the falls: (1) Follow Trail 112 for approximately one mile to the Trail 134 Trail-head. Trail 134 will take you the remaining two miles to the falls. (2) The trailhead for Trail 109 is east of the Eagle Guard Station and leads hikers 3.5 miles to the falls.
Helena is no novice when it comes to treasure hunts. In July of 1864, four miners, down on their luck, gave it one “Last Chance” and struck it rich in Helena. The region, named Last Chance Gulch, grew almost overnight, producing an estimated (in today’s dollars) $3.6 billion in gold over a twenty-year period. 150 years later, Helena appeals to treasure hunters of a different kind. Helena is a geocacher’s dream. Helena, Montana has developed a GeoTour that highlights our engaging history, attractions and everything that makes Helena, well, Helena! Highlighting the best of Helena, the GeoTour brings cachers to thirty-eight destinations including Two Camps Vista, where both Lewis & Clark camped along the Missouri River during different parts of their journey West. Others caches will bring geocachers to places like the historic and charming Last Chance Gulch Walking Mall, scenic Mount Helena and the Elkhorn Ghost Town. Helena has evolved into the region’s geocaching leader and received the title “Best for Geocaching” from Rand McNally’s and geocaching.com’s Best of the Road contest. Come catch the best in Helena! More info: www.helenamt.com or www.geocaching.com.
For trail and camping maps and other information:
Helena national forest
2880 Skyway Drive (north of the airport terminal across the access road) (406) 449-5201
To contact ranger districts:
Ranger District (406) 449-5490
Ranger District (406) 362-4265
Ranger District (406) 266-3425
2014-2015 OFFICIAL GUIDE
recreation & sports PHOTOS: (LEFT/TOP RIGHT) ELIZA WILEY/HELENA INDEPENDENT RECORD
Places to pitch a tent or pull up an RV are plentiful around Helena. The Helena National Forest offers numerous camping opportunities. State-owned land near Helena is also home to nice camping areas. Most camping sites are open from Memorial Day weekend until Sept. 15.
» Lincoln Road RV Park: for details, visit lincolnroadrvpark.net » Townsend/Canyon Ferry Lake KOA: 81 Silos Road, Townsend » Vigilante Campground: located northeast of York
CANYON FERRY LAKE
» Buzz Inn RV Park & Campground: 5 miles east of Helena on US Hwy 12
Located east of Helena, Canyon Ferry Lake features day use sites, overnight camping areas, public boat launches, fishing, hiking, bid watching and more. Visit the Canyon Ferry Visitor Center to get the full story on recreation opportunities in the Canyon Ferry Lake area. To find the visitor center, turn right (east) on Custer Avenue from N. Montana Avenue. Soon, Custer Avenue turns into Canyon Ferry Road. Follow the road about 17 miles as it approaches the lake, then winds over the dam at the north end. The visitor center is about a mile past the dam. More info: (406) 475-3310
» Cromwell Dixon Campground: located on MacDonald Pass
» Helena Ranger District: (406) 449-5490 » Bureau of Reclamation:(406) 475-3310 » Montana State Parks: Book campsite reservations by calling 1-855-922-6768 or stateparks.mt.gov Popular camping areas:
» Alhambra RV Park: Clancy; for details, visit alhambrarvpark.net
» Black Sandy and White Sandy Campground: located at Hauser Lake northeast of Helena 28
Hauser Lake was created in 1908 when Samuel T. Hauser dammed the Missouri River to supply cheap electrical power for mining companies in Butte and
Anaconda. Today, the area is ripe with recreational opportunities, including four campgrounds. » Riverside Campground: located near the base of the Canyon Ferry Dam » Devil’s Elbow Campground: located at the bridge on Highway 280/York Road » Black Sandy and White Sandy Campgrounds: drive north on Montana Avenue to Lincoln Road and turn east. Follow the highway to the dirt road and go north.
Holter Dam was completed east of Wolf Creek in 1918. Today, the Holter Lake area features a variety of recreational opportunities including fishing, boating and camping. Shore camping areas include Juniper Bay, Log Gulch and Departure Point.
FLOATING The Helena area provides a variety of canoeing, rafting and kayaking opportunities for residents and visitors to the area. Early summer is the best time for high water with many of the area’s best rivers flowing out of the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex to the north.
More info: To rent or purchase items, or
get more info about floating opportunities, at area shops, including The Base Camp, Montana Outdoor Sports, Bob Ward & Sons, Capital Sports & Western, and Sportsman’s Warehouse.
» Bike Helena: www.bikehelena.com » International Mountain Biking Association: www.imba.com/ride-centers/current/helena
Mount Helena Ridge Trail Along a scenic ridge in the Helena National Forest, the Ridge Trail runs through stands of trail ends at Mount Helena City Park. » To ride the Ridge Trail Loop (15 miles), ride out of town on West Main Street (at the south end of downtown), and veer right onto Grizzly Gulch. In about five miles, turn right at the hamlet of Park City and ride a few hundred yards to the trailhead. » To cut the ride in half, leave a car at the parking lot at Mount Helena City Park and take another car up to the trailhead. Note: On Saturday mornings in the summer, the merchants of Downtown Helena sponsor the “Trolley to Trails” shuttle that takes hikers and bikers to the Park City trailhead. More info: (406) 447-1535
Grizzly-Unionville-Orofino loop (11 miles) Ride out of town on West Main Street (at the south end of downtown), and veer right
onto Grizzly Gulch. At Park City, stay left on the main road toward Unionville. In about a half-mile, turn left at the junction and continue uphill to Unionville. The road turns to pavement and heads back to town. Several other trailheads are located off the route.
The park offers a variety of trails for mountain bikers. The most popular trail follows the 1906 Trail around the north side of the mountain, into the saddle between the mountain’s two summits, and up onto the peak. Check the map in the kiosk in the parking lot for details.
Wakina Sky Ridge
Ride out of town on West Main Street (at the south end of downtown), and veer right onto Grizzly Gulch. Turn left into the hills about two miles from downtown. After about a half-mile ride on the dirt road, where the road makes a switchback to the left, follow the trees and open meadows. The Squaw Gulch Trail, and continue straight ahead. Climb about a mile up to the meadow, then turn around and enjoy the ride down.
Flows southeast from the Bob Marshall Wilderness to the Missouri River near the town of Craig.
Flows near Lincoln toward Missoula.
History, culture, recreation...discover more than gold in our backyard.
Float opportunities to Helena’s north and east.
Canyon Ferry, Hauser and Holter lakes
Add a description here to match the rest of the float entries.
MOUNTAIN BIKING Helena has a reputation among hardcore mountain bikers as one of the best destinations in the northern Rockies for fat-tire fun. Helena is also only one of 17 IMBA Ride Centers on the planet, which puts us in great company. Listed below are some popular routes.
13-HCV FY14 C Helena 4.29.14 4.861 x 1/3 pg AD: JS 4C
» Big Sky Cyclery: (406) 442-4644 » Capital Sports & Western » Great Divide Cycling and Fitness: (406) 443-5188
2014-2015 OFFICIAL GUIDE
recreation & sports
FISHING It’s no secret that Montana calls to fly fishermen from across the country. And while there are fantastic rivers, streams and ponds across the state, some of the best fishing is minutes from Helena. More info:
» The Base Camp: (406) 443-5360 » Bob Ward & Sons: (406) 443-2138 » Cross Currents Orvis Fly Shop: (406) 449-2292 » Montana Fly Goods: (406) 442-2630 » Montana Outdoor Sports (406) 443-4119 » Sportsman’s Warehouse: (406) 457-7200
The towns of Wolf Creek and Craig north of Helena offer fly shops, shuttle operators, guide services, and other businesses to cater to the most dedicated of fishermen
Ovando provides a good jumping-off point to fish the Blackfoot.
Canyon Ferry Lake
The deep waters of this lake harbor mammoth walleye, if that’s more your taste.
BILL ROBERTS GOLF COURSE
This is a city-owned, 18-hole, public golf course located north of Carroll College off Benton Avenue. It offers services including a clubhouse, pro shop, and driving range. More info: (406) 442-2191 or billrobertsgolf.com
FOX RIDGE GOLF COURSE
This is a public, 18-hole golf course located in the Prickly Pear Valley near Lake Helena. It offers services including a clubhouse, putting range, driving range and pro shop. To get there, turn east from North Montana Avenue onto Custer Avenue. Turn left onto York Road and follow it for 5.5 miles. Turn left onto Lake Helena Drive. The golf course is on the left. More info: (406) 227-8304
GREEN MEADOW COUNTRY CLUB
PHOTO: ELIZA WILEY/HELENA INDEPENDENT RECORD
This is a semi-private, 18-hole golf course located at 2720 Country Club Ave. The golf course is a medium length, tight layout providing a test of skill and enjoyment for players of all ability levels. It offers services including a clubhouse, driving range, putting range, fitness center, and pro shop. More info: (406) 442-5750
PHOTOS: ELIZA WILEY/HELENA INDEPENDENT RECORD
HELENA SENATORS AND REPS
The Helena Senators are a Class AA high school-age baseball team,and the Helena Reps are a Class A baseball team. American Legion play sees action April through August at Kindrick Legion Field, adjacent to Memorial Park. For info: helenasenators.com
Helena provides some great opportunities for tennis enthusiasts. Tennis courts are located at The Civic Center, Barney Park, Lockey Park, and Capital High School. Lessons are available during the summer through the City of Helena’s Parks and Recreation program. In addition, the Last Chance Tennis Association Indoor Tennis Center, 2910 Skyway Drive, features three courts and hosts numerous league events and lessons throughout the year. For info: (406) 442-5226 or (406) 459-4479
The champion Helena Bighorns hockey team plays in the NorPac America West Division. They lace up their skates at the Helena Ice Arena located on U.S. Highway 12 East. For info: (406) 457-2817 or helenabighorns.com
Four connected cross-country skiing trails are available just off of Highway 12 on MacDonald Pass, near the Continental Divide. The trail is also open to snowshoeing.
CAPITAL HIGH AND HELENA HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
Trail 440, from Flesher Pass to Stemple Pass, is available for cross-country skiing during winter months, and is accessible starting at Flesher Pass via Highway 279.
Carroll is the home of the Fighting Saints. In addition to fielding a six-time NAIA National Champion football team, the college boasts nationally ranked soccer, volleyball and men’s and women’s basketball teams, golf, track and field, and cross country teams. For info: (406) 447-4480 or carroll.edu
HELENA BREWERS Professional baseball returned to Helena in 2003 and the Brewers take the field each June. The Advanced Rookie League Club is a farm team for the National League Milwaukee Brewers and competes in the Pioneer League. The team plays at Kindrick Legion Field, located a block north of Lyndale Avenue, adjacent to Memorial Park. For info: (406) 495-0500 or helenabrewers.net
Both public high schools in Helena have strong sports programs and have earned numerous championships in recent years. Capital High School fields the Bruins, and Helena High School fields the Bengals. For info: helena.k12.mt.us
WINTER SPORTS GREAT DIVIDE SKI AREA
The ski area boasts more than 130 trails with more than 1,500 skiable acres, five double chairlifts and one beginner tow. Services include lessons, rental shop, and cafeteria. To get there, head north on Montana Avenue, Green Meadow Drive or Interstate 15. About 9 miles north of town, turn or exit left (west) on Lincoln Road(highway 279). In about 9 miles, turn left toward Marysville. The ski area is about 7 miles from the turn. For info: (406) 449-3746 or skigd.com
FLESHER PASS TO STEMPLE PASS
Many trails are available to snowmobile enthusiasts. Minnehaha/Beaver Creek Loop, Rimini Loop, Rimini-Elliston-Basin Snowmobile Loop and Marysville and Lincoln.
OUTDOOR ICE SKATING
Outdoor ice skating is available at three parks: » Memorial Park: 1203 Last Chance Gulch » Lincoln Park: 1800 North Roberts » Cunningham Park: 1234 Floweree
INDOOR ICE SKATING
The Helena Ice Arena, 400 Lola St., offers public skating, figure skating lessons, ice skating lessons and adult and youth hockey programs. For info: (406) 457-2817 2014-2015 OFFICIAL GUIDE
Find even more day trips online: heleneamt.com
Tizer Botanical Gardens and Arboretum
No matter how long you stay in Helena, there’s plenty of activities to keep you busy. But we can’t blame you if you want to take a day and get in the car to check out some fantastic Montana scenery. Fortunately, Helena is within an easy day’s drive of a number of fascinating communities and attractions, all of which will give you a taste of the Treasure State and still get you back to Helena in time for dinner. Elkhorn Ghost Town in Jefferson City
What: If you like a town with real Western
ANACONDA-PINTLER SCENIC HIGHWAY ROUTE
What: This is a 60-mile drive between Anaconda and Drummond. Along the route, pass by Philipsburg, Georgetown Lake and Granite ghost town. To get there: The scenic route can be accessed from Interstate 90 at either Drummond or Anaconda. 32
flavor, try roaming the streets of Augusta. Visit the general store, stop in at the old-fashioned saloon, buy souvenirs in the local stores and purchase Western wildlife photos from the studio of nationally known photographer Gus Wolf. To get there: Go north on Interstate 15 to Wolf Creek, take the Highway 287 exit and cross Highway 200. Stop at the Hutterite Colony along the route to purchase fresh vegetables or chicken.
BOULDER HOT SPRINGS
What: Within a half-hour’s drive from Helena is the historic Boulder Hot Springs – a unique bed and breakfast offering fully restored bedrooms in the 100-year-old grand inn. Soak in the springs, hike on the edge of the Deer Lodge National Forest, or enjoy a relaxing massage. To get there: Take Interstate 15 south about 30 miles. Take the Boulder exit and follow Highway 69 through town. The springs are located 3 miles south of Boulder on Highway 69. For info: (406) 225-4339 or boulderhotsprings.com
miles off Highway 2 , just east of Whitehall. When: May 1-Sept. 30. More info: (406) 287-3541
What: Music, rodeo and art are just a few of the activities waiting for visitors to the picturesque town of Lincoln, located about 60 miles northwest of Helena. To get there: Take Interstate 15 to the Lincoln Road exit, follow Lincoln Road west for about 40 miles until you reach Highway 200, and turn left. More info: (406) 3624949 or lincolnmontana.com
BROADWATER COUNTY MUSEUM What: Exhibits at this museum, located about 30 miles southeast of Helena at the south end of Canyon Ferry Lake, cover area mining, agriculture, toys, schools and industry. In addition, it features a Lewis and Clark exhibit. To get there: The museum is located at 133 N. Walnut in Townsend. To get there: Open daily 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. mid-May through midSeptember. For info: (406) 266-5252 CONTINENTAL DIVIDE What: Montana’s predominant geological feature, the Continental Divide, offers breathtaking scenery just west of Helena. To get there: Here are four routes you can drive over the divide: » MacDonald Pass: MacDonald Pass is a paved route that provides a scenic turnout on the east slope of the 6,323-foot pass south-west of Helena. To take this route, follow U.S. Highway 12 West. » Flesher Pass and Stemple Pass: Flesher, at an elevation of 6,350 feet, is about 39 miles from Helena and paved all the way on Highway 279 to Lincoln. Stemple Pass, 28 miles from Helena, has an elevation of 6,349 feet with access on a gravel road. To get to either of these passes, drive north on Montana Avenue to Lincoln Road and turn left. Travel west through Canyon Creek and watch for the Stemple Pass turnoff to the left. Stay on Lincoln Road to the top of the divide to get to Flesher Pass. » Mullan Pass: Mullan Pass is rich in history that includes its discovery by U.S. Army Capt. John Mullan in 1853, and
a campground at the top of the divide that was the site of Montana Territory’s first Masonic meeting in July 1862. To get there, drive west on U.S. Highway 12 and turn north at the Fort Harrison sign. Once you pass the fort, cross the railroad tracks and you’ll be on Birdseye Road. Follow it to the sign for Austin and turn left onto the gravel road. After crossing the divide, the road rejoins U.S. Highway 12 at the western foot of MacDonald Pass. Four-wheel drive is recommended.
FIRST PEOPLES BUFFALO JUMP
What: For more than 1,000 years, American Indians of the Great Plains hunted bison by herding them over cliffs. Ulm Pishkun is one of the largest buffalo jumps in the world and was used from 900 to 1500 AD. To get there: Take Interstate 15 north 70 miles to just 9 miles before Great Falls. Turn off at Ulm and follow the signs for four miles. When: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily from April 1 to Sept. 30. More info: (406) 866-2217
JEFFERSON COUNTY MUSEUM
What: Museum housed in the 1898 Clancy Schoolhouse exhibits mining, ranching and railroading exhibits. To get there: Located in Clancy, just off of Interstate 15, 10 minutes south.
LEWIS AND CLARK CAVERNS
What: Take a two-hour tour of one of the
Northwest’s premier limestone caverns – also, Montana’s first state park. The temperature in the caverns is cool, so bring a jacket. To get there: Located about 65 miles south of Helena in Jefferson County, the caverns are three
What: This historic mining town is located about an hour from Helena. Attractions include the Granite County Museum and Cultural Center, the Sapphire Gallery (where visitors can wash gravel for sapphires), ghost towns and more. Where: Take U.S. Highway 12 west over the Continental Divide to its intersection with Interstate 90 at Garrison. Take I-90 west to Drummond, then head south on Highway 1 about 26 miles to Philipsburg. More info: (406) 859-3388 or philipsburgmt.com
TIZER BOTANICAL GARDENS AND ARBORETUM
What: This six-acre garden is Montana’s
only botanical gardens and arboretum. It includes thousands of plants that thrive in Montana’s harsh climate. The gardens feature more than 100 varieties of roses and more than 200 varieties of conifers from all over the world. To get there: Head south on Interstate 15, take the Jefferson City exit and follow the signs. More info: (406) 933-8789 or (866) 933-8789 or tizergardens.com
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS
What: Named after the white deposits left by the hot water that bubbles up in what is now the city’s public park, White Sulphur Springs offers golf, fishing, boating, mineral baths, and more. To get there: take U.S. Highway 12/287 east 32 miles to Townsend. Continue on U.S. Highway 12 from Townsend for 42 miles.
What: About a half hour north of Helena, the villages of Wolf Creek and Craig straddle the Missouri River and boast some of the best trout fishing in the world. To get there: Take Interstate 15 north of Helena past the high plains Sieben Ranch before traveling through the scenic Wolf Creek Canyon. 2014-2015 OFFICIAL GUIDE
WHERE TO STAY PAID LISTINGS
a place to
rest your head Best Western Premier Helena great northern hotel
Helena’s most deluxe hotel with 100 nonsmoking guest rooms, indoor pool and hot tub, 24 hour fitness center, 24-hour business center and 8,500 square feet of meeting space. Located near historic Last Chance Gulch and Carroll College. (406) 457-5500; TF (800) 829-4047 | 835 Great Northern Blvd, Helena | www.gnhotelhelena.com
boulder hot springs
One hundred-year-old historic inn in a natural, healing, relaxing environment. Outdoor and indoor pools filled with natural geothermal waters for soaking and swimming. Newly decorated bed and breakfast rooms based on themes. Off I-15 at Boulder exit. 3 miles south of Boulder on Hwy 69. (406) 225-4339 | 31 Hot Springs Rd, Boulder | www.boulderhotsprings.com
comfort suites helena
Helena’s newest hotel featuring long term stay rooms. One mile from the airport, complimentary full breakfast. Shuttle service and business center available for all guests.
(406) 495-0505; TF (877) 424-6423 | 3180 N Washington St, Helena | www.comfortsuiteshelena.com
Newly renovated! A FREE hot cooked-toorder breakfast, 1,500 gallon hot tub, clean, comfortable rooms and the friendliest staff in town await you at the award winning Helena Days Inn.
(406) 442-3280; TF (800)329-7455 (DAYS INN) | 2001 Prospect Ave, Helena | www.daysinn.com/helena
Newly renovated! We offer outstanding service and cleanliness backed by our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Comfortable rooms, free high-speed Internet access, a free hot breakfast, indoor pool, fitness room. Earn Hilton HHonors Points and Miles. Free airport shuttle or find us conveniently located off Hwy12 near I-15 at exit 192 (406) 443-5800; TF (800) HAMPTON | 725 Carter Dr, Helena | www.helena.hamptoninn.com
holiday inn conference center downtown
Conveniently located on Helena’s Downtown Walking Mall, steps from 17 restaurants and fabulous shops and galleries. Our cozy meeting rooms and our friendly staff will make a successful one.
(406) 443-2200; TF (888) 465-4329 | 22 N Last Chance Gulch, Helena | www.holidayinn.com
la quinta inn & suites
Located off I-15 & Hwy 12, Exit 192. Our premier property features 74 non-smoking guest rooms and suites all with high speed internet and complimentary Bright Side Breakfast. Enjoy summer or winter in our outdoor spa/pool and sitting around our outdoor gas fire pit patio area. Near State Capitol, restaurants and shopping. Meeting room, business and fitness centers. (406) 449-4000 | 701 Washington St, Helena | www.laquintahelena.com
Helena colonial hotel - red lion
Helena’s most elegant full-service hotel. Located near easy access to I-15. Come experience our exceptional customer service and Montana hospitality.
(406) 443.2100; TF (800) RED-LION | 2301 Colonial Dr, Helena | www.redlion.com
residence inn by marriott
Spacious suites with stunning mountain views offer a fully equipped kitchen, living room, master bedroom and bath. Unwind in the 4,300 sq ft indoor aquatic center with zero entry splash deck, fitness facility, outdoor patio and the lobby with fireplace and games.
(406) 443-8010 | 2500 E Custer Ave, Helena | www.residenceinnhelena.com
Super 8 Motel offers free SuperStart® breakfast, free high speed Internet, business suites with workstations, fax/copy service, exercise facility, in-room coffee, hair dryer and clock radio, cable TV with HBO, guest laundry, free local calls, children 17 and under free and large vehicle parking. (406) 443-2450; TF (800) 800-8000 | 2200 11th Ave, Helena | www.super8.com
wingate by wyndham
“Open and airy” atmosphere. Indoor pool, spa, exercise room, free full hot breakfast and 24-hour business center. ALL rooms have microwave and refrigerator. Suites available. Monday-Thursday complimentary light dinner from 4-6 p.m.
(406) 449-3000; TF (800) 337-0077 | 2007 N Oakes, Helena | www.wingatehotels.com
22 N. Last Chance Gulch * Helena, MT 59601 Breakfast Lunch Dinner 71 Sleeping rooms *6,000 sq ft of meeting space *Indoor Swimming Pool *Jacuzzi *Fitness Center *Free Wi-Fi
28 HD Flat Screen TV’s 12 Beers on Tap Wine Bar
Holiday Inn Conference Center Downtown Located on Historic Last Chance Gulch
New 2014 Menu!
Hours: 6:30am– Close 406-443-8515
Consider this lion’s mane freshly groomed. (Which means we’ve done some renovating.) Red Lion Colonial Hotel - Helena has been active in the community for more than 40 years. Come visit! • 148 guestrooms feature new plush pillowtop mattresses and HDTVs • New state of the art fitness center • Complimentary parking and Wi-Fi • 15,000 square feet of flexible meeting space
2301 Colonial Drive, Helena, MT 59601 | 406-443-2100
*We provide on & off-site Catering for your special events *
© Copyright 2014 Red Lion Hotels Corporation
2014-2015 OFFICIAL GUIDE
Boulder hot springs 31 Hot Springs Rd, Boulder Budget Inn Express 524 Last Chance Gulch, Helena Comfort Inn 750 Fee St, Helena Comfort Suites Helena 3180 N Washington St, Helena Days Inn
(406) 225-4339 www.boulderhotsprings.com (406) 442-0600 www.biehelena.com (406) 443-1000 www.comfortinn.com (406) 495-0505; TF (877) 424-6423 www.comfortsuiteshelena.com (406) 442-3280; TF (800)329-7455 (DAYS INN)
2001 Prospect Ave, Helena
Elkhorn Mountain Inn
(406) 442-6625; TF (866) 442-6625
1 Jackson Creek Rd, Montana City Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott 2150 11th Ave, Helena Hampton Inn 725 Carter Dr, Helena Helena Colonial Hotel – Red Lion 2301 Colonial Dr, Helena Holiday Inn Conference Center Downtown 22 N Last Chance Gulch, Helena Holiday Inn Express & Suites 3170 N Sanders St, Helena Howard Johnson Hotel 2101 E 11th Ave , Helena Jorgenson's Inn & Suites 1714 11th Ave, Helena Knight's extended stay 1831 Euclid Ave, Helena
www.elkhornmountaininn.com (406) 449-9944; TF (800) 228-2800 www.marriott.com (406) 443-5800; TF (800) HAMPTON www.helena.hamptoninn.com (406) 443.2100; TF (800) RED-LION www.redlion.com (406) 443-2200; TF (888) 465-4329 www.holidayinn.com (406) 442-7500; TF (800) 465-4329 www.hiexpress.com (406) 443-2300; TF (800) 221-5801 www.hojo.com (406) 442-1770 www.jorgensonsinn.com (406) 594-0625 www.knightstay.com
Cont. or Full Breakfast
835 Great Northern Blvd, Helena
(406) 457-5500; TF (800) 829-4047
Best Western Premier Helena Great Northern Hotel
rest your head
a place to
Number of Rooms
WHERE TO STAY
more on next page 36
Diamond Dealer since 2010
Ductless, high efficiency air conditioning
Trane Comfort Specialist since 2002
IGSHPA Certified since 2007
Forced-air heating and air conditioning
Over 85 geothermal units installed since 2005
A local family owned business since 1994 - Brian, Debbie and Keven Patzer, partners 1751 E Lyndale Helena (406) 449-4567 intermountainheating.com
Spacious Rooms Outdoor Patio with Spa/Pool & Gas Fire Pit Meeting Room & Business Center Fitness Room | Free Wi-Fi | Pet Friendly
701 Washington Street, Helena, MT 59601 406-449-4000 | www.LQ.com/helena
Built for Big Sky Living. Count On Me!
• Luxurious suites • Indoor pool and hot tub • Free, hot breakfast buffet • Microwaves and fridges in every room • Complete conference facilities
2007 N Oakes at Airport Exit (193) Helena 866.300.7100 406.449.3000 Luxurious suites / Indoor pool & hot tub / Free, hot breakfast buffet Microwaves & fridges in every room / Complete conference facilities
Comfort SuiteS of Helena 3180 No Washington . Helena MT 59602
2007 N. Oakes, Helena, MT at airport exit 193
866.300.7100 | 406.449.3000 1
406.495.0505 . comfortsuiteshelena.com 800.442.4667 US or Canada
3/22/2010 12:23:31 PM
2014-2015 OFFICIAL GUIDE
Cont. or Full Breakfast
1006 Madison Ave, Helena
rest your head Lamplighter Motel
Number of Rooms
a place to
WHERE TO STAY
La Quinta Inn & Suites
(406) 449-4000 www.laquintahelena.com
701 Washington St, Helena MOTEL 6
(406) 442-9990 www.motel6.com
800 N Oregon St, Helena Quality Inn
(406) 442-3064 www.qualityinn.com
2300 N Oakes St, Helena Residence Inn by Marriott
(406) 443-8010 www.marriott.com
2500 E Custer Ave, Helena Shilo Inn
(406) 442.0320 ; TF (800) 222-2244 www.shiloinns.com
2020 Prospect Ave, Helena Super 8 Motel
(406) 443-2450; TF (800) 800-8000 www.super8.com
2200 11th Ave, Helena Wingate by Wyndham
(406) 449-3000; TF (800) 337-0077 www.wingatehotels.com
2007 N Oakes, Helena
Bed & Breakfasts/lodges The Barrister Bed & Breakfast
(406) 443-7330 www.thebarristermt.com
416 N Ewing St, Helena Last Chance Ranch Lodge
(406) 442-2884; TF (800) 505-2884 www.lastchanceranch.biz
2884 Grizzly Gulch Dr, Helena The Sanders Bed & Breakfast
(406) 442-3309 www.sandersbb.com
328 N Ewing, Helena
RE/MAX of Helena
Your Local Experts
A private, Catholic, liberal arts and preprofessional college in Montana’s capital city of Helena—enlightening hearts and minds. 406.442.1900 | 1060 Helena Ave. 38
Moving with us makes you smile!
1414 N. Montana Ave. Helena, MT 59601 800-VAN LINE (826-5463) www.mergenthaler.net
Moving to Helena? Great! Here’s another great move. From a college degree to Continuing Education certificates and personal enrichment programs, think of your community’s 2 year college as an affordable path to advancing your education. Check out all of the learning opportunities at www.umhelena.edu
with a very special book by renowned Helena author Ellen Baumler Helena: The Town That Gold Built - The First 150 Years
reserve your copy today!
AvAilABlE in AuGusT
Price: $34.95 Pre-sale: $29.95 before August
Order at the Helena Area Chamber of Commerce: 406.442.4120 / helenachamber.com 2014-2015 OFFICIAL GUIDE
WHAT TO EAT
Find even more places to eat online: heleneamt.com
Of course you’ll find lots of good steaks here – this is Montana after all – but Helena’s got plenty to please your palate. Whether you’re looking for a quiet spot for dinner for two or a place to take the entire family, we’ve got something to suit your taste and your budget.
A Real Helena Treat! 442-1470 PARROTCHOCOLATE.COM 42 N. LAST CHANCE GULCH, ON THE WALKING MALL 40
Our chefs here are wokking up delicious, one-of-a-kind entrees such as our signature Orange Chicken and zesty Beijing Beef! Our mission is to deliver exceptional Asian dining experiences by building an organization where people are inspired to better their lives. Where: 3075 N Sanders St. More info: pandaexpress.com
As a leader in the “locavore” movement, we feature locally-grown produce and Montanaraised meats. Creative bistro food and live jazz on Friday and Saturday evenings make Benny’s the comfortable, welcoming restaurant to feed your soul. We do catering and we rent our restaurant for your small gatherings. Where: Downtown, 108 E 6th Ave. When: Lunch: Mon–Sat, 11 a.m.–3 p.m.; Dinner: Wed–Sat, 5:30 p.m.–close. More info: (406) 443-0105 or bennysbistro.com for specials and menus.
The Brewhouse Pub and Grille is a fullservice, casual dining restaurant serving great burgers, pizza, salads, pastas, prime rib, steaks and seafood, appetizers and delectable desserts. There are nineteen beers on tap with both local and regional selections. Summer includes outdoor seating on a full-service deck overlooking the Great Northern downtown section of Helena. Family friendly. You are only a stranger once! Where: Located across from Carroll College on Euclid and next to the Great Northern Town Center and the Carousel. When: Open daily at 11 a.m. More info: (406) 457-9390 or atthebrewhouse.com
Come for dinner in our Walking Mall location. We’ve been voted “Best of Helena” Italian food, wine selection, and steak. Halfprice wine on Wednesdays. Full bar. Parking on Jackson, 6th, and across mall in garage. Where: On the Walking Mall 56 N Last Chance Gulch, Helena. When: Wed–Sun, 5 p.m.–closing. More info: (406) 457-8311 or luccasitalian.com
Step back in time at the historic Parrot for our great chili or tamale lunches. We serve old-fashioned milkshakes, soda fountain creations and hand-dipped ice cream. You can also enjoy some delectable sweet confectionery treats. Where: On historic Downtown Walking Mall, 42 N Last Chance Gulch When: Mon-Sat 9 a.m.–6 p.m.; Fri 9 a.m.–9 p.m. More info: (406) 442-1470
FRESH Wed—Sun, 5pm—closing 56 N. Last Chance Gulch 457-8311• luccasitalian.com
CONTEMPORARY • RELAXED • ITALIAN 11-LUC-006 Helena Chamber Visitors Guide (Tomato) 1/12 sq (2.313x2.25) COLOR Runs: Helena Visitors Guide Spring/Summer 2011
Breakfast is just the beginning. Open early! Open late! Take-out bakery, ample parking, Buses and tours welcome, locally owned and operated, meeting and party rooms available. Where: 1803 Cedar St. When: 6 a.m.–11 p.m., 7 days a week. More Info: (406) 442-5757 or perkinsrestaurants.com
Private Dining Casino Lunch Dinner RESERVATIONS (406) 495-0677 833 GREAT NORTHERN BOULEVARD silverstarsteakco.com
THE QUARRY BAR & GRILLE
We are Helena’s best sports venue! 21 big Silver Star 1/12.indd 1 4/19/12 screen TVs to watch all your favorite sports. We have the NFL Ticket,NCAA Packages, MLB Extra Innings, Ultimate Fighting Championships and much more! Great food and drink specials. Where: Downtown, 22 N Last Chance Gulch. When: Mon–Thurs 6:30 a.m.–10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 6:30 a.m.–11 p.m.; Sun 6:30 a.m.–9 p.m. International Fare with Local Flair More Info: 406.443.8515
RED LION COLONIAL RESTAURANT Enjoy our soup and salad bar five days a week for lunch. Daily lunch specials. Relaxing dinner atmosphere and famous Sunday brunch. $5.95-$15.95 Catering available. Where: 2301 Colonial Dr When: Monday-Friday. More info: helenacolonial.redlion.com
A rich, inviting atmosphere, an endless wine list, quality service and fantastic steaks, seafood, burgers, salads and more are the hallmarks of the premier steak company in Helena. Where: 833 Great Northern Blvd. When: Mon-Sat 11:30 a.m.–close; Sundays 4 p.m.–close. More Info: (406) 495-0677 or silverstarsteakco.com
(406) 443-0105 108 E. Sixth Avenue Helena, MT 59601 www.bennysbistro.com W-Sat Dinner 5:30-9 M-Sat Lunch 11-3p.m. Full Catering Rent the Restaurant
OPEN DAILY AT 11 AM LUNCH AND DINNER WIDE SELECTION OF BEER AND WINE LOCATED IN THE GREAT NORTHERN TOWN CENTER
AT THE BREWHOUSE
The Brew’s newest social gathering
2014-2015 OFFICIAL GUIDE
Helena is outgrowing its roots – and its reputation – as a sleepy government town. While the state of Montana remains the largest employer here, the private sector is thriving, from retail to health care to professional services of all kinds. We’ve got good schools, minimal crime, and a quality of life that’s second to none.
home TO HELENA
PHOTOS: ELIZA WILEY/HELENA INDEPENDENT RECORD
Helena Skyline at Dusk
EDUCATION K–12 EDUCATION
Helena and its neighboring communities pride themselves on providing students and their families with the best learning opportunities possible. Helena’s public school system consists of two area high schools, one alternative learning high school, two middle schools and 12 elementary schools. Three private schools, along with an extensive adult education program, are also available. In neighboring East Helena, students have access to two elementary schools and a middle school, after which point the students merge into the Helena School District for high school. Montana City, to the south of Helena, provides elementary and middle school education for students. For high school, students may attend schools in
Helena or in Boulder, the county seat for Jefferson County where Montana City is located. In Clancy, located to the south of Montana City along Interstate 15, students may attend kindergarten through eighth grade. After that, students may attend high school in Helena or Boulder. More info: (406) 447-8595 or helena.k12.mt.us
Founded in 1909, Carroll College is ranked as the top Regional College in the West, according to U.S.News & World Report’s “Best Colleges 2012.” In the concurrently published U.S. News & World Report list of “Best Value Schools,” among regional colleges Carroll College is ranked number one in the West. Carroll’s leading science, engineering, nursing and business programs are highly regarded. Carroll’s pre-med students have a medical school acceptance rate of 85 percent, the college’s nursing students have a 100 Helena's 2013 Livability.com Rank percent pass rate on their for Top 100 Best Places to Live professional exams, and the White House recently recognized a Carroll business graduate as one of 11 Champions of Change young entrepreneurs. In addition, Carroll is the home of the six-time NAIA national football champions. The college is also proud of its Talking Saints forensics team
Carroll College Soccer Team
(speech and debate), currently the reigning 22-year regional champions with a national championship to its credit. Four times in the past eight years, Carroll math students have won the world’s top prizes in the Interdisciplinary Contest in Modeling and the Mathematical Contest in Modeling. All of this supports Carroll’s century-long mission, embodied in its motto “Not for School, but for Life.” More info: Visit carroll.edu
HELENA COLLEGE UNIVERSITY OF MONTANA What began as a vocational training center in 1939 has evolved into a comprehensive, two-year college. Helena College University of Montana is dedicated to fulfilling their mission of access to, and support of, lifelong educational opportunities to their diverse community. As part of the Montana University System, Helena College is uniquely positioned to provide these opportunities. The curriculum supports technical programs 2014-2015 OFFICIAL GUIDE
Relocation and serves as a gateway for students to further their education at four-year institutions. This includes collaborative partnerships with other state institutions that allow a unique opportunity to obtain a bachelor’s degree while attending a two-year College. Dual credit offerings allow students to begin earning college credits while still attending high school, and continuing education opportunities provide access to professional development or personal enrichment courses for learners of all ages. Regardless of what your educational goals may be, or where you are in life, Helena College has something to offer every type of student. More info: Visit umhelena.edu, or stop by the Admission’s Office at 1115 North Roberts Street.
HEALTHCARE SHODAIR HOSPITAL
Shodair provides psychiatric treatment for children and adolescents (ages 3-18) suffering from mental illness and other conditions that impact their health and well-being, including acute and residential treatment. In addition,
Shodair’s genetics program is nationally renowned and is the only provider in the state to offer both clinical and laboratory services in one location. Where: 2755 Colonial More info: (406) 444-7500 or shodair.org
moderate to severe emotional disturbances. Intermountain has been helping children since 1909. Where: 500 S. Lamborn. More info: (406) 442-7920 or intermountain.org
ST. PETER’S HOSPITAL
One of two Veterans’ Affairs hospitals in Montana is located at Fort Harrison, on the western edge of Helena. Fort Harrison is a 48-bed acute care, medical-surgical facility that offers a broad range of acute, chronic, and specialized inpatient and outpatient services for both male and female veterans. Where: 3687 Veterans Drive, Fort Harrison. More info: (877) 468-8387 or montana.va.gov
The hospital recently completed a $50 million expansion that added 130,000 square feet to its existing building. It offers a full range of medical services including obstetrics with labor, delivery, recovery, and postpartum care all taking place in one room; surgery; emergency services with licensed paramedic ambulance care; a comprehensive cancer treatment center; and a full range of diagnostic services. In addition, the Helena SurgiCenter provides a cost-effective alternative for many outpatient surgeries. Where: 2475 Broadway. More info: (406) 442-2480 or stpetes.org
INTERMOUNTAIN This is a nationally recognized, nonprofit organization that provides treatment programs to children suffering from
Your Local Loan Experts • Small Business Financing • Commercial Real Estate • Residential Real Estate • Agricultural Financing
2000 Prospect Ave., Helena MT, 59601 406-495-1900 | www.bankoftherockies.com Photo by: Alan Sachanowski 44
VETERANS’ AFFAIRS HOSPITAL
MONTANA BUSINESS ASSISTANCE CONNECTION MBAC catalyzes community leaders, stakeholders, and opportunities driving prosperity, our economy, business vitality, high quality job growth and the enhancement of quality of life throughout the region.
WHAT DOES MBAC DO?
MBAC provides: market and site selection research; counseling and assistance for all facets of business development; capital for start up or expansion from 124 different revolving loan funds; financial pools (applications for tax incentives, field rate loans, and grants for workforce training and/or infrastructure development); and advocacy. MBAC is a place where your voice can be heard by local and state elected officials and their managers. MBAC has a group of 40 small, medium, and micro businesses partnering with elected and appointed officials, as well as leaders in the educational community, to effect positive regional change. Think of MBAC as a portal through which leadership and economic development resources flow to move this region to the forefront of America’s best places to live and work.
THE MBAC SERVICE AREA
The area has much to offer: Helena, the capital of Montana and most populated town in the region, is located at the crossroads of Interstate 15 and State Highway 12, just 12 miles east of the Continental Divide and midway between Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks. Your business can directly access 33 percent of Montana’s population: Bozeman, Butte, Great Falls, and Missoula are all within 90 minutes of Helena. The area offers business owners direct access to state government. Residents enjoy the buzz, sophistication, and culture of a capital city combined with country living and world-class outdoor recreation.
helena business climate report
how do we measure up?
Employment in Helena Area unemployment rates
There is plenty of space for you, your family, and your business in the area and region. Developed and developable land and facilities are available for lease and sale. Unincorporated Broadwater, Lewis and Clark, and Meagher counties are also great places for new businesses. New residential developments are springing up throughout the Helena area, and there is still land next to the rivers, lakes, and public lands within 30 minutes of Helena.
median wage average wage per capita income
residential permits city of helena
Thirty-one percent of the regional workforce has a bachelor’s degree or higher educational achievement. Carroll College offers fouryear degrees and Helena College University of Montana offers two-year associate degrees and certification opportunities. Use these institutions and generous state workforce development incentives for training new hires and developing existing employees.
homes sold in 2013 total new residences*
$35 Million Expansion 25 Jobs to be Added
pioneer aerostructures $18 Million new facility Est 20-15 new employees
commercial permits city of helena
helena regional airport
90% load factors = success and air service retention / $1.3 million runway lighting and signage system project completed
2014-2015 OFFICIAL GUIDE
Relocation MONTANA IS BUSINESS-FRIENDLY
The 2009 Business Climate, BUSINESS FACILITIES (magazine) location advisor ranked Montana 8th best for business climate. There are 20 input factors used to determine the rankings including the 2009 rankings for Cost of Labor, Business Tax Climate, Quality of Life, Educated Workforce and Greenest State. Transportation Infrastructure, Incentives, and per capita GDP were also used. Montana does not have a sales tax, property taxes vary by county, and residents pay state income tax. More info: Montana Means Business, www.business.mt.gov.
The incorporated areas within the region have water, sewer, electric, gas and redundant telecommunications (hard wired or wireless) available for commercial and residential customers. Energy utilities in the unincorporated areas are also available via rural providers. Grant and tax credit programs are available to assist qualifying businesses with customized utility needs. Recent and planned upgrades of infrastructure services in the City of Helena mean that regional commerce and population growth is not outstripping infrastructure growth.
TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE Interstate freight and rail lines go in all four directions. Several nationwide transportation companies are headquartered in the Gateway Region. Rail service is by Montana Rail Link and BNSF. The Helena Regional Airport, served by Delta - Skywest Airlines, United Airlines and Alaska Airlines, is within 10 minutes of most homes and downtown Helena.
» SBA 504 Loan Program: 10 percent down, competitive long-term, fixed rate financing » MBAC Revolving Loan Funds: 14 loan funds offering fixed rate financing or working capital, inventory, asset purchases and expansions and other improvements. » DEQ Revolving Loan Fund: This fund was created to fund alternative energy systems Montana homeowners, small businesses, nonprofits and government entities.
» USDA IRP: For use in rural communities for businesses NOT connected to city/ county water/septic systems.• Incentive programs: tax credits and abatements for new and expanding, remodeling, reconstruction, infrastructure, job creation. » Cash credits for new job creation.
MBAC has www.MBACProspector.com, making access to powerful business info re-search only a mouse-click away. This economic development resource is available for Lewis and Clark, Broad-water and Meagher counties and will not only encourage large economic development projects, but also allow small businesses to facilitate growth in the community by providing access to info that used to be only accessible to well-funded For-tune 500 companies. The website offers unique access to commercial data for businesses and investors and provides excellent info on the businesses in the tri-county region. It is the first program of its type in the state of Montana. More info: (406) 447-1510, www.mbac.biz
custom-designed for your montana life
HELENA: TRI-COUNTY REGION
Days of Sunshine
City of Helena Population
Owner Of the wildly successful red Ants PAnts
Commercial, Raw Land/Sq Ft
“Meagher County offers the quality of life, landscape, and community I was looking for to start my business. With hi-speed internet, affordable cost of living, good schools and healthcare, what else do you need?!”
Median Home Value
University Bachelor Degree or Higher (ages 25+)
Median Labor Cost
Electrical Engineers Labor Cost
Machinist Labor Cost (SW Montana nonmetropolitan area)
Miles to Airport
0% Sales Tax
How can MBac Help You? we provide loans, sites, incubator space, and entrepreneurial support to existing or startup businesses.
recent Business expansions tintina resources of canada, Boeing corporation and other aerospace companies.
ONTANA BUSINESS ASSISTANCE ONNECTION
Gateway to Economic Growth
State Personal Income Tax depending on level of taxable income
State Corporate Income Tax
www.mbac.biz (406)447-1510 225 cruse ave, ste D Helena, Mt 59601 Serving Lewis and Clark, Meagher, and Broadwater Counties
OFFICIAL GUIDE Sources: Montana Department of Revenue, MLS, Helena Regional Airport, US Census Bureau/American Community2014-2015 Survey, Carroll College/Helena College, Mountainview Medical Center/Broadwater Health Center/St. Peters Hospital/Shodair Children’s Hospital, Bestplaces.net, US Bureau of Labor Statistics
Hamlin Construction & Development Co., Inc.
EXPERIENCE DOES MATTER !!!
Jerry Hamlin - President
40 Years In Business Separate Us From Our Competition Home ownership is a dream come true for all people. Let our professionals at Hamlin Construction & Development Co., Inc. help you realize that dream. Hamlin Construction has variety of floor plans that you may choose from that will meet your needs, or we can work with you to design and build your new dream home. Great floor plans, great people, low great prices and low interest rates combine to make this a GREAT TIME TO BUILD YOUR DREAM HOME. Hamlin Construction has a variety of locations to build your new dream home. These building sites are located both inside and outside of the city limits. Hamlin Construction would also be happy to work with you building on your own property, or help you purchase a property you have located and wish to build on. WHAT EVER YOUR BUILDING NEEDS ARE, WE CAN HELP. CALL TODAY FOR LOT AVAILABILITY & SPECIAL PRICING Let us show you what Hamlin Construction can do for you!
CALL US TODAY 443-1340
900 N. Mt. Ave. Suite A-6 - Helena Mt. 59601 CALL JERRY OR “BUB” FOR INFORMATION 443-1340
LOOK FOR THE GREEN LOGO