spring meadow lake

All Roads Lead to Lincoln

Nestled near the magnificent Bob Marshall and Scapegoat Wilderness with the Blackfoot River flowing nearby, Lincoln has something to offer everyone. From Helena, take I-15 to the Lincoln Road exit; follow Lincoln Road west for about 40 miles until you reach Highway 200 and turn left. For more information, contact the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce at

362-4949 or go to www.lincolnmontana.com.

Augusta, Gateway to the “Bob”

Augusta, gateway to the Bob Marshall Wilderness, offers visitors true Western hospitality. Buildings with Western facades still line the street, not to mention the old-fashioned Buckhorn Saloon where you can sit back, relax and enjoy a cold beverage. For some good down-home cooking, check out Mel’s Diner, where the walls are covered with framed old newspapers and pictures of Augusta’s history and 16 flavors of ice cream are served up all summer long.

Augusta Events:

June 22-23, American Legion Rodeo

Augusta is the home of the biggest and oldest one-day PRCA rodeo in Montana. The annual American Legion Rodeo is celebrating 78 years in 2014 – held on Sunday, June 29, at 2 p.m. at the rodeo grounds. This is one of the largest one-day rodeos in Montana, featuring the parade on Saturday, June 28, at 1 p.m., the Old-Time Wild Cow Milking and of course, the rodeo. 406-562-3387.

White Sulphur Springs

If you’re in the neighborhood of White Sulphur Springs, be sure to stop and take a dip in the naturally heated pools at the Spa Hot Springs Motel, which have often been compared to the famed Baden-Baden hot springs in Germany. Both the indoor and outdoor pools are free of charge to motel guests. To swim Adults- $7, Senior Rate (over 65 years)- $6, 13-17 years old- $6, 6-12 years old- $5, 3-5 years old- $3, and under 3 years old- $3. Towels/Suits are $1 each. Pool hours are 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Call 547-3366 or visit www.spahotsprings.com for more information.

White Sulphur Springs Events:

July 24-27, Red Ants Pants Music Festival

Come connect with good folks and dance your pants off! It’s time to celebrate the hard-working side of Montana. The Red Ants Pants Foundation is hosting the third annual Red Ants Pants Music Festival in beautiful White Sulphur Springs, Montana. Thursday night street dance in downtown White Sulphur Springs. Friday, Saturday and Sunday music festival. Main stage, kids area, food and beer vendors, craft vendors, agricultural demonstrations, camping available. All profits from the festival will benefit the Red Ants Pants Foundation, a non-profit organization in support of women’s leadership, working family farms and ranches and rural communities. The festival will take place on the Jackson Ranches in the best cow pastures around.

3-Day Weekend Pass. $125 in advance. $140 at the gate

One Day Pass (good for Friday, Saturday or Sunday)

$50 in advance, $55 at the festival gate

Kids, 12 and under are free, if accompanied by an adult for festival and camping. Go to redantspantsmusicfestival.com. or call 406-547-3781 for lineup and other festival info.

August 31-September 1, Labor Day PRCA Rodeo

PRCA Rodeo action in the Smith River Valley, sponsored by Meagher County Rodeo Club. Sunday and Monday, parade at 11 am. Rodeo starts Sunday at 5 p.m. and Monday at 2 p.m. Sixty-one years of rodeo in White Sulphur Springs! An exciting time in the area. The entire population has a part in this two day event. The last PRCA Rodeo for the summer. Big parade includes floats, horses, kids, grandpas and grandmas; this is also true of the street dance on Sunday evening. 406-868-2935

Bair Family Museum

Located in the Harlowton area, the Bair Family Museum is a monument to good ol’ American hard work and luck. Charles M. Bair came to Montana in 1883 as a conductor on the Northern Pacific Railroad and went into the ranching business in 1891. He made his fortune in the Alaska gold rush and went on to invest in mining, oil and real estate. The state-of-the-art museum is on the grounds of the Bair Family Home in Martinsdale, Montana. The 7,300 square foot building features a variety of gallery spaces. The museum sits adjacent to the Charles M. Bair family home and features large galleries that present the Bair family’s Native American collection, Western paintings by Charles Russell and Joseph Sharp, Edward S. Curtis photogravures and modern European and American paintings. Explore the museum, stroll the grounds, tour the Bair Home, enjoy the barn history and ranching display and find your own treasures in The Gift Shop featuring books by Montana authors, baskets, jewelry and pottery. The museum is open Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day, 7 days a week, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fall hours: Wednesdays through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through October 31. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays during the Fall. The museum is closed during the winter. Visitors can see the new museum exhibition, tour the home and explore the agricultural-related artifacts and photographs in the barn and visit the Museum Shop all for one ticket price of $5 for adults, $3 for seniors 62+, $2 for 6-16 years old and ages 5 and under are free. Find the Bair Family Museum on US Highway 12 East between Harlowton and White Sulphur Springs, the museum is one mile south from the junction of US Highway 12 East and MT Highway 294. On US Highway 89 between Ringling and White Sulphur Springs, the museum is 28 miles from the junction of US Hwy 89 and MT Hwy 294. Follow the signs to the Visitor Center parking lot. 406-572-3314 or www.bairfamilymuseum.org.

Helena Area Ghost Towns

Unionville ghost town is located just southwest of Helena. Helena’s Last Chance Gulch was panned clean of gold quickly after the metal’s discovery in 1864, but hard rock mining in Unionville kept Helena afloat from 1870-85. To get there, take Park Avenue south out of town and bear left on Orofino Gulch. Park City, Dry Gulch and Springtown are settlements beyond Unionville and farther up Grizzly Gulch where the Park City Mine yielded ore worth millions of dollars.

To get to Blackfoot City and Marysville, head west on Highway 12 over MacDonald Pass to Avon. Take Highway 141 north from Avon for three or four miles and jog right for five miles to Blackfoot City, an 1865 town that still can be recognized. Keep going past Blackfoot City and the loop takes you back to Belmont and Marysville. There’s not much to recognize in Belmont anymore; it was active around 1880. With a brewery, 27 saloons, 3,000 residents and three newspapers, Marysville once was one of the most thriving gold towns in the area. It remains one of the best preserved. The local Catholic church was fully restored in the 1980s, and old, abandoned buildings still line Marysville’s street. Dating from the second wave of Montana’s gold and silver rushes.

Elkhorn has survived as one of the better ghost towns in the West. Its principal mine, the Elkhorn, was discovered around 1872 by Peter Wys, a native of Switzerland, and has changed hands repeatedly. Booming in the 1880s and ‘90s before tapering off in this century, the Elkhorn reputedly produced some $14 million in silver during its long life. Elkhorn has been designated one of the most important historical sites in the West and renovation has been undertaken by the Western Montana Ghost Town Preservation Society.

Reportedly, the town had 2,500 residents, with 500 woodcutters, mostly of French and Norwegian descent who were employed to supply wood for the town and the mill. Elkhorn can be reached from Boulder off of I-15. Go 7 miles south on Highway 69, left over the small bridge then right onto the gravel road 13 miles, bearing left at each of two forks in the road.

Bannack State Park and Ghost Town is one of Montana’s best-preserved ghost towns, dating back to the 1800s. Camping facilities are available. To get there, take I- 15 south of Dillon to exit 59 (the Highway 278 exit). Head west on Highway 278 for 20 miles, then turn south onto the paved Bannack road.

Diamond City you can drive to the east side of Canyon Ferry on Highway 284, and then take Highway 360 up Confederate Gulch. Nine miles along the gravel road is the recognizable site of Diamond City. The road continues past Watson and the site of the now vanished Fort Logan.

Some Scenic Routes

Augusta Route Tour is about three hours drive time.

Begin this 131-mile tour by driving north on Montana Avenue to Lincoln Road, then take Highway 279. When you get to the sign for Marysville, turn left for a seven-mile side trip to the site of the Drumlummon Mine and surrounding ghost town. Head back down to Highway 279 and proceed northwest to Canyon Creek. Eight miles farther north is Highway 200. Continue on the Augusta Route by turning right on Highway 200. Along the way you will find Flesher and Stemple passes. These passes offer scenery perfect for hikers, photographers and wildflower seekers and provide great opportunities for biking and hiking on side trails. To get to either pass, travel west through Canyon Creek and watch for the Stemple Pass turn off to the left. Stay on the Lincoln Road to the top of the divide to find Flesher Pass.

The Continental Divide offers breathtaking scenery just half an hour from Helena. These passes offer camping, biking and hiking opportunities. You will cross the Continental Divide again at Rogers Pass soon after the turn from 279. Gravel roads north of Augusta take you to Willow Creek Reservoir, Nilan Reservoir or to Gibson Dam on the Sun River. When you turn back from Augusta, follow Highway 287 all the way to I-15 and head to Wolf Creek. You can exit the Interstate to take a look at Holter Lake and the Missouri River. I-15 takes you up the canyon and all the way back to Helena.

Lincoln Route Tour (130 Miles) To make your loop tour in another direction, begin on 279, as noted on the Augusta route above, but turn left of 279 when you reach Highway 200 from Flesher Pass. As you head toward Lincoln, you’ll begin to see the Blackfoot River as it winds its way through this valley. This area is great for snowmobiling, fishing, camping and hiking. Lincoln is a great place to stop for refreshments before continuing on your tour westward on 200. Browns Lake, a designated wildlife viewing area, is further ahead. You can continue on to the small town of Ovando, enjoying your view of the Scapegoat Wilderness to the north. Then backtrack on Highway 200 to the junction with Highway 141 and turn south. This road will take you to the ranching community of Helmville at the foot of the Garnet Range. From Helmville, get back on 141 and make your way through this agricultural valley to the town of Avon on the Little Blackfoot River. You may see beaver slide hay stackers in the fields, unique to this part of the country. Turn left on Highway 12. Stop at the viewpoint at the top of MacDonald Pass for a glorious view of Helena and the surrounding mountains. From the top of the pass, you’ll descend swiftly back into Helena.

Basecamp to Yellowstone Park

Created as the perfect headquarters for mountain adventures, Basecamp, located front and center in the Mountain Village offers information on all the exciting attractions like zip line, high ropes course, bungee trampoline, golf, scenic lift, biking, hiking, and solace spa. Basecamp can also help you plan everything from dinner reservations to Yellowstone National Park tours. Email basecamp@bigskyresort.com for more information. See more at www.bigskyresort.com

Townsend [Broadwater County]

Goose Bay Glass blows glass most days into beautiful useful and decorative items. This is quite an art form to see in action and worth the trip to Townsend to see how all glass items used to be made. Goose Bay Glass is located at 101 S Front St. Call 266-4496, email cactusflat@mt.net or visit www.goosebayglass.com

Broadwater County Museum is open May 15 through September 15, Monday thru Sunday 1pm to 5pm [Closed July 4th]. 2014 is the “Year of the Buffalo Robe” with many Native American items on display. For more information call 266-5252, email bwcomuseum@mt.net or visit www.broadwatercountymuseum.com

Slice of Summer. Old Fashioned Family Fun! Heritage Park in Townsend; June 19, July 17 and August 21 - 2pm to 8pm. Food, live music, dancing & children’s activities. Festivities start at 2:00 pm with the kids’ activities and free use of the swimming pool and bouncy rooms. The pool will open at 1:00 pm. A band will play from 5:00 to 8:00 pm. Rotary and Lions will be selling hamburgers, nachos, bratwurst and hot dogs at very reasonable prices. A BHS club and the Broadwater County 4-H Exchange club will be selling floats, watermelon and healthy drinks.

Call Adam 431-8957 for more information.

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July 4, Fly-in at Townsend Airport, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Planes and ultra-lights from all over the state of Montana will gather at the Townsend Flight Festival for the 4th of July every year. Breakfast will be available for those who fly in or drive in. Airplanes of various vintages will be on display in the tie down area. Airplanes under construction will also be available to view. The EAA chapter of Helena will sponsor free airplane rides for children ages 7-17, between the hours of 10am and 1pm, with a licensed EAA pilot. Parental permission must be signed before a flight can be done. A courtesy car is available for pilots that do fly in and want to go into Townsend for the city’s 4th of July activities. Other rides into town will also be available. There is a pilot’s lounge and picnic area. Airplane fuel is also available. Live music will also be performed at the field. Breakfast served 8am to 11am. Contact Neil Salmi 266-5400

July 4, Old Fashioned 4th of July, Heritage Park, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sponsored by the Townsend Area Chamber of Commerce, the event hosts a potluck picnic with hamburgers and hot dogs, sodas and other drinks are also available. If you can, please bring a salad, side dish or dessert to share with the others, but your presence is what we desire most. Please bring your children or grandchildren as this is a family event with games & prizes for the children. Food is served from 11am to 2pm. This event is growing every year, with people looking to enjoy an old fashioned 4th of July in small town rural America. This event allows quality time with friends and family. Contact Mary Alice, 266-4101.

July 10 – September 25, Townsend Farmers Market, Every Thursday 3pm to 7pm, Location: Wi-Fi Park on Front Street, Contact Chris or Don 266-4330

July 19 & 20, Quilt Show, The Townsend Quilt Show will be held in the Broadwater High School located at 201 N Spruce St. Each year the local guild, ‘The Quack-N-Quilters’, puts on a quilt show with a great assortment of at least 100 beautiful quilts, a silent auction and lots of vendors. We’d love to have you join us at the Townsend Quilt Show!

Contact Connie 266-3929.

July 23-27, Broadwater County Fair & Townsend Rodeo.

Wednesday – 4-H horse show, Thursday – local kids rodeo 5 pm, Friday - livestock show 8am, NRA Rodeo 7 pm, Saturday – livestock show 8am, market sale 5pm, Townsend Fire Department steak dinner 5 – 9 pm, NRA Rodeo 7 pm, Sunday – Rotary rodeo barbecue 11 am – 2 pm, rodeo parade noon, local adult rodeo 2 pm, For more information visit

or call Michele 266-9251

August 31, Shakespeare in the Park, Romeo & Juliet, Holloway Park [corner of S Cherry Street & D Street] 6pm,

October 3, 4 & 5, Townsend Fall Fest & Antique Car Show, Friday evening – music – Beer & Brats; Saturday Events 10am to 6pm: parade, art & craft fair, German bands and Oktoberfest;

Sunday Events 10am to 5pm: art & craft fair, carshow and live music.

Little bit of everything with lots of old fashioned fun for the entire family will be found at the Townsend Fall Fest. There’s something for every taste, age and interest with a parade on Saturday at 11am, 90 plus craft vendors, numerous food vendors including Rotary’s famous Brats & Beer, music-music-music and kids games. The Townsend Car Show starts Sunday with antique and classic cars from Montana and the Northwest. Over 200 cars came in 2013.

More information & entry forms www.townsendmt.com for Information and Booth Rental, contact Laura 980-1648, Car Show Information, contact Jamie 266-4336

Boulder [Jefferson County]

A Fair of the Heart: Jefferson County Fair & Rodeo, the Jefferson County Fair and Rodeo is August 21-24 at the Jefferson County Recreation Park one-half mile south of Boulder. Known as “A Fair of the Heart,” the fair is affordable fun for the whole family. Local cowboys and cowgirls compete at the Wrangler Roundup starting at 4 p.m. on Friday, August 22. There is no admission fee for Friday events. Saturday features a parade at 1 p.m., live bands, carousel rides and fair exhibits, from pets to petunias. There is no fair admission fee, but parking is $2 per car. The fast-paced Boulder NRA Rodeo starts Saturday at 5 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m., costing $6 for adults, $3 for kids. A beef barbecue starts at 4 p.m. Saturday. A real barn dance starts at 8 p.m. with live music by Helena’s Insufficient Funds, a chance to kick up your heels for $1. Sunday features a dog show and more live music. A kids stick horse rodeo at 11 a.m. is followed by a free kids treasure hunt in the straw. For a schedule call 461-6701. For rodeo information, call 225-4316.


Farmer’s Market

Thursdays July 4th - September 26, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., weather permitting Veteran’s Park on Main Street, Boulder. Contact 225-3288 or 439-6364

21st Annual Classic Car Show

Saturday, August 23, Registration 9 - 11:30 a.m., Judging Noon - 2 p.m.

Awards 3 p.m., Concessions, music, poker walk and raffles. Stop by and vote for your favorite car! More information on these and other events can be found at www.bouldermtchamber.com

Boulder Area Chamber of Commerce 6th Annual Music and Art Festival

September 14 and 15, Montana artist’s authors, local and regional musicians, food, and beverages of all kinds will be located at Veterans Park on the Main Street of Boulder. The event is free. Call 406-465-2106


Radon Mines. Despite the negative publicity radon occasionally receives, the radon health mines near Boulder and Basin continue to boast great business. Visitors to the mines travel underground to sit in lighted chambers and breathe radon gas. People go to the mines seeking a complement or alternative to current methods of disease symptom management of immune system disorders, to ease or eliminate chronic pain, and to break reliance on pharmaceuticals.

  • • Merry Widow: I-15 Exit #156 at Basin, 38 miles south of Helena. Open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. in May and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. June 1-October 31. Call 225-3220.
  • • Earth Angel: I-15 Exit #156 at Basin, 38 miles south of Helena. Open 365 days a year to “help people” 24 hours a day. Call 225-3516.
  •  Free Enterprise: I-15 Exit #164 at Boulder, 30 miles south of Helena. Call 225-3383.
  • • Sunshine: I-15 Exit #160 at High Ore Road, 34 miles south of Helena. Always open by request from the mine site telephone or reservation. Call 225-3670.

Boulder Hot Springs is becoming a central figure in the health resort industry in southwestern Montana. Some of the services include bed and breakfast facilities, indoor and outdoor mineral hot spring pools, cold-water plunges, steam rooms and massages. There are facilities for conferences, meetings, retreats, weddings and receptions. Catered healthy meals are also available. There will be a prime rib Father’s Day Buffet on Sunday, June 15, from noon to 3 p.m. Prices range from $24 for adults to $20 seniors (60+), children ages 5-12 are $12. Boulder Hot Springs schedules several events designed to augment a healthy lifestyle. The ancient hot spring pools are included with guest rooms and open to the public for day use. Summer pool hours (April 1 through October 31) are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Daily rates are $7 for adults, $5 for seniors (60+), and $4 for children (3-12). The knowledgeable staff can also offer suggestions for day trips or activities in the surrounding area. To get there, travel south on I-15 and take the Boulder Exit #164. Turn left onto Main Street (Highway 69), travel through town, curving left at the bridge past the fairgrounds about 2 miles, and look for the sign on the right. Call 225-4339 or visit www.boulderhotsprings.com.

Headwaters Country Jam

Celebrating its 7th year and just hitting stride... June 27-29 at Three Forks. What started out as strictly a three day Country music concert has evolved into three days jam- packed with redneck games, karaoke, dance contests and yes, great country music. Artists this year include Dustin Lynch, Big & Rich, Chase Rice, Montgomery Gentry and many more. Call 877-569-7767 for tickets or log on to www.HeadwatersCountryJam.com for more information and join us on Facebook to keep up to date.

Montana Folk Festival

The Northwest’s Largest FREE Outdoor Music Festival. Butte, Montana July 11-13. The festival grounds open at 5:00 p.m. on Friday evening with a grand opening ceremony at “The Original” Stage at 6:55 p.m. Music starts at 7:00 pm. All performers will be featured at one or more of the seven venues throughout the weekend, including the Montana Tourism Dance Pavilion. The Montana Folk Festival is a new and exciting event each year at the same time it remains very familiar to anyone who has attended in previous years.

Go to http://montanafolkfestival.com for complete festival information and schedule of events.

Rockin’ The Rivers

“You can’t stop rock ‘n’ roll!” Three days of live rock music erupts at Rockin’ the Rivers, August 8-10. Located near Three Forks in the Jefferson River Canyon, the venue consists of a sprawling 140 acres that form a natural amphitheater with sound quality second to none. The arena has affectionately been dubbed “The Bridge” by Rockin’ the Rivers devotees in tribute to the historic Sappington bridge whose final resting place is just outside the concert area. Each year, a crowd of more than 6,000 people of all ages come to “The Bridge” to enjoy this unique experience under Montana’s big sky. For over 10 years, Rockin’ the Rivers has combined phenomenal music, great company and unparalleled natural beauty to throw one of the most entertaining and largest music festivals in the Northwest.”

The 2014 line up includes almost 20 bands and singers; for the complete line up, vendors and to buy tickets go to www.rockintherivers.com or call Butte Civic Center Box Office at 800-555-8989.

Lewis and Clark Caverns

Get a feel for Mother Nature’s all natural air conditioning in the summer by journeying down into Lewis and Clark Caverns, one of the largest known limestone caves in the Northwest. Regardless of the temperature outside, the caverns maintain a constant temperature of about 50 degrees. Located south of Helena and 19 miles west of Three Forks, the caverns are a testament to the power of water. Tiny droplets of water over thousands of years are responsible for the creation of stalactites, stalagmites, columns, ribbons and even walls that look like popcorn. The park is open year-round, and guided tours are available May 1 through September 30. The two-mile, two-hour guided tour begins with a ¾ mile hike up a small hill to the cave’s entrance. The hike is worth it though when within several hundred feet of the entrance the cave opens up into the Cathedral Room and the Paradise Room. In these rooms, visitors encounter immense columns formed when stalagmites and stalactites met. Some stooping is necessary along the 600 steps within the cave, but most of the walk is downhill. Rubber-soled shoes are recommended since the steps can be wet and slippery. Lighting and handrails are provided for your safety. In addition to the caverns, the park contains a 40-space campground with many amenities, three camping cabins, a teepee and picnic sites. In May 2010, a new visitor center was opened and includes interpretive and educational information about the park as well as offices, a small camp store, rest rooms and a community classroom and conference room. Lewis and Clark Caverns is open seven days a week June 15 through August 19 from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Admission to the park is free for vehicles registered in Montana. Nominal fees apply to visitors from out of state. A guided cave tour is $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 6-11, and free for those under 6. For more information call 287-3541.

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