Montana August 27, 2017
10 Amazing Montana Secrets You Never Knew Existed
Whether you’re new to the Treasure State or you have a Montana birth certificate, there are always things about our beautiful state that will surprise you. They call it Big Sky Country for a reason – there are plenty of secret spots to explore. Take a look at this list the next time you want to go off the beaten path.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Spend enough time in Nevada City and you'll realize there's a 2-story outhouse there.
Nevada City is comprised of authentic Wild West buildings meant to transport you to another time. One of those buildings is a 2-story outhouse. Doesn't that make you grateful for modern conveniences?
2. There are tunnels under Butte, and they have quite a history.
Back when Butte was "The Richest Hill on Earth," it had a booming mining industry and close to 100,000 residents. The underground tunnels contain the remnants of restaurants, a jail, and even one of the country's most infamous speakeasies, the Rockwood. You can see it all on Butte's Underground City Tours.
3. The O'Fallon Historical Museum in Baker is pretty ordinary, other than the fact that they have the stuffed remains of the world's largest steer.
Steer Montana weighed 3,980 pounds in life.
4. Montana may be known as Big Sky Country, but we happen to have the world's tiniest river.
The Roe River is located at Giant Springs State Park in Great Falls, and at 201 feet long, it's definitely the shortest.
5. At the Bear Creek Saloon & Steakhouse, dinner comes with a side of entertainment.
After dinner, patrons place their bets and head outside for some exciting pig races. Proceeds are donated to a local scholarship fund.
6. Cut Bank has a giant penguin statue, and it talks.
Cut Bank probably isn't the coldest spot in the nation, but the town does hold the record for the biggest temperature change in a single day (100 degrees), so it's understandable that locals would feel that way.
7. There is a Chinese Wall right here in Montana.
Hidden deep within the Bob Marshall Wilderness, the Chinese Wall is legendary among hikers - but many Montanans don't even know it exists. It takes quite a trek to reach it (the trail in its entirety is 53 miles), but everyone who has seen it says it's worth it.
8. At one point, more millionaires lived in Helena than anywhere else in the world.
In 1864, four prospectors discovered Last Chance Gulch, which is currently Helena. Gold miners rushed to the area over the next 20 years, and many of them were VERY successful.
9. Most people know that Butte has a toxic lake, the Berkeley Pit. But not many know how dangerous it actually could be.
Earlier this year, the pit killed 3,000 geese who made the unfortunate choice to land there during a storm. Their deaths raised some questions about whether or not ederal regulators will be ready to prevent the heavily acidic, metal-laden water from contaminating other waterways and Butte's ground water system. Yikes.
10. We have tree people.
Don't worry, this isn't as terrifying as it sounds. Lee Steen's Tree People "live" in the Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art in Great Falls, the work of a late local artist who once filled his yard with mechanical junkyard animals and wooden tree people sculptures.
Discovering Montana’s hidden secrets and gems is so much fun. How many of
these places have you experienced?