Montana Hiking, Nature January 20, 2023
There Is A Nature Trail And A History Lesson Hiding In The Small Town Of Anaconda, Montana
You may not have ever heard of the small town of Anaconda, with a population of a little over 9,000. It is located in southwest Montana, about 25 miles west of Butte, and nestled at the foot of the Anaconda Range. This, of course, makes it a great place in Montana for taking in nature! Let’s take a look at two places where you can enjoy the outdoors and learn a little history, too!
The town and its four historic districts keep its overall setting historic but current. You'll find Western building fronts offering modern facilities and options.
For example, the 1931 Washoe Theater maintains its Art Deco design, but features contemporary movies.
But it’s not so much the town that really brings people here. It’s the surrounding landscapes and natural beauty that residents and visitors can take in so easily.
Located about 12 miles outside of downtown Anaconda, Lost Creek State Park is 502 acres and sits at an elevation of 6,211 feet. It was established in 1957.
Between the pink and white granite formations and the gray limestone cliffs of this area lies a canyon about 1,200 feet below.
Located in the park’s northwest corner, you’ll walk just .1 miles to Lost Creek Falls.
Along the way, keep your eyes peeled for an assortment of Montana wildlife native to this area like bighorn sheep, golden eagles, and even little pikas.
This waterfall has an impressive 50-foot drop. It’s one of the easiest and most convenient ways to see a waterfall in Montana along a nature trail.
While this short walk is the only real listed trail here, there is a Forest Service trail that you can access north of the parking area for the falls. This trail is 11.2 miles long and will provide endless opportunities for views and vistas of the mountains, meadows, and forest. It’s a great spot for a longer walk or to take your mountain bike out for a spin.
Other activities here at Lost Creek State Park include camping, bird watching, picnicking fishing, and bicycling.
Lost Creek State Park, 5750 Lost Creek Rd, Anaconda, MT 59711, USA
About 11 miles from Lost Creek State Park is Anaconda Smoke Stack State Park. Here, you’ll find a great deal of history and some really interesting features, all with the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest around it.
The smelter stack, known as the Anaconda Smelter Stack, was completed in 1919. At 585 feet tall, it is the largest free-standing brick structure in the world.
It closed in 1980 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1987.
Today, you can park and walk right up to an area equipped with interpretive signs that boasts amazing views of the structure.
While you cannot access the actual smelter, at the viewing area, you’ll find a replica showing the diameter of the structure.
You’ll probably be shocked to see just how big it actually is! The inside diameter at the bottom is a little over 75 feet while the top is 60 feet.
The signs in the area provide an education on the construction, opening, and closing of the plant as well as its significance to the area.
It's an easy way to see and learn about a historic and monumental structure in southwest Montana.
Anaconda Smoke Stack State Park, 100 Anaconda Smelter Rd, Anaconda, MT 59711, USA
Get the most up-to-date information on visiting both
Lost Creek State Park and Anaconda Smoke Stack State Park. Have you ever visited either of these areas in Anaconda? Tell us about your experience in the comments!
There are also some great
scenic highways in Montana. Check out the 64-mile drive along the Anaconda-Pintler Scenic Byway. Address: Lost Creek State Park, 5750 Lost Creek Rd, Anaconda, MT 59711, USA Address: Anaconda Smoke Stack State Park, 100 Anaconda Smelter Rd, Anaconda, MT 59711, USA
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