In 1864 a party of disheartened prospectors working over the present site of Helena, more of less halfway between Glacier National Park and Yellowstone, decided to have one final dig along a likely-looking ravine-and struck lucky on what is now Last Chance Gulch, the town’s attractive main street. More than $20 million of gold was extracted! Over fifty successful prospectors remained here as millionaires and their palatial residences still enhance the west-side of town.
In this quintessentially Western town, Hollywood actor Gary Cooper was born and brought up, and actress Myrna Loy also lived here as a child. Stroll around the pleasant blocks of Last Chance Gulch decorated with mining-themed sculptures and fountains, and enlivened by bars, side walk cafes and restaurants. Pop into the impressive State Capitol Building or view the fine collection of art and crafts in the Holter Museum of Art. You’ll be sure to enjoy the Last Chance Train tour through historical Helena where you can learn about it’s colourful past.
Just 16 miles north of Helena , you can take a two-hour boat tour through the Gates of the Mountains. This dramatic stretch of the Missouri River, which enters a gorge with sheer 1,200 foot cliffs on either side, was named by Meriwether Lewis during the Lewis and Clarke expedition of this area.