Four short drives you'll love
Once you've discovered what Great Falls has to offer, check out these unique destinations just a short drive from the big town. The scenery alone is worth the drive!
1. Dinosaur History and Digs - begin in the town of Choteau (it’s pronounced Show-Toe). Its history reaches back to the time of the dinosaurs. The area was a breeding ground for dinosaurs millions of years ago. Egg Mountain, 12 miles west of Choteau, is the first site in North America where dinosaur egg shell fragments, nests, and babies were discovered. This one site has provided more information about dinosaur biology than any other dig in the world. Just 15 minutes north of Choteau are Bynum and Two Medicine Dinosaur Center. Two Medicine offers paleontology displays and programs, including dinosaur digs, for adults and children. In addition to Choteau and Bynum, museums in Rudyard, Havre, Chinook and Harlowton offer displays about significant dinosaur discoveries in their area. For more information visit http://www.russell.visitmt.com/dinosaurs/dinotrail.htm. These are a true find for any dino lover.
2. Fort Benton - the birth place of Montana. Travelers can walk along the mighty Missouri River and imagine a time when steamboats were the fastest way to get to the West. As the last stop on the Missouri River before the great falls, Fort Benton was a transfer station for all goods as they came in by steamboat and were sent west on freight wagons pulled by teams of oxen. The town is home to three museums where visitors can get a closer look at artifacts from the glory days of steamboats, as well as, the Grand Union Hotel, the oldest operating hotel in Montana. Spend the night in a historic room with modern living conveniences or stop by the restaurant for a decadent dinner that won’t soon be forgotten. Fort Benton is a gateway to the scenic and geographically unique Upper Missouri Wild and Scenic River.
3. Belt - the first coal mine in Montana. This charming town is set in the rolling hills of Montana. Plan a stop at the Belt Museum, housed in the original city jail dating back to 1895. The museum’s exhibits include a historic jail cell, a coal mine replica, records and photos, and works of local artists. Belt is also home to Harvest Moon Brewery, famous for two award-winning beers and six other varieties. This one-of-a-kind brewery offers tours and samples, as well as a gift shop.
4. King’s Hill Scenic Byway. This is a journey, not a destination. Take a two-hour drive that will lead you along 71 miles of highway that pass right through one of Montana’s most majestic mountain ranges. The byway winds along pristine mountain springs and creeks and is home to abundant wildlife. At the end of this scenic treat, you’ll find yourself in White Sulphur Springs. The town is named for the white deposits caused by hot water bubbling in the city’s public park. Spa Hot Springs Motel taps the water for visitors to enjoy a soak in the naturally occurring warm springs. This is a can't miss treat you have to try!