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Around Helena

08/01/08 - R.R. decides to sojourn in Helena for a few months.
For a town its size, Helena has a large number of interesting attractions:
  • downtown walking mall in the center of Last Chance Gulch
  • almost no traffic downtown - it's in the suburbs
  • modern suburbs and airport within 5-minute drive of downtown
  • historical buildings and neighborhoods everywheres
  • houses and buildings dating from the early 1870s
  • an area of huge mansions dating from the 1880s
  • a gothic-style cathedral with 230' spires
  • the old wooden Fire Tower overlooking Last Chance Gulch
  • a street of funky 1880s log-cottages called Reeder's Alley
  • the State Capitol Building with a copper dome
  • a museum with lots of C.M. Russell art
  • the Myrna Loy Center for the Arts in converted 1880s jail
  • a Masonic Temple built in 1885
  • hiking mountains within the city limits
  • National Forest at the city limits
  • large mountains within a few hours drive
  • the continental divide 12 miles to the west
  • many coffee houses
  • a college and a university extension campus
  • Fort William Henry Harrison (now a VA hospital)
  • a unique restaurant named the Staggering Ox
  • Click here for incredible historical pictures of Helena
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    Last Chance Gulch 1870
    Public Radio:
    Montana Public Radio (repeaters all over the state)
    Yellowstone Public Radio (repeaters all over the state)
    (left) The front or city side of Mt. Helena (5462') from somewhat east of Last Chance Gulch, picture taken about 1900 - see originals.

    (right) The back (northwest) side of Mt. Helena is somewhat more interesting than the front side. Limestone cliffs.

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    (left) Helena city limits. Road in from the south.

    (right) Trailhead sign showing the city trails up Mt. Helena (5460') and Mt. Ascension. City of Helena to upper right in map.

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    Click for some pictures from the top of Mt. Helena. [blow up]

    Click for some pictures of the area just north of Helena to the Great Divide Ski Area. [blow up]

    ©, updated August 2008