Helena, known as 'Queen City of the Rockies', is the state capitol of Montana and is alive with history, culture and recreational opportunity. Helena was built as a gold rush town in 1864, and its modern day business district is directly over the site of the 'Last Chance Gulch' strike, one of the richest in Montana history. Helena, however, didn't face the fate of most gold rush towns and transformed rapidly into a center of industry and commerce for the area. The capitol is rich in early 1900s architecture and offers the visitor a glimpse into Montana's past.
Helena is easily accessed from the north and south by I-15 or by a short jog to the north off I-90. Visitors who are planning on flying can choose from a variety of domestic carriers that service the Helena Regional Airport. Helena offers a variety of accommodations and restaurant options.
The Missouri River is at the core of the water sport recreation around the Helena area. A massive river system, the Missouri pushes its way through three dam systems within a one hour drive of Helena, allowing for both lakes and free flowing river recreation opportunity. Canyon Ferry Recreation area is located just to the east of Helena and has over 76 miles of shoreline. It is well known for its fishing, sailing, boating and wildlife watching opportunities. Hauser and Holter Lakes, just downstream on the Missouri, have good boating and fishing as well as close access to the Gates of the Mountains wilderness and the Beartooth Wildlife Management area. Visitors may consider taking a tour on the Missouri River to see the 'Gates of the Mountains' section of the river, which was named by Lewis & Clark and has 1200' tall limestone cliffs jutting straight out of the water on both shores.