Are you ready for the ultimate capital city adventure? Hop on your motorcycle and embark on the Montana Capitol Motorcycle Tour, starting from the breathtaking Helena. Known as “The Last Best Place,” Montana is renowned for its scenic rides and stunning landscapes, making it the perfect destination for motorcycle enthusiasts.
Helena, the capital city of Montana, serves as the starting point for this unforgettable tour. Get ready to explore picturesque roads, experience the thrill of switchbacks, and discover the charm of historic towns along the way.
Whether you’re seeking majestic mountain views or a taste of Montana’s rich history, this tour has it all. From hidden gems like Flesher Pass to the vibrant city life of Helena, you’ll be captivated by the wonders that await you.
So, gear up and get ready to embark on an adventure of a lifetime. Join us on the Montana Capitol Motorcycle Tour and let the scenic rides and breathtaking landscapes take your breath away.
Exploring the Secret Highway: Highway 279 to Flesher Pass
Your motorcycle adventure begins by heading north on Montana Avenue, also known as the Lincoln Highway or State Highway 279. As you ride along this picturesque stretch of road, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of rolling hills and valleys.
The first stop on your journey is the historic ghost town of Marysville. Explore the remnants of this once-thriving mining town and get a sense of Montana’s rich history. Take a moment to imagine what life was like in the Wild West as you stroll through the streets lined with century-old buildings.
Continuing on Highway 279, you’ll soon reach Flesher Pass, a hidden gem nestled in the mountains. This winding road boasts over 6 miles of thrilling switchbacks, offering an exhilarating ride for motorcycle enthusiasts. As you navigate the curves, keep your eyes peeled for the stunning valley views that unfold before you.
Highway 279, also referred to as the Lincoln Highway, provides access to Flesher Pass and its mesmerizing beauty. This secret highway showcases the natural wonders of Montana, enticing adventure-seekers and nature-lovers alike. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience the thrill of the switchbacks and the awe-inspiring scenery that awaits as you explore Flesher Pass.
Discovering the Charm of Lincoln
After leaving Flesher Pass, the tour continues west on Highway 200, paralleling the Blackfoot River and the Bob Marshall Wilderness area. The town of Lincoln awaits, with its charming main street lined with bars, hotels, and gas stations.
One unique feature of Lincoln is the Lincoln Bear, a grizzly that used to rummage through the town’s trashcans and now resides in the Forest Service office. As you ride through the area, don’t miss the beautiful Nevada Lake.
Surrounded by picturesque landscapes and nestled in the heart of the Montana wilderness, Lincoln offers a delightful and tranquil experience. The town’s main street exudes small-town charm, inviting you to explore its local establishments and enjoy the sense of community.
Hop off your motorcycle and take a stroll along Lincoln’s streets, where you’ll find cozy bars serving local brews, comfortable hotels where you can rest and recharge, and convenient gas stations to refuel for your journey. It’s the perfect place to take a break and soak in the atmosphere before continuing your adventure.
While in Lincoln, keep your eyes peeled for the iconic Lincoln Bear. This grizzly bear became famous for its antics in town, foraging through trash and captivating locals and visitors alike. Now, the bear serves as a reminder of Lincoln’s wild and rugged character, residing in the Forest Service office as a symbol of the town’s unique history.
As you ride through Lincoln and its surroundings, make sure to make a stop at Nevada Lake. This idyllic lake offers stunning views and a peaceful retreat amidst the natural beauty of the area. Take a moment to bask in the tranquility of the lake and appreciate the untouched wilderness that Montana is renowned for.
With its charming main street, the legendary Lincoln Bear, and the serene Nevada Lake, Lincoln beckons to adventure-seeking motorcycle enthusiasts looking to experience the best of Montana’s scenic byways. It’s a destination that will leave you enamored with its small-town charm and the rugged beauty that surrounds it.
Conquering MacDonald Pass and Returning to Helena
As you continue your adventure through Montana, the next stage of your motorcycle tour takes you on an exhilarating ride along Highway 141. Leaving behind the charming town of Lincoln, you’ll navigate through the scenic landscapes and picturesque views of the Garnet Mountains on your way to the historic town of Helmville. Feel the rush as you cruise along the winding roads, immersing yourself in the beauty of the surroundings.
After passing through Helmville, the highlight of this section awaits you: MacDonald Pass. This scenic pass, situated on U.S. Route 12, offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Rimini area and the stunning Helena Valley. As you conquer the pass, pause for a moment to take in the awe-inspiring vistas and capture memories that will last a lifetime.
Descending from MacDonald Pass, the tour takes you on a final leg back to Helena. Along the way, you’ll pass Fort Harrison, adding a touch of history to your journey. Enjoy the exhilaration of the open road as you make your way back to the capital city, completing the loop of this incredible motorcycle tour.
Ten Reasons to Explore Helena: An Adventure Town
Helena is not just your average capital city, it’s an adventure town waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re an avid angler, a trail-blazing biker, or a lover of craft brews, Helena has something for everyone. Here are ten reasons why Helena should be at the top of your travel list:
- World-Class Fly-Fishing: Cast your line into the legendary Missouri River, known for its abundant trout and breathtaking scenery. Grab your rod and experience the thrill of fly-fishing in Helena’s pristine waters.
- South Hills Trail System: Lace up your hiking boots or hop on your mountain bike and explore the expansive South Hills Trail System. With miles of well-maintained trails surrounded by stunning landscapes, this outdoor playground offers endless adventures for nature enthusiasts.
- Excellent Mountain Biking: Pedal your way through Helena’s Silver Level Ride Center trails, recognized by the International Mountain Biking Association. From adrenaline-pumping descents to scenic mountain vistas, the mountain biking options here are second to none.
- Thriving Microbrewery Scene: After a day of adventure, kick back and relax at one of Helena’s many microbreweries. Sample a variety of handcrafted beers and soak up the vibrant atmosphere of this burgeoning craft beer hub.
“The mountains are calling and I must go.” – John Muir
But the adventure doesn’t stop there! Helena has even more to offer:
- Picturesque Hiking Trails: Embark on a scenic hike through Helena’s surrounding mountains and witness breathtaking vistas at every turn. From towering peaks to serene alpine lakes, exploring the great outdoors has never been more rewarding.
- Affordable Outdoor Activities: Unlike many popular adventure destinations, Helena offers affordable outdoor activities for all budgets. Experience thrilling adventures without breaking the bank.
- Wildlife Spotting: Keep an eye out for the diverse wildlife that calls Helena home. From majestic deer to soaring bald eagles, you never know what incredible creatures you’ll encounter during your outdoor escapades.
- Immersive Nature Experiences: Connect with nature on a deeper level as you hike, bike, or fish in the stunning surroundings of Helena. Experience the peace and tranquility that comes from being fully immersed in the natural world.
“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” – John Muir
And finally, two more reasons to explore Helena:
- Rich History and Heritage: Delve into Helena’s fascinating history by visiting its historic landmarks and museums. Discover the stories of the past and gain a deeper appreciation for the city’s cultural heritage.
- Welcoming Community: Helena is more than just picturesque landscapes and thrilling adventures; it’s a community of friendly locals who are passionate about sharing their love for this remarkable town. Experience the warm hospitality that Helena has to offer.
So, what are you waiting for? Plan your trip to Helena, the adventure town that has it all!
Immerse Yourself in Helena’s History and Landmarks
Helena, Montana, is a city with a rich history and fascinating landmarks that offer a glimpse into its past. From the majestic Montana State Capitol Building to the iconic Cathedral of St. Helena and the historic Reeder’s Alley, there are plenty of historic sites to explore in Helena.
The Montana State Capitol Building stands as a symbol of the state’s proud heritage. With its neoclassical architecture and exquisite paintings by Charlie Russell, a visit to this iconic landmark is a must. Marvel at the grandeur of the building and immerse yourself in Montana’s political history as you explore its halls.
The Cathedral of St. Helena is another must-see landmark in the city. This stunning cathedral, with its Gothic Revival architecture, is a testament to the faith and devotion of the local Catholic community. Step inside to admire the intricate stained glass windows and experience the serene atmosphere.
For a taste of life in the past, head to Reeder’s Alley. This historic miners’ quarters is a living testament to the city’s mining heritage. Stroll through the cobblestone streets and imagine what life was like for the hardworking miners who once called this place home.
Guided and self-guided tours are available to help you explore these landmarks and other historic sites across Helena. Whether you choose to join a knowledgeable guide or venture on your own, you’ll be transported back in time as you discover the history and charm of this remarkable city.
Immerse yourself in Helena’s captivating history by visiting the Montana State Capitol Building, Cathedral of St. Helena, and Reeder’s Alley. These landmarks offer a glimpse into the city’s past and are a testament to its rich heritage.
Experience the allure of Helena’s historic sites and let the stories of the past come alive. Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply curious about the city’s heritage, these landmarks will leave a lasting impression.
Outdoor Adventures in Helena’s Diverse Landscape
With its diverse landscape and four distinct seasons, Helena is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. Whether you’re an avid hiker or a mountain biking enthusiast, this city has something to offer for everyone seeking adventure in nature. Helena is home to an extensive trail network, providing over 120 kilometers of cross-country terrain just waiting to be explored.
One popular choice among visitors is the Waterline Trail Loop located in Mount Helena City Park. This scenic trail offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape and gives you the opportunity to spot wildlife along the way. Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature as you hike or bike through this picturesque trail.
Whether you visit in spring, summer, fall, or winter, Helena’s diverse landscape provides endless outdoor activities. In the spring, witness the reawakening of nature as flowers bloom and the wildlife becomes more active. During the summer, take advantage of the long days and explore the trails under the warm sun. In the fall, witness the vibrant colors of the changing leaves as you hike through Helena’s forests. And in the winter, bundle up and experience the enchantment of the snow-covered trails.
Here are some highlights of outdoor adventures in Helena:
- Embark on a thrilling hike along the Waterline Trail Loop, discovering scenic vistas and the possibility of wildlife encounters.
- Challenge yourself with mountain biking on the city’s challenging trails, satisfying your adrenaline cravings while surrounded by breathtaking views.
- Experience the beauty of nature as you explore the diverse landscapes of Helena’s four seasons, each offering unique outdoor activities.
Helena’s outdoor adventures are a testament to the city’s commitment to preserving its natural beauty. Whether you’re hiking, biking, or simply enjoying the scenery, you’ll be captivated by the stunning landscapes and wildlife that surround you.
So, pack your hiking boots or dust off your mountain bike, and get ready to embark on unforgettable outdoor adventures in Helena’s diverse landscape. No matter the season, there’s always an opportunity for a thrilling and immersive experience in the great outdoors.
Helena’s Vibrant Arts and Culture Scene
Immerse yourself in the vibrant arts and culture scene of downtown Helena. This area is a thriving hub of creativity, with independent businesses, galleries, and performance venues that showcase the city’s artistic energy.
One must-visit destination is Montana’s State Museum, which offers an immersive experience and a fascinating glimpse into the history of the state. Discover the stories that shaped Montana, from its Native American heritage to its role in the development of the American West.
The Archie Bray Foundation is another gem in Helena’s arts scene. Known for its fine ceramic art, the foundation welcomes visitors to explore its studios and gallery, featuring works by renowned ceramic artists. With its tranquil setting and exceptional craftsmanship, the Archie Bray Foundation is a must-see for art enthusiasts.
As you stroll along downtown Helena’s Walking Mall, you’ll find an array of local shops and boutiques, offering unique finds and treasures. From handmade crafts to locally sourced products, there’s something for everyone to discover.
Helena is also known for its lively arts events and festivals. Throughout the year, the city hosts various celebrations, showcasing music, dance, theater, and visual arts. It’s the perfect opportunity to experience the dynamic cultural pulse of the community and mingle with fellow art lovers.
Experience the vibrant arts and culture scene of downtown Helena, where history, creativity, and entertainment merge to create an unforgettable experience.
So, whether you’re visiting the Montana State Museum, exploring the Archie Bray Foundation, or enjoying the lively atmosphere of downtown Helena’s festivals, you’ll truly be immersed in the rich arts and culture of this captivating city.
Helena’s Unique Recreational Activities
When it comes to recreational activities, Helena has something for everyone. Whether you’re a disc golf enthusiast, a winter sports lover, or simply seeking a relaxing hot springs experience, this vibrant city has got you covered.
Disc Golf: Perfect Your Throw
If you’re a fan of disc golf, Helena boasts multiple courses that will challenge and excite you. Test your skills at renowned courses like South Hills and Scratch Gravel Hills, where stunning views enhance the game. Spend a day in the great outdoors, enjoying the calm and serenity of disc golf amidst Montana’s breathtaking scenery.
Hit the Slopes at Great Divide Ski Area
In the winter months, thrill-seekers can head to the Great Divide Ski Area for an exhilarating skiing or snowboarding experience. With pristine slopes and diverse terrain, this ski area offers excitement for both beginners and advanced riders. Strap on your boots, hit the slopes, and carve your way through the powder for an unforgettable adventure.
Explore the Gates of the Mountains
If you prefer a more serene adventure, embark on a scenic boat tour of the Gates of the Mountains. Located along the majestic Missouri River, this natural wonder will leave you in awe of its towering cliffs and tranquil waters. Immerse yourself in the rich history and captivating beauty of this hidden gem as you cruise through the Gates of the Mountains.
Relax and Rejuvenate at Broadwater Hot Springs
After a day filled with adventure, treat yourself to some relaxation and rejuvenation at Broadwater Hot Springs. Immerse yourself in the area’s only natural hot springs, where the therapeutic waters will wash away any stress or fatigue. Whether you’re soaking in the pools or indulging in a spa treatment, this oasis is the perfect place to unwind and recharge.
Helena offers a unique combination of recreational activities, allowing visitors to embrace their adventurous spirit or find tranquility in the midst of nature. Whether you’re seeking an adrenaline rush on the slopes or the soothing embrace of hot springs, Helena has it all.
Helena’s Hidden Gems: Local Breweries and Arts Community
Helena’s craft beer scene has seen a boom in recent years, with multiple microbreweries offering a range of delicious local brews. Whether you’re a beer connoisseur or simply enjoy trying new flavors, Helena’s microbreweries are a must-visit on your next trip.
One popular brewery in town is the Blackfoot River Brewing Company, known for its unique craft beers and vibrant taproom atmosphere. Their extensive selection includes a variety of styles, from hoppy IPAs to rich stouts, ensuring there’s something for every palate. Make sure to try their flagship beer, the “North Fork.” It’s a local favorite for its smooth and refreshing taste.
Another gem in the Helena beer scene is the Lewis & Clark Brewing Company. Located within a historic building, this brewery combines traditional brewing techniques with innovative flavors. Their award-winning beers, such as the “Miner’s Gold Hefeweizen” and “Tumbleweed IPA,” showcase the craftsmanship and dedication to quality that define Montana’s brewing culture.
The Arts Community: Archie Bray Clay Arts Guild
“The arts community in Helena is vibrant, welcoming, and full of creativity. One of the highlights for art enthusiasts is the Archie Bray Clay Arts Guild, a renowned institution dedicated to promoting ceramic arts.”
Helena’s arts community thrives alongside its brewing scene, with the Archie Bray Clay Arts Guild being a centerpiece. Established in 1951, the guild attracts artists and visitors from around the world. Their campus features workshops, studios, galleries, and a sculpture garden, offering a captivating blend of local and international ceramic art. Whether you’re an art lover or simply curious, a visit to the Archie Bray Clay Arts Guild is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the diverse and inspiring world of ceramic arts.
Relax and Recharge: Hot Springs and Wellness in Helena
After all the adventures in Helena, it’s time to give yourself some well-deserved relaxation at Broadwater Hot Springs. Located just minutes from downtown, this spa and fitness facility is the perfect retreat for rejuvenation.
At Broadwater Hot Springs, you can indulge in the healing power of natural hot springs. Immerse yourself in the tranquil pools, letting the warm and therapeutic water soothe your body and mind. The water is sourced from an artesian well, ensuring its purity and providing you with a truly revitalizing experience.
After a blissful soak, satisfy your appetite at the Springs Taproom and Grill. With a menu featuring delicious Montana favorites and a wide selection of beers on tap, you can treat yourself to a hearty meal and unwind in the cozy ambiance of the restaurant.