Planning a trip to Helena

Two of the more distinctive lodging options in Helena include the Helena Great Northern Hotel, as grand and historic as its name suggests, and Jorgenson’s Inn and Suites, a moderately priced inn with a homey personal touch. For bed and breakfast fans, two of the best are The Carolina Bed and Breakfast and Sander’s-Helena’s Bed and Breakfast. If you prefer to stay outside the city, you might consider staying at the modesty priced Creek Front Cabin, the more upscale Historic Log Cabin at Canyon Ferry Lake, or the deluxe Spacious Log Cabin at Ferry Lake. Another attractive option is the Alta Vista Lodge, which also serves as a favorite venue for weddings and receptions.
Read more

helena wedding

3 Great wedding venues in Helena

While a number of upscale hotels in Helena serve as regular venues for weddings, for a more regional touch you may want to consider getting married on one of several cattle ranches, or else in a luxury camp in the forest, or on the Gates of the Mountains pier. The most popular site for weddings in Helena for a number of years has been The Lakeside Ranch, located eight miles outside of Helena. It is a privately owned, beautifully landscaped ranch on the shore of Hauser Lake, a 3,200 acre reservoir on the Missouri River.  Lakeside Ranch offers three-day access packages for weddings.
Read more

montana capital

Road tripping from Texas to Montana

During your drive from Texas to Montana you will be retracing the route of the cowboys in Larry McMurtry’s novel Lonesome Dove and the TV series that it inspired; you might want to read the novel or watch the series in preparation for your drive. You will also be following the same path that is followed today by many migrant families who follow the annual wheat harvest from Texas to Montana. If you take the most direct route, on I35, you can drive from San Antonio to  Oklahoma City in 467 miles. There the top-rated B&B is the Rusty Gables Guest Lodge and Gallery. My friend Jake, who owns New Braunfels Carpet Cleaning Pros in New Braunfels, recently made the scenic drive up to visit me and the family here in Helena.
Read more

helena kayaking

Where to kayak near Helena

While there aren’t nearly as many opportunities for kayaking near Helena as there are in other parts of the state, one outstanding exception is the Gates of the Mountains, a river surrounded by 28,000 acres of roadless, undeveloped wilderness. This natural preserve is located halfway between Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, just twenty miles north of Helena.  It advertises its goals as “to educate, protect, and allow for its visitors to explore one a  great place.” The Gates of the Mountains has a marina with 150 private boat docks and a publicly accessible boat ramp, as well as a boat tour serving over 30,000 visitors a year. There you can follow in the pathway of Lewis and Clarke either by taking a boat tour or solo kayaking.
Read more

helena montana history

History of Helena, Montana

The first inhabitants of what is now Helena, Montana were native Americans who inhabited the valley some 12,000 years ago. Though not permanent residents, members of the Salish, Crow, Bannock and Blackfeet tribes regularly crossed through the valley. In 1805 the Lewis and Clark expedition brought the first white visitors to the valley. William Clark reportedly had to stop and remove seventeen cactus spines from his feet, leading him to name the nearby creek and valley “Prickly Pear.” Trappers who came to the valley in the early nineteenth century were pushed aside by white settlers.
Read more