Touring The Byway
71 Miles | 3 Days / 2 Nights | Gateway City: Great Falls, Montana
We recommend starting your journey in Great Falls where you take one or more of the historic walking tours. If riding is your preference, you can take the Historic Trolley Tour. While in Great Falls you can visit the C.M. Russell Museum, Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art, the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, the History Museum, and the Gibson Mansion while staying at the Historic Hotel Arvon.
From there, you’ll be on your way to Belt, with views of both the Highwood and Little Belt Mountains. Visit the Sluice Boxes State Park along Belt Creek in Belt Creek Canyon before heading to the old mining town of Neihart about 25 minutes south, which like so many mining camps, had its ups and downs when silver went bust. South of Neihart, you’ll travel over Kings Hill Pass where you have the option to stay at King Hills Cabin, a historic rustic log cabin, perched right at the pass, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. After a stop in White Sulphur Springs and a visit to the Meagher County Museum Castle and Carriage House, you can experience a refreshing soak in the hot springs. From there, you have two options.
View the Detailed Itinerary below to see the full route, which is complete with dining, shopping, and lodging recommendations!
The museum is housed in a historic 1890 granite mansion, constructed with blocks hauled by oxen from the nearby Castle Mountains. It has 12 rooms, hardwood floors covered with Belgian and Oriental rugs, washbowls and stands of Italian marble, and crystal and brass light fixtures. Rooms are furnished with period furniture, mineral samples, clothing, and artifacts from the region’s past. The property includes a carriage house, wagons, a stagecoach, a bank, and school.
Smithsonian Affiliate, Museum of the Rockies, is recognized as one of the world’s finest research and history museums, renowned for displaying an extensive collection of dinosaur fossils including a complete T. rex. Changing exhibits feature geologic topics from around the world, complemented with permanent indoor and outdoor regional history exhibits, planetarium shows, educational programs, insightful lectures, and a museum store.
The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Interpretive Center features exhibits on the explorers’ route through Giant Springs State Park. It also hosts North America’s most extensive display detailing the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Stand in awe of the museum’s 2-story diorama centerpiece.
Just a short distance off the C. M. Russell Auto Tour route, this park preserves eight miles of Belt Creek Canyon with actual mining sites. The preserve on Belt Creek includes a railroad and historic cabins.
Enjoy a relaxing soak in these world famous hot springs where the water has often been compared to the famous German spa, Baden-Baden. A high concentration of sulphur, with magnesium and lithium, make these the cleanest hot springs in use. Pumped from a 35-foot well, the 130-degree water circulates throughout the hotel complex, losing about 8 to 10 degrees in the process. After its circuitous route through a plumber’s nightmare, the water is pumped into the 30-foot by 35-foot outdoor pool, cooled to 98 degrees, and a smaller, hotter indoor pool, kept at 103 degrees. The indoor plunge is kept around 105 degrees. After a soak, you can relax in one of the 24 newer poolside rooms, furnished with king or queen pillow top mattresses, microwaves, refrigerators, 40″ flat screen televisions, and leather rocker-recliner chairs.