Helena - Capital of Montana

Helena Capital Building

Helena is the capital city of the state of Montana.  Located between Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park, it can be accessed via US route 15.  If coming from the west, drive through MacDonald pass along route 12 over the Continental Divide.  Helena is a short drive south of Great Falls, or north from Butte or Three Forks.

The Capitol Building is one of the shining stars of Helena. With its massive dome it can’t be missed. It houses the Montana State Legislature and is open for self-guided tours year round (closed on Sundays).  Once inside, look up to see the massive rotunda.  It is filled with commissioned art, including works by Charles M. Russell.

Another of Helena’s distinct landmarks is the Cathedral of St. Helen.  Perched on a hill its dual towers stand out.  Also look for The Holter Museum of Art, the Newsboy statue at the start of the shopping district, the original Governor’s mansion on Ewing St. and the Montana Historical Society Museum. The westside mansion district houses many of the mansions that were built in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.

Today’s Last Chance Gulch pedestrian shopping area was once the area where gold was discovered in Helena.  Today it is the home to unique shops, eateries, and interesting architecture.

Helena is a mecca for bike riding with 75 miles of biking trails.  There are 2 state parks, Spring Meadow Lake State Park and Black Sandy State Park. Boating, swimming, ice fishing, fishing, camping, and water skiing are all popular activities.

Helena is home to Carroll College and Helena College University of Montana.

Just outside of town in Tizer Botanical Gardens and Broadwater Hot Springs is just 10 minutes from downtown.  There is plenty to do and to see in and around the Helena area.  Plan to come and stay for a while.