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Best Things To Do in Anaconda, Montana

Anaconda, Montana is one of the most historically significant towns in Central Montana, being once home to the state’s largest copper smelter. Besides its historical significance, the town offers up plenty of outdoor activities.

Whether you are coming to take in one of the many great tours or the amazing scenic views, you will find plenty of things to do in Anaconda, Montana.

Things to Do in Montana

Best Tours in Anaconda, Montana

1. Horseback Riding

If you are looking for a way to live a little of the Old West, then you’ll want to add a horseback riding tour to your Montana vacation plans.

Iron Wheel Guest Ranch offers a variety of trail ride options that range from short two-hour rides for folks that just want a little taste of riding.

If you want to spend more time in the saddle, Iron Wheel Guest Ranch offers longer rides, including four-hour and all-day options. Tours travel around the Anaconda area and along the Continental Divide.

You don’t have to be an experienced rider either. Each tour begins with some basic riding skills and safety information.

2. Ghost Town

ghost town

Ghost towns are spots that you shouldn’t miss when visiting Montana. The Anaconda area has a number of ghost town sites, but the Granite Ghost Town State Park located near Anaconda is one of the best.

The Granite Ghost town is the remnants of the Granite Mine and the small town that grew up around the mine.

The town was established around 1875 and was once a thriving community. The Granite Mine was once the richest silver mine in the world, but that didn’t stop it from closing down and the town deserted in 1893.

Today the ghost town has the remnants of a few of the town buildings and a good portion of the mine is still intact.

3. Historic Bus Tours

Anaconda is one of the many towns in Montana that offer guided tours of their historical sites.

In Anaconda you’ll enjoy their Historic Bus Tour that travels around town and highlights some of the town’s most interesting bits of history.

Stops and sites along the tour include the Washoe Theater, the Stack Interpretive Center, Old Works Golf Course, Discovery Ski Area, and the State Fish Hatchery.

4. Zip Line Tour

zip line tour

If you want to experience Montana in a completely different way, try a zip line Tour.

Montana Zipline Adventures, located just outside of Anaconda along the Pintler Scenic Highway is one of the best places to experience zip lining in Montana.

You’ll get a completely different perspective of Montan’s natural beauty, and scenic vistas while flying about the ground. Montana Zipline Adventures is the longest zipline course in Montana, with over 9,300 feet of lines to explore.

5. Backwoods ATV Tour

Pintler Adventures is the best place to rent backcountry travel equipment in Southwest Montana.

Whether you’re visiting in the summer and want to explore the area in an ATV or UTV or if you’re looking for a great snowmobile adventure in the winter, Pintler Adventures has the best equipment and the most experienced guides in the area.

If you want to explore on your own, Pintler Adventures experienced staff can also provide great trail recommendations where you’ll see some of the best views in all of Montana.

6. Anaconda Smelter Stack Tour

anaconda smelter stack tour

Once this was the central part of the Anaconda Smelter, one of the largest copper smelters in the world.

Today, the only remnant of the mining history in Anaconda is the Smelter Stack. The Anaconda Smelter Stack Tour is the best way to see the stack and learn about Anaconda and the Smelter.

Tickets for the tour can be purchased in advance online.

7. Fishing

If horseback riding isn’t your thing, Iron Wheel Guest Ranch also offers some of the best fishing excursions in the Anaconda area.

Their experienced staff will show you the ins and outs of river fishing in Anaconda, as well as float fishing on some of the local lakes. Fishing tours with Iron Wheel Guest Ranch are open to all experience levels.

They can even show you basic fishing techniques.

8. Aerial Tours

Seeing Montana by air is a really popular option for many visitors. Horizon Travel Yeti Aviation is one of the best companies in the Anaconda area for helicopter tours.

From Anaconda you’ll travel around southwest Montana and even into Yellowstone National Park. From the comfort of their state-of-the-art helicopters, you’ll enjoy seeing the beautiful Rocky Mountains from a completely different perspective.

Horizon Travel Yeti Aviation can also provide picnic lunches and stops at some of the most popular sites in Southwest Montana.

9. Skiing

Discovery Ski Area offers a number of different lessons and guided skiing adventures for all levels of skiers and riders.

Most lessons at Discovery are half and full-day, though they do have some short 1.5-hour options in the mornings and afternoons.

If you aren’t bringing your own equipment, lesson and tour packages that include rental equipment and lift tickets are available as well.

The 10 Best Things to Do in Anaconda, Montana

1. Visit the Local Brewery

Anaconda, like many other towns in Montana, offers visitors a taste of the craft beer scene. Not all craft breweries are great, but Smelter City Brewing in Anaconda is one craft brewery you cannot miss.

Housed in an old bank building, the owners of Smelter City have taken a great deal of time and effort in restoring the historic building.

Smelter City offers a variety of rotating brews and flagship beers for you to enjoy. The brewery is kid and dog friendly. Oh, and our favorite feature is the merchandise store located in the old bank vault.

2. Discover Anaconda Visitor Center

If you are looking for plenty of information on Anaconda and the surrounding area, you’ll want to visit the Anaconda Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center.

Located in a replica of the town’s original railroad station, you’ll enjoy not only a wealth of information but also a beautiful train display. The Visitor’s center is located conveniently in downtown Anaconda, a perfect starting point for all of your local adventures.

Staff in the Visitor’s Center can provide helpful information on the best things to see and do in Anaconda, and they even have a very interesting video of the history of the area.

In the summer, check out the Anaconda Historic Bus tour, which provides a guided tour around Anaconda.

3. Take a Family Day Trip to Fairmont Hot Springs Resort

Fairmont Hot Springs Resort is a great place for the whole family to enjoy a little bit of fun and relaxation.

This resort is open year-round and offers a variety of great activities including a waterslide, four hot spring pools, golf, and tennis just to name a few.

Many people like to stay at the Fairmont Hot Springs Resort, but you don’t have to be staying there to enjoy all that the resort has to offer.

The Fairmont is known for its pool. They have two Olympic-sized lap pools and two mineral soaking pools. The warm water in the soaking pools is purported to provide health benefits for a range of ailments.

The other amenity that the resort is known for is its 18-hole golf course. The “Mile High, Mile Long” 5th hole on this course is particularly famous and is known to be one of the most challenging in the state of Montana.

The resort also offers a variety of dining and lodging options, making it a wonderful place to stay or visit when in the Anaconda area.

4. Timothy’s Memorial Chapel

Constructed on the hillside, 600 feet above Georgetown Lake is St. Timothy’s Chapel. This beautiful place of worship was built in 1965 by the Bowman Family in honor of their son who died in 1956 at the age of 18.

The chapel sits on the site of the Southern Cross ghost town near Anaconda. It was constructed of natural stone from the area, and plenty of clear and stained glass, making the chapel a perfect place to take in the glory of Montana’s natural beauty.

The Church at St. Timothy’s Chapel is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church, however, it is open to all visitors that wish to experience the beauty of the chapel and the views that it provides of the Rocky Mountains, the Continental Divide, Pintler Wilderness Area, and many of the surrounding 11,000 foot high peaks.

Sunday worship services are available mid-June through October at 11 AM.

5. Anaconda Country Club

If your visit to Anaconda needs to include some time on the links, then you’ll want to pay a visit to the Anaconda Country Club.

Located just outside of the town of Anaconda, this great golf course offers both 9-hole and 18-hole play, with a par 72 for 18-holes. It is important to point out that this course is only a 9-hole course, but you’ll play different tee-box sets for the ‘front’ and ‘back’ nine which gives the course a different challenge for each hole.

Mill Creek wanders through the course providing some additional challenges to play, along with 3 man-made ponds and a variety of challenging bunkers.

Anaconda Country Club also offers a driving range, putting and chipping greens, a well-stocked pro shop, and a great restaurant and bar for your 19th hole adventures.

6. Visit Georgetown Lake

visit georgetown lake

One of the most popular places in the Anaconda area for both locals and visitors is Georgetown Lake.

This beautiful lake is a popular spot for boating, fishing, camping, and even windsurfing. This 3,000-acre lake sits at 6,000 feet of elevation and is one of the most spectacular mountain lakes in Montana.

The lake is surrounded by amazing mountain ranges including the Flint Creek Range and the Pintler Range. If you’re into fishing, Georgetown Lake is not to be missed. The lake boasts some of the best Kokanee salmon and rainbow trout fisheries in Montana.

The lake is boat accessible, with four boat ramps. The lake is also open in the winter for ice fishing and snowmobiling.

7. Splurge on Dinner

While you’re in Anaconda, you’ll want to check out some of the local restaurants. The Barclay II Supper Club is one of the best in town and offers a more elegant dining option than many of the other restaurants in town.

The Barclay II Supper Club has been family-owned and operated for over 20 years. They offer a full 7-course meal with options such as steak, pasta, and seafood. The lounge offers a full bar and one of the most knowledgeable and friendly bartenders in town.

The Barclay II Supper Club is a local favorite and a stopping point for many of the visitors that return to Anaconda year after year. The atmosphere here is relaxed yet elegant, and the food is by far some of the best in Montana.

8. Seek Out Adventure

seek out adventure

Pintler Adventures is the best place in Anaconda for folks that want to have an amazing adventure. Pintler Adventures is a rental provider that offers ATVs, UTVs, RVs, snowmobiles, and even watercraft like paddleboards, canoes, and kayaks.

Their experienced and knowledgeable staff can provide you with some of the best trails and sites to see in the Anaconda area. They even offer a limited number of guided tours.

9. Scrapbook House

Well, maybe you’re not into outdoor adventures, or maybe you need something to do while the rest of your crew is out playing golf or snowmobiling.

A great option in Anaconda is the Scrapbook Retreat House. This great spot provides a different type of getaway in Anaconda. Located west of historic downtown Anaconda, the Scrapbook House provides a wonderful spot for learning the art of scrapbooking, crafts, and art.

The Scrapbook House is a non-hosted retreat available for weekday or weekend stays and provides all of the scrapbooking supplies you might need.

10. Road Trip to the Pintler Veteran’s Memorial Scenic Highway

If you enjoy seeing the sights and want to have a great, relaxed drive, with amazing views, you’ll want to spend a day driving the Pintler Veteran’s Memorial Scenic Highway.

The drive takes you from Anaconda, 64-miles past Georgetown Lake, Philipsburg, and concludes in Drummond. Along the route, you’ll enjoy views of mountains and prairie, as you follow Flint Creek.

Many people choose this route when traveling to Butte and Missoula instead of driving I-90.

Free Things to Do in Anaconda, Montana

free things to do in anaconda
Image: Jasperdo

Copper Village Museum and Art Center

Free museums are a great adventure in many Montana communities. The Copper Village Museum and Art Center in Anaconda is a great free museum to check out.

Located in Anaconda City Hall Cultural Center, the museum features exhibits of heritage arts, history and traditions of the area, and Montana contemporary artists. In the City Hall Cultural Center, you can also visit the Marcus Daly Historical Society Museum and gift shop.

The exhibits in the Museum aren’t the only thing worth seeing at the Anaconda City Hall Cultural Center. The building itself was saved from demolition and carefully restored.

Today the building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

anaconda smoke stack state park

Anaconda Smoke Stack State Park

Constructed in 1919 and standing 585 feet tall, the smelter stack from Anaconda Copper Company is one of the tallest brick structures in the world.

The smelter stack is the last remnant of the Anaconda Copper Company that once was the center of life in Anaconda. When the smelter closed in 1980, most of the buildings were removed and the site became a superfund cleanup area, due to the contamination from heavy metals.

The stack is the only remaining structure from the smelter and is now listed on the National Register of Historic places.

Visitors to the State Park can view the stack from a distance at the viewing platforms located in Goodman Park. The Park also has plenty of interpretive signs that detail the mining history of the area, and the environmental clean-up challenges. 

Washoe Park

Filled with beautiful gardens, mature shade trees, and plenty of places to relax and play, Washoe Park is a great spot to visit while in Anaconda.

The park has many of the typical park features like a playground, tennis courts, a swimming pool, and even a duck pond. But it’s the features of this park that are unique that you really must-see.

The Begonia House at Washoe Park was carefully restored by the Anaconda Garden Club and features many beautiful gardens.

There is also the Montana State Fish Hatchery, which is the oldest in Montana and is dedicated to developing populations of the cutthroat trout, the state fish of Montana.

Washoe Park also plays host to the annual Art in Washoe Park Festival. Considered to be one of the best art, culture, and food festivals in the state. You’ll enjoy juried art and craft booths from around the U.S. along with food and live entertainment.

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