Hysham, Montana

Bordered by the Yellowstone River and surrounded by idyllic streams, farmlands, and rolling plains, Hysham, Montana offers small town living, a hotbed of agricultural wealth, and numerous nearby recreational sites like fishing, hunting, and swimming.

Co-mingling with indigeneous history, bite-sized Hysham was once a sustaining member of the Crow Reservation until its 1906 retrieval and removal by the US government to its current settlement.

Originally used by Crow, Cheyenne, and Blackfoot tribes, Hysham became a sub-center of homesteading and ranching culture when Charlie Hysham moved to town to manage the Flying E cattle ranch.

While initially unassuming, the ranch required so many goods that the Northern Pacific Railroad built a siding to accommodate the thriving ranching industry, accompanied soon thereafter by a general store and post office.

As more homesteader families were attracted to the impending success of a promising town, businesses began to thrive, while banks and schools cropped up around a new American vision.

The 1910s proved prosperous for the town of Hysham, now the county seat of Treasure County, creating a social fabric of dances, clubs, churches, and more.

The Yucca Theater was built in 1931 and remains a source of cultural pride for Hysham, showcasing a unique mission-style architecture and daytime movies to this day.

Right across the theater, look for sculptures of Lewis, Clark, Sacagawea, a wooly mammoth, and more, lovingly created by local sculptor Bob Schulze as a tribute to the area’s connection with the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Read on for some of our favorite local and nearby sites, from one significant rock inscription to some of the best fishing spots in south-central Montana.

The Best Hotels in Hysham

Rails Inn Motel

Rails Inn Motel

  • Laundry Service
  • Free Wifi
  • Private Microwave

Main Attractions

main attractions

Pompeys Pillar National Monument

This national monument is the only remaining on-site physical evidence of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, making it a priceless and historic sight.

Meriwether Lewis and William Clark explored Montana in 1805 and 1806, coming across what they called “Pompy’s Tower” in honor of Sacagawea’s son, which they noted as an indigeneous petroglyph, or rock carving. Upon seeing this compelling rock art, Clark marked his own name, the month (July), and year (1806).

The best part of Pompeys Pillar National Monument is that, even with the shifting sands of time, these markings remain just as they were 200 years ago, from the petroglyphs to Clark’s own markings.

These days, the national monument is open seasonally from May until October and is open to walk-ins at your own risk during the off-season.

And since the site now has a riverwalk and interpretive center providing great views of the monumental Yellowstone River, it’s a great place to stretch your legs and take one of the more stunning and unassuming pieces of American history.

Rosebud County Pioneer Museum

This free museum in neighboring Forsyth provides all the good feels of a small town proudly shouting its existence to the world.

Filled to the brim with local and regional history, the 1966-built Rosebud County Pioneer Museum showcases and preserves vintage clothing, everyday items, war and interwar outfits, festival memorabilia, and pertinent photographs of buildings and families valued by the community.

Although you can find other museums and sights for more information on the indigeneous peoples of the area (including the nearby Crow Reservation!), these proud little four walls offer a glimpse into turn-of-the-century pioneer life.

They do have a few Native American artifacts but focus more on the culture and lifestyle of locals. How did locals communicate with no cell phones and internet? What kind of farming equipment did they use? The informative docents at this museum will gladly answer any of your questions about life in early Montana.

Recreation Activities

recreation activities
Image: Allison

Arapooish Recreation Park

We love this secluded fishing, swimming, and recreation spot just southwest of Hysham. It’s perfect for families looking to get some energy out, or for a fishing day trip with buddies.

Locals come here often for its peaceful vibes, but it’s also a great place to stretch your legs on a long road trip. Dogs are allowed at Arapooish Recreation Park, but we’d recommend keeping them close by or monitoring them since other dogs may not be as friendly.

You’ll love Arapooish if you’re looking for a place to meditate, celebrate with friends, go on a date, or take your indoor exercise routine into the great green outdoors of Big Sky Country. (Don’t forget to pack popsicles for your inner kid!)

Captain Clark Fishing Access Site

While Arapooish is a day-use site, Captain Clark Fishing Access Site named after our favorite stone inscriber offers multiple primitive campsites, as well as a boat lunch, toilets, and wheelchair accessibility for both fishing and parking.

Open all season along the shimmering Yellowstone River, you’ll have the option to stay up to 7 nights at this Custer location, or just enjoy a night or two under the stars with your buddies.

We also recommend checking out the smaller Bundy Bridge Fishing Access Site for a more intimate fishing experience.

Isaac Homestead Wildlife Management Area

More interested in hunting? Check out the Isaac Homestead Wildlife Management Area, a national area just 7 miles west of Hysham designated for hunting white-tailed deer, pheasants, and waterfowl.

But this space also doubles as a fishing mecca, offering 5 miles of unadulterated Montana beauty to catch a line.

And if wildlife viewing is more your thing than hunting, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to view deer, antelope, Canadian geese, and all kinds of critters.

Or, scour the area for natural agates, a lesser-known pastime in the southeastern Montana region. Who knows how many hands have passed over those rocks!?



Whether you’re looking for a bed & breakfast, inn, or primitive campground, the areas surrounding Hysham offer plenty of space to stretch your legs and get a good night’s rest.

We have a soft spot for the nearby B&B, but you’ll find what you’re looking for in whichever direction you turn out of Hysham.

Sundowner Inn

Head over into Forsyth and you’ll find some of the softest mattresses in town – seriously. We love that they’re also pet friendly and close to so many great Forsyth attractions, including the calming Yellowstone River that’ll lull you right to sleep.

We’ll be honest and say that the rooms look like they could use a spruce up, but the beds are so comfortable that we don’t even mind. Bonus points for the fun nearby train sounds, this is a great family accommodation.

Horse Creek Bed and Breakfast

This is easily our favorite spot in the area for couples or those traveling alone. This bed and breakfast has five cute, Old West-themed bedrooms and two cabins for your convenience, but it’s the solitude, relaxation, and hospitality Horse Creek and its owner offer that put it at the top of our list.

We hope they offer their tipis again soon because they’ve made for a fun Big Sky Country experience in the past. Take advantage of owner Jim Vetsch’s immense knowledge of the surrounding areas and best spots for wildlife viewing over a cup of coffee.

Rails Inn Motel

Staying closer to Forsyth? Check out the Rails Inn Motel, a budget-friendly motel with 50 non-smoking rooms that’ll give you peace of mind no matter what time of year you visit.

During the summer months, ask about free passes to Forsyth’s indoor pool and spa; Rails Inn is ready to help you relax.

And while you’re enjoying your stay, head over to Hong KONG, a nearby Chinese restaurant with generous portions popular with locals and travelers alike.

East Rosebud Lake Campground

There are plenty of places to pitch a tent near Hysham, but one of our favorites is the East Rosebud Lake Campground in the Custer Gallatin National Forest.

With an elevation of 6,200 feet and 14 spacious campsites, this 8-acre campground offers wide open spaces, stunning views, and a little fire pit at each site.

Don’t forget to hike one of the many trails surrounding the campground and take pictures of all the wildflowers! Montana truly is magical.

Special Events

special events

Most Hyshamians look to their neighboring brothers and sisters for community events if they can’t be found gathering together in downtown City Park.

Here are a few of our favorites from Forsyth and beyond, including an event inspired by the Tom Selleck movie “Quigley Down Under.”

Activities Near Hysham

activities near hysham


Recreation Activities

  • Bundy Bridge Fishing Access Site
  • Manuel Lisa (Custer, MT)
  • Two Leggins Fishing Access (Hardin, MT)
  • Anita Reservoir (Ballantine, MT)
  • Arrow Island Park (Shepherd, MT)

City Parks & Pools

  • City Park
  • Hysham Lions Park
  • Hysham Public Pool
  • Forsyth Municipal Pool (Forsyth, MT)
  • Marcyes Park (Forsyth, MT)

National and State Parks

Local & Nearby Favorites

  • BW Grill and Bar
  • Brunswick Bar
  • Jersey Lilly
  • Longhorn Bar & Steakhouse
  • Fort Custer Restaurant & Bar
  • Iron Horse Saloon & Casino
  • Junction City Saloon
  • Melstone Bar & Cafe

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