From exploring the nearby wilderness to enjoying thrilling snow sports to discovering captivating details about the local well-preserved history, there are endless things to do in Anaconda, Montana.
To help you to decide on where to stay in Anaconda, Montana we have compiled a list of attractions, tips, and advice to aid you on your adventure.
Best Places to Stay in Anaconda, Montana – Tips and Advice
- A hidden gem in Montana’s Southwest, Anaconda is known to locals as the place where Main Street meets the mountains. The small town with a rich history is nestled against a horizon of alpine mountains and offers several fascinating attractions.
- Anaconda is the seat of Deer Lodge County and tends to remain off the radar for many out-of-state visitors to Montana. But the underrated destination is home to several pieces of living history stemming from its rich mining heritage. It is also located within eight miles of the Continental Divide and even served as Lucille Ball’s childhood home.
- The town may be accessed via the Pintler Veteran’s Memorial Scenic Highway, a picturesque drive that links Anaconda to another nearby mining town: Philipsburg. The highway additionally takes travelers to other destinations within the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest.
- While most tourists visit Anaconda during the summer, making use of the outdoor recreation opportunities in the nearby parks and lakes, winter is also a popular time to visit. The town is located a short distance from the Discovery Ski Area, which is situated on the Rumsey and Jubilee mountains.
- Anaconda is also a prime location for wildlife viewing. Large mammals, including elk and deer, are often sighted in the nearby wilderness, but wildlife has also been known to wander into the town.
Anaconda Smoke Stack State Park
The star of Anaconda’s colorful history is “The Stack”.
The town was born when the Anaconda Copper Mining Company in nearby Butte required a smelter for all the copper ore it produced.
While Anaconda was originally designed as a smelter establishment, smelting ceased in the area in 1980. But the old company’s Smelter Stack, which was built in 1919, remains one of the most popular landmarks.
The Stack is located in the Smoke Stack State Park and, at 585 feet tall, is the tallest free-standing brick structure in the area. It is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places, as it was pivotal in the flourishing of the community throughout the 20th century.
Tours of the Stack are not possible, but visitors can visit Smoke Stack State Park and access the patio and tower viewers.
The park also features interpretive displays educating guests about the construction of the Stack and its lasting legacy in Anaconda.
For more information about the Anaconda Smoke Stack State Park, please visit the official website.
Copper Village Museum and Arts Center
Located in the former Anaconda City Hall, the Copper Village Museum and Arts Center is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in learning about the town’s rich history.
Within the museum, you will find historical exhibits and archives, an art center, the local history society, and a gift shop selling locally crafted jewelry and books.
The museum is open between Tuesday and Friday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is free to enter and offers diverse exhibits every month. One of the most anticipated events for 2022 at the museum is the Wildlife Art Expo, which will be taking place in September.
For more information about the Copper Village Museum and Arts Center, please visit the official website.
Washoe Park offers a taste of the beautiful Montana landscape. Located in town near the northern perimeters, the park is an ideal attraction for families and boasts the idyllic Warm Springs Creek.
It houses a swimming pool, tennis courts, a fitness area, a historic cabin playground, a baseball field, and a duck pond.
The park is also home to the oldest fish hatchery in the state, which is found at the eastern end of the park. There, park guests can witness thriving cutthroat trout—a Big Sky icon.
In the hatchery visitor center, an interpretive display, a live stream aquarium, and a display pond of trout give visitors an insight into the state’s signature fish.
Every year, Washoe Park hosts the Art in Washoe Park, a popular show featuring juried art and craft booths. The event also comes alive with professional entertainment and a colorful food scene.
For more information about Washoe Park, please visit the Anaconda-Deer Lodge County website
Situated between Anaconda and Philipsburg on the Pintler Scenic Byway, Georgetown Lake is Anaconda’s premier destination for boating and fishing.
The mountain reservoir features seven public boat launches and is especially popular in the summer when the waters are tranquil and perfect for cruising.
The lake spreads over 3,000 acres (1,214 hectares) and is blessed with a sublime backdrop of rolling mountains. Along the shoreline are specialty shops and restaurants, plus charming accommodation options. There is also a collection of campgrounds in the area.
Georgetown Lake is surrounded by Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, which is home to a range of trailheads giving visitors access to the Anaconda Pintler Wilderness.
For more information about Georgetown Lake, please visit the official website.
Old Works Golf Course
Whether you’re an enthusiastic golfer or just looking for a fun new experience under Montana’s Big Sky, the Old Works Golf Course is a great attraction to visit in Anaconda.
Featuring 18 holes, the course has a variety of tee locations and golfers of all skill levels are welcome, from total beginners to seasoned experts. The Old Works Golf Course is Montana’s only Jack Nicklaus course that is open to the public.
It is located on the site that once housed the first copper smelter in the city, and many nods to the mining heritage give the course a unique atmosphere, including black sand traps bathed with a product of the smelting process known as slag.
Visitors to the course will also get premium views of the famous Smelter Stack. For more information about the Old Works Golf Course, please visit the official website.
Tips for Visiting Anaconda
- The visitor center is found at the Anaconda Chamber of commerce at the corner of Cherry Street and Park Avenue.
- The nearest airport to Anaconda is Butte (BTM) Airport, 24.4 miles away.
- The most popular time to visit Anaconda is in the summer months when the weather is warm.
- Temperatures can drop as low as 12 degrees F in winter, so do pack for the cold.
- While hotels and Airbnbs in Anaconda may seem limited, there are many camping options available nearby, including in Lost Creek State Park and the Fairmont RV Resort.
- One of the best ways to see the main sights of Anaconda is with a historic bus tour. These cost $10 a person and depart from the Discover Anaconda Visitor’s Center.
Anaconda Neighborhood Guide
Anaconda Town Center
Being a small town, the majority of Anaconda’s commercial destinations are located within the town center.
Main Street, which runs through the town center, is home to several points of interest including the iconic Washoe Theater, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The theater is famous for being the last of its kind to be constructed in the Nuevo Deco style and still hosts regular screenings.
Also found on Main Street are Montana Lil’s Casino, Smelter City Brewing, and the Hearst Free Library. The Anaconda Community Market is also found on Main Street, in Kennedy Common. The market features local vendors selling arts, crafts, and other homemade treats.
There is a retail hub on Park Avenue, featuring businesses such as an antique store, a gift store, a hardware store, a jewelry store, and a department store.
The majority of the town’s accommodation options are in the town center or the perimeters of the town center, particularly in the way of hotels.
Hotels and Holiday Homes:
$$$ – The Forge Hotel BW Signature Collection – 2km from Washoe Theater
$$$ – Nostalgic and Retro Anaconda Home – .8km from Washoe Theater
$$ – Chestnut House – A few blocks from downtown
$$$ – Nyes Place – A few blocks from downtown
$ – Pintler’s Portal Hostel – In Anaconda CBD
Anaconda Pintler Mountains Base
One of the main drawing points of Anaconda is its proximity to the Anaconda Pintler wilderness. Spanning 158, 712 acres (64,228 hectares), the wilderness is a highlight of the Northern Rockies and offers a network of rugged mountains and crystal-clear alpine lakes.
Within the area, visitors are likely to spot a diverse range of natural wildlife, including mountain goats, elk, moose, bighorn sheep, puma, black bear, and mule deer.
Camping in the wilderness is a popular choice, with an array of stunning locations to choose from. Other travelers prefer to base themselves at established lodgings at the foot of the mountains and explore the area throughout the day.
$$$ – Sugar Loaf Lodge & Cabins – Adjacent to the Mount Haggin Wildlife Management Area
Bordered by the Anaconda Pintler mountains, the Sapphire Range, and the Flint Creek Range, Georgetown Lake sits 14 miles to the west of Anaconda. It is also located 10 miles to the south of Philipsburg.
A top-notch destination for fishing, the lake is nestled within the Deer Lodge National Forest. Staying here gives visitors more of a remote and tranquil getaway than staying in the Anaconda city center. Thankfully, it’s still close enough to explore Anaconda during the day.
There is a small community at the lake offering dining and accommodation options, along with a select number of Airbnbs.
$$$ – Merry Moose Chalet – Halfway between Anaconda and Phillipsburg
$$$ – MacAbers Mountain Chalet – Overlooking Georgetown Lake
$$$ – Custom Log Lakehouse at Georgetown Lake – 12 km from Discovery Ski Area
Where To Stay In Anaconda – Conclusion
Anaconda is a unique small town with a long list of sights to see. While accommodation choices are not as extensive as they would be in a bigger city, there are still plenty of options for every type of traveler.
Whether you choose to stay in the city center or in a more rural area, the best decision for where to stay in Anaconda will come down to what kind of vacation you’re really looking for.
Best Accommodation by Type
- Best Luxury Stay in Anaconda: The Forge Hotel BW Signature Collection
- Best Boutique Stay in Anaconda: Chestnut House
- Best Cheap Stay in Anaconda: Pintler’s Portal Hostel
- Best Family Stay in Anaconda: Merry Moose Chalet
- Best Romantic Stay in Anaconda: MacAbers Mountain Chalet