Outdoor Activities

Water Sports

If water sports are your passion, then you will love Helena’s 4 closest lakes. Hauser, Helena, Holter, and Canyon Ferry Lakes all offer boating, fly-fishing, canoeing, kayaking, windsurfing, and swimming. 

Spring Meadow Lake State Park

Spring Meadow Lake State Park is located on the western edge of Helena. It is an urban day-use park and is a popular spot for family afternoons of swimming, sunbathing, fishing, bird-watching, and having fun.

Black Sandy State Park

Black Sandy State Park has 29 campsites with electricity that you can reserve, and 6 campsites without electricity that are first come-first served. Located on the shores of the Hauser Reservoir, this is an extremely popular weekend boating location.

Holter Lake

Inviting well maintained campgrounds are available along the shores of Holter Lake, after a long day of boating and swimming.

Fishing

Anglers from all over the world travel to Montana to experience the legendary fly fishing. Whether you prefer river or lake fishing, Helena and the surrounding area has an abundance of water ways to choose from.

The Blackfoot River

Extraordinary scenery and excellent fly fishing make this 130 mile river a must see for any angler. The release of the 1992 movie, A River Runs Through it, helped make the Blackfoot one of the more popular rivers in all of Montana.

Canyon Ferry Lake

This large lake boasts 76 miles of shoreline and offers excellent year round trout and walleye fishing. It's close proximity to Helena makes this lake a popular destination.

The Missouri River

A favorite for fly anglers, who flock to a 40-miles stretch of river between Holter Dam and Cascade. In this stretch of water there is a thriving trout populations, with numbers estimated around 4,000 fish per mile on a yearly basis.

Hiking

Helena, Montana is a unique town that offers over 80 miles of trails that can be accessed right from Downtown. Beyond Helena, there are literally thousands of miles of trails ready for exploration throughout the Big Sky State. 

The Scratchgravel Hills

Explore 5,800 acres of trails and loops dotted with forgotten mining claims. This Bureau of Land Management owned recreation area is a popular hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding destination.

Mount Helena City Park

This is a great hiking and biking opportunity without having to leave town. Mount Helena is just above the downtown area and connects to many trails in the nearby mountains. The mountain has several trails with varying levels of difficulty. One of the most popular is Trail 1906 that is short, steep, and takes you to the summit.

Hanging Valley Trail

This adventurous 12 miles hike leads you over a ridge, down a narrow, high-walled canyon, and finally ends at the rim of a dry waterfall. Approximately 500 feet above the trees of Trout Creek Canyon, the awe inspiring views include the Big Belts, Elkhorns, and the Continental Divide.

The Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest

This national forest spans an impressive 2,846,606 acres, it is no wonder that there is a wide variety of trails to choose from. Whether you are planning a simple family day hike or a strenuous backpacking trip, you are sure to find the expedition you desire.

Extreme mountain biker, casual street rider, or winter fat tire biker, no matter what your preference Helena has the terrain for your next two wheeled adventure. 

Mt Helena Ridge

This intermediate off-road single track trail is the centerpiece of Helena's South Hills trail system. With its close proximity to Downtown Helena this is a popular ride, be sure to be cautious there will be hikers and runners on parts of this trail.

Eddye McClure

Tight trees and narrow singletrack carved into the edge of the mountain make this trail earn it's intermediate rating

Trout Creek Canyon to Beartrap Gulch

This exciting intermediate track connects two scenic trails together in a loop. The terrain of this trail alternates from a steep narrow canyon to spacious meadows and carving turns through a pine forest.

Winter Sports

This winter wonderland has a wide variety of sports to keep you active even when the temperature dips. 

Bridger Bowl

Great location for those who want to try out skiing for the first time. Also good for those who like a bit more challenge and want to experience some rough, unforgettable terrain.

Ski Discovery

Located in Anaconda, Montana, halfway between Butte and Missoula, Discovery Ski and Snowboard Area has a surprisingly big 2,200 acres of skiable terrain and 2,388’ of vertical drop.

Showdown Montana

About an hour out of Great Falls, Showdown Montana is a smaller, old-school ski and snowboard resort in central Montana.