Butte, America, is one of Montana’s top destinations for post-settlement history. Cultures have long converged in this old mining town turned history hub. If you only have one day to spend in Butte, you might have a hard time choosing how to spend those hours. Here are a few of the top stops to work into your schedule between tasty meals and craft brews.
The infamous Berkeley Pit is one of the easiest attractions to visit relating to Butte’s mining history. With a short walk down a tunnel to the viewing platform, the pit yawns open in front of you. This deep pit of murky reddish-orange water has filled with groundwater since mining operations ended in 1982. You can take a few minutes to appreciate the scope of the pit before heading on to your next stop.
The Mineral Museum on Montana Tech’s campus isn’t just for rock hounds. But anyone who’s ever wandered along a beach or stream bank looking for rocky treasure will love exploring the world’s minerals among the glass cases looking at mineral specimens from around the world.
If you only have one day in Butte, there are a lot of ways you could explore its mining history. But a visit to the World Museum of Mining can help you appreciate your walks through the historic downtown and the views down onto the city from surrounding mountaintops. Don’t skip the Underground Mine Tour. Head 100 feet down into the Orphan Girl Mine to see one of the few exposed veins open to the public.
The drama of the Copper Kings helped shape the boom town of Butte at the turn of the last century. William A Clark, one of the three central copper kings of Butte, started building the Copper King Mansion in 1884 and finished in 1888. And today, you can get a look into the past with a tour through this stately home-turned bed and breakfast. You don’t need to stay here to drop in for a tour that will take you on a deep dive into the opulence of bygone Butte days.
The white figure of Our Lady of the Rockies stands watch over the city of Butte from the mountain peak above town. You have to be in pretty good shape to make it up there on foot if you only have one day to spend exploring Butte—it’s a 15-mile hike from the Maud S Canyon Trailhead to reach the feet of the statue. You can also take a two-hour bus tour from Butte to get up there. But anyone can—and should—take the time to enjoy the view of Our Lady from town.
If you think this list seems a little ambitious for a one-day stop in Butte, you may be right. But the good news is, you can always stay a little longer to experience all Butte has to offer. A stay at the Butte KOA Journey offers comfortable camping and lodging in a natural setting convenient to town. Book your stay to explore Butte.