10 Popular Places to Visit and Things To Do in Anaconda, Montana (2023)
Anaconda is a popular tourist and historic town located in the Southwest of Montana. The town was once popular for copper smelting and the manufacture of phosphate products, and today it is a historic affair that attracts visitors from throughout the State. Besides history, the town is also popular for its natural settings, and it has so much to do outdoors. Also, because Anaconda is located halfway between Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park, it operates as a gateway into the wild side of Montana.
Anaconda is a great one or two-day affair in terms of tourism. However, if you are looking for an extended holiday, you can explore more within the ranges of Deer Lodge County. From significant indoor attractions to popular outdoor landmarks, there are endless options from the eyes of tourism. And no matter which season you choose for your holiday, you are going to go back with beautiful memories for a lifetime.
An Ultimate Holiday in Anaconda – The Best of Montana Vacation
So why wait? Take consideration from our list of popular places and things in Anaconda, Montana and plan your next vacation. Have a look:
1. Go for the Super Interesting Anaconda Historic Bus Tour
Hopping on for the Anaconda Historic Bus Tour is the most popular thing to do in Anaconda. It is a 90-minute tour that operates from Mid-May through Mid-September. The tour departs from Anaconda Visitor Center in vintage 1936 white and red open-air buses. Every single bus has a guide that provides every single piece of information, statistics and tidbits for making your experience even more enjoyable. The bus pass and stops at St Peter’s church, the ornate Washoe Theatre, Deer Lodge County Courthouse, the Copper smelter smokestack interpretive center, the Jack Nicklaus-designed Old Works golf course, and Montana’s 1st state fish hatchery. The tour operates Monday through Saturday from 10 am, coating $10 per adult and $5 per child.
2. Soak and Stay at the Fairmont Hot Springs Resort
Fairmont is a Hot Spring and a resort destination offering the most complete entertainment. It is ten minutes southeast of downtown Anaconda and serves as a year-round destination. The resort has two massive Olympic-sized hot water swimming pools, one inside and the other outside. Both of them receive heated natural hot spring water through underground pipes. The Spring pool outdoors also features a 350-foot enclosed waterslide. Considering the water temperature, the best time to visit here is during the winter months. Besides them, the resort also features an 18-hole par 72 golf course, an outstanding 6,741-yard, a massage studio, along summer and winter recreation. For an overnight stay, they offer choices of over 150 modern guest rooms and world-class service. While you are on your way or back from Yellowstone or Glacier National Park, you can choose Fairmount as a one-day halt.
3. Visit the Old Works Golf Course
Located off Interstate 90 on Highway 1 in Anaconda, the Old Works Golf Course is the only Jack Nicklaus signature golf course open to the public in Montana. This 18-hole golf course was once the location of the first copper smelter of Anaconda. It flourished for several years until, in 1983, it was named a Superfund site. Later after six years, with locals’ wishes and designing efforts of Jack Nicklaus, the golf course came into life. Today the course measures 5,300 yards to 7,700 yards and has multiple tees. It is located along Warm Springs Creek with some mining remnants besides. For instance, you can observe the huge piles of black slag, which are a by-product of the copper smelting process. For amenities, there is a clubhouse, a dining area, a bar and a fully stocked pro shop.
4. Visit Anaconda Smelter Stack and Learn About Its Past
The Anaconda Smelter Stack is about 585 feet tall and by far the world’s tallest surviving masonry structure. During the operating mining years, it was used for discharging gases from the various roasting and smelting furnaces at the smelter. Though in 1980, its operations shut down, and today, it is a memory from the past. For its significant role, the structure is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. While no one is allowed to turn the Stack or approach it from close, the structure is still seen easily from far. For the best view each the southeast of the town centre of Anaconda Smoke Stack State Park. Besides gaining a better look at the Stack, the town centre also educates about its history. A visit here only takes a few minutes but is definitely worth it. If you are looking for someplace for a brief visit, this place is pretty interesting for the same.
5. Go For A Scenic Drive On The Pintler Veteran’s Memorial Scenic Highway.
For someone who loves spending their time enjoying a long drive, Anaconda offers Pintler Veteran’s Memorial Scenic Highway which is ideal for them. It is a 64 miles route connecting Anaconda with Philipsburg and then Drummond. It is more of a mountain road with the route passing through Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest and going all the way through west towards Georgetown Lake. The highway is also an access point for several trailheads venturing either into the Pintler or the Beaverhead wilderness. Even the popular Discovery Ski Area of Montana, too, can be accessed through a similar route. For someone who is looking to spend some time in peace away from the crowd, a drive here is a must.
6. Visit the Panoramic Georgetown Lake
Georgetown Lake is another natural beauty located approximately 18 miles west of Anaconda. It is accessible by Montana Highway 1 as well the Pintler Veteran’s Memorial Scenic Route. The lake encompasses 2,818-acres and lies at an elevation of 6,337 feet. This massive reservoir is a human-made creation established for power production back in 1885. People from Southwest Montana and across visit here either for recreational opportunities or scenic observations. Encompassing much of the lake is a scenic backdrop that looks straight out of a painter’s imagination. While most of it is Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest and Anaconda range to its south, the expansive Anaconda Pintler Wilderness adds to the beauty.
Georgetown Lake is a popular spot for typical activities, including fishing, boating, hiking, nature walking and camping. During winters, the lake also operates for ice fishing and snowmobiling. Close to the shoreline, there are several campgrounds, a few restaurants and local shops.
7. Enter the wild into the Lost Creek State Park
Lost Creek State Park is a public recreational area in Deer Lodge County, about 6 miles north of Anaconda. This 502-acre natural space is popular for its limestone cliffs and 1200 feet multi-colored rock formations. Locals from the southwest of the State choose it for hiking, biking, picnicking, and wildlife viewing. Some of the common wildlife you can spot here includes vagrant shrews, bighorn sheep and mountain goats. The park also operates for overnight caping with 21 sites and 3 day-use sites at the place. Visitors can either tent overnight or park their 23 feet long RV. Every sight is available on a first-come, first-serve basis and remains populated throughout the summer season.
Besides all of these, the most prominent feature of the state park is the Lost Creek fall. It is located on the northwest corner of the park and is one of its most popular and scenic attractions. The waterfall cascades over a 50-foot drop, tumbling in segments down a rock face. For hiking or waterfall viewing, it is one great outdoor recreational option near Anaconda.
Popular Places to Visit in Deer Lodge County Near Anaconda:
8. Cottonwood City Park: It is the largest public recreational space in the region and a local’s favorite too. While jumping from one attraction to another, it is a great place to halt, relax and rejuvenate in between. The best time to explore this part is during the spring season, when flowers are in their full bloom.
9. Old Prison Museum Complex: It is located in downtown Deet Lodge and is the most popular attraction in the region. The facility has five unique museums inside the walls of a historic prison. Besides the museum, visitors can observe maximum-security cells and places where prisoners used to exercise, work, eat etc. The complex house’s history of more than a century and are interesting to visit.
10. Elk Ridge Brewing Company: For trying some of the most amazing craft beers, consider visiting the Elk Ridge Brewing Company. It is a relaxing place with cool interiors and a great beer selection. Through its indoor walls are Stuffed animals along with beautiful thick wood highly-polished furniture. Besides beer, they also serve piping hot and delicious food.