It’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s six must-see sites in Helena, Montana.
One of the greatest U.S. Navy ships, USS Helena, gets its name from Helena, Montana. This 1930s ship operated in World War II and was attacked in Pearl Harbor in 1941. The ship continued service until it sank in the Battle of Kula Gulf in 1943. A memorial lies in Helena commemorating the ship and including ship artifacts. © Cheri Alguire | Dreamstime.com
Helena National Forest, a 20-minute drive from Helena’s city center, offers more than 700 miles of hiking trails. With more than a dozen campgrounds and many trout streams and lakes, this forest provides the best chances to see Montana’s wildlife up close. Look for elk, moose, black bears and more. © Matt Anderson | Dreamstime.com
Within Helena National Forest lies the legendary Gates of the Mountains. As documented by Lewis and Clark on their expedition, this landscape sees gray cliffs in a staggered order descend into the lake so every turn in the lake means another descending cliff, like a natural gate into the mountains. Boat tours operate most of the year to experience and learn about the history of the region. © Cheri Alguire | Dreamstime.com
Built in 1902, Montana State Capitol, also known as The People’s House, welcomes visitors to embark on a guided tour of the building. The building houses many works of art, including some by Charles M. Russell. The large rotunda in the middle features four paintings of people from Montana’s early history. © Mihai Andritoiu | Dreamstime.com
The Cathedral of Saint Helena is an unmistakable sight in the city, with two great, red spires reaching 230 feet. Constructed in 1908, this Gothic Revival church features more than 11,000 square feet of stained glass, as well as 15 hand-cast bells. © Glenn Nagel | Dreamstime.com
Helena’s history as a gold rush town lives on through the many statues and sculptures located throughout the city. One of a bullwhacker pays homage to those who worked with oxen to transport large loads of natural resources across the land. Another statue nearby features running water as two men sift for gold. © Cheri Alguire | Dreamstime.com