Belt was named for Belt Butte, a nearby mountain that appears to have a belt around it. The first coal mine was founded by John Castner and supplied fuel for Fort Benton. Belt's coal fields also began supplying fuel for the nearby smelter at Great Falls in 1893. In 1930 the smelters were converted to natural gas and the coal market began to slump. The first post office opened on February 2, 1885.
While in Belt, stop by and see local history and art at the Belt Museum, a building which dates from 1895 when it was built as a city jail. The Belt Creek Ranger Station south on US Highway 89 has information on nearby hiking, mountain biking, and snowmobiling, and offers trail maps.
Belt is located in northcentral Montana, it is southeast of Great Falls on US Highway 89.