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Dillon Montana

Located in: Southwest Montana

Dillon is the seat of Beaverhead County, Montana's largest county. Dillon began as an important shipping point from Utah to the gold fields of Montana. The Utah and Northern Railroad reached Dillon in the fall of 1880, but the town was named for the president of the Union Pacific Railroad, Sidney V. Dillon. Sheep were introduced to the rich agricultural valley in 1869. At one time Dillon was the largest wool shipping point in Montana. The first cattle were brought to the valley in 1865 and they, too, have played a major role in Dillon's development. The area was central to early Montana mining camps and settlements. Bannack, Montana's first territorial capital and now a well-preserved ghost town, is nearby. The Montana Normal College was established in Dillon in 1892 and is now called University of Montana-Western.

Fortune smiled on the company of Lewis and Clark as they traveled through this area looking for a way west. Three generations later, the Nez Perce fled this region after a tragic battle at the Big Hole. Amid the scenic byways, abundant wildlife and historic towns, you'll find country with a lasting role in the settling of the western frontier.

Some interesting things to do in Dillon include:

Visitor information: as the Beaverhead County seat and a convenient stop for interstate travelers, Dillon has a lot to offer. Stop at the old Union Pacific Railroad depot for statewide visitor information and a look at a restored Lewis and Clark diorama.

Beaverhead County Museum: exhibits include early mining and ranching exhibits, Indian artifacts and natural history. The bones of a mammoth and a branded boardwalk are among impressive indoor and outdoor displays.

The Seidensticker Wildlife Collection is a featured exhibit at the gallery on the campus of University of Montana-Western.

Historical Walking Tour: take a look at turn-of-the-century architecture on homes and buildings dating from Montana's gold rush era.

Nearby attractions include:

Clark Canyon Reservoir: many fishing access sites and a park that provides areas for boating, picnicking and camping, 20 miles south of Dillon.

Lewis & Clark trail sites near Dillon include Camp Fortunate, Clark's Lookout, Beaverhead Rock and others.

The Nee-Mee-Poo: the Nez Perce National Historic Trail is a 1,170-mile trail that follows the route of Chief Joseph's bands, including the battlefield site in the Big Hole Valley.

Big Hole Battlefield: northwest of Dillon, over by Wisdom, an interpretive center and historic trails tell the vivid story of the 1877 battle between five bands of the Nez Perce and Colonel John Gibbon's troops, joined by settler volunteers.

Bannack State Park: take Highway 278 west of Dillon for a ghost town adventure at the site of Montana's first big gold strike and territorial capital, the home of crooked Sheriff Henry Plummer. Walking tour. Open year-round.

Elkhorn Hot Springs: north of Polaris and 43 miles from Dillon on the Pioneer Mountains Scenic Byway, take a soak in the mineral waters.

Beaverhead River: a blue-ribbon trout stream that's a favorite for expert fly fishermen flows right through Dillon.

Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge: these remote lakes 26 miles east of Monida are a nesting area for the endangered trumpeter swan and home to many species of wildlife. There is also a museum and walk through.

With mountain backdrops in all directions, Dillon is situated in a sweeping valley into which the Ruby, Big Hole and Beaverhead rivers drain.

Dillon celebrates 'Montana's biggest weekend' with the annual Jaycee Labor Day rodeo which features professional rodeo excitement, big-name entertainment, parade and more. Dillon has a courthouse placed at the end of a street, as well as rows of western buildings.

Activities and/or guided services for this area include natural hot springs, hikes, resort cabins, hunting, fishing, golf, biking, photography, sightseeing, cross-country and downhill skiing and snowmobiling..

Dillon is located in southwestern Montana, 65 miles south of Butte on I-15.

Dillon Accommodations

B.L.M. Trail (1)
Bed & Breakfast (1)
Cabin (6)
Guest Ranch (1)
Hotel/Motel (8)
National Forest Cabin (2)
National Forest Campground (4)
Private Campground (4)
Vacation Home (1)

Dillon Restaurants

Family Restaurant (3)
Fast Food Restaurant (2)

All Dillon Businesses

Antique Store (1)
Art Museum (1)
Banking Service (3)
Car Rental (2)
Chamber Of Commerce (1)
Church (8)
Convenience Store (1)
Downhill Ski Area (1)
Fishing Access Site (4)
Horseback Rides (1)
Jewelry Store (1)
Lake (1)
Landmark (1)
Library (1)
Museum (1)
National Forest (2)
National Forest Picnic Ground (1)
National Forest Trail (7)
National Historic Site (1)
National Recreation Area (1)
Outfitter/Guide (15)
Recreation & Adventure Guide (1)
Recreation Area (1)
Recreation Area Campground (9)
Scenic Highway (1)
Semi-Private Golf Course (1)
Sightseeing Tour (1)
Specialty Store (1)
Specialty Tour (1)
State Park (1)
Vacation Planning Assistance (1)
Visitor Information Center (1)
Working Ranch (3)

Cities near Dillon Montana

Nevada City
Silver Star
Twin Bridges
Virginia City
Wise River

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