Wondering what to do in Dillon, Montana? Dillon is the perfect size town with plenty to keep visitors busy. It’s an unpretentious mix of cowboys and cowgirls, students, fly anglers and outdoor loving people. You can hit the local rivers, catch a rodeo, go shopping and wind down the day with a cold beer at a local pub or brewery. It’s mellow here and hard to go wrong for anyone who wants an authentic Montana vacation.
Go Fly Fishing
Anglers travel from all over the world to test their skills on the local rivers. Dillon is unique because it has a ton of easily accessible water convenient to town. You can actually fish the famous Beaverhead River right in town and the world class tailwater section is a short drive away. You will also find the Big Hole, Jefferson and Ruby Rivers all easy to access while using Dillon as a home base. Throw in teh secret small streams and spring creeks here and you will quickly realize that Dillon is central to an incredible amount of world class fisheries. You can wade fish or connect with one of our local guides for a personalized float trip.
Watch a Rodeo
Dillon is cowboy and cowgirl country and there are rodeos happening at fairgrounds across teh region. Some of the country’s best rodeo athletes are on display throughout the summer. The Beaverhead County Fair is the big event with a full PRCA Rodeo, livestock shows, great live music and plenty of fun. The fair is worth attending if you find yourself in the area during Labor Day Weekend.
Visit a Ghost Town
Bannack State Park is the local favorite ghost town and a wonderful state park. The once booming gold rush town has preserved structures and an intact view of the gold rush history that created boom and bust gold markets. It has an incredible 60 structures preserved and available for visitors to enter and explore. Visitors can schedule tours, stay at the campground, pan for gold and really enjoy this well run park.
Take a Scenic Drive
The Pioneer Scenic Byway is only open during the summer and fall and it’s an amazing drive. From Dillon, make the short drive to Wise River then make the turn for Highway 73 until it connects with highway 278. There is plenty of camping along the route with forest service roads leading to campsites and trailheads in the Pioneer Mountains. You can climb some of the state’s most rugged peaks and really dig into the fishing, hunting and backcountry recreational opportunities found on this scenic, seasonal route.
Enjoy a Cold Beer
After a long day on the river or in the mountains, it’s hard to beat a cold drink with the locals. Beaverhead brewing company on Montana Street has grown into one of the state’s favorite breweries while Mac’s last cast bar, Club Bar and the Moose bar are all great places to pull up a chair while swapping stories about big trout.
Clark’s Lookout State Park
In 1805, the famed Lewis and Clark expedition passed through what is now Dillon and a prominent hill overlooking the Beaverhead river was used to plan the route ahead. The 8-acre state park is situated on this hill and it has interpretive signs and educational information about the navigation tools and methods used to travel. The park is a fascinating stop that makes it easy to take a step back in time.
Hit the Hot Springs
Elkhorn Hot Springs is only 40 miles from town and it sits in a recreational paradise. The hot springs have been developed since 1918 and visitors can stay in one of the cabins built nearly a century ago. The location is perfect for fishing, skiing, snowmobiling, hunting and hiking. They have a lodge, restaurant and plenty of space to stretch out and relax while soaking in the hot pools.
Take a Hike
Hiker’s will enjoy the variety of options and seemingly endless miles of public land trails found around Dillon. The town overlook trailhead is ideal for stretching your legs while grabbing a nice view of the area. If you want to go bigger, the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest has a lifetime supply of trails to explore. Agness Lake in the Pioneer Mountains is a good place to start but there are plenty more trails leading to trout filled lakes and creeks.
Dillon has a surprising amount of shopping for visitors. The Patagonia Outlet store is a favorite for scoring great deals on really nice apparel and gear. Head just down the street and you will find a variety of unique and interesting shops with antiques, arts and local crafts. Everything is close so walking the town shops is convenient.