Butte, Montana, sits just west of the continental divide, where water flows west to the Pacific instead of east with the Missouri. With the mountainous terrain, plus easy access to the famed Continental Divide Trail, there are plenty of hiking options, even if you’re not going for a 3,000-mile through hike. Lace up your boots, and try out a few of our favorite trails, without going far from town.
This 6.6-mile, out-and-back trail at Thompson Park gains just over 1,000 feet in elevation through the trees, passing by the beaver ponds. When you pop out at the ridge, mountain views greet you. From there, you can either head back down or continue on the CDT.
With a quick scenic drive up Homestake Pass, all 3,100 miles of the Continental Divide Trail are at your feet. How far you hike on this trail, spanning the country from Mexico to Canada, is up to you. But it’s well worth getting your boots on the trail here.
Take the loop trail, which is a moderate 900 feet of elevation gain in four miles. Or opt for the leg burner going all the way up the canyon, gaining over 2,000 feet in elevation over four miles, bringing you from the flats of Butte to the CDT.
This paved trail goes all the way from Butte to Stuart for over 17 miles. It follows the creek, making a leisurely opportunity for birding and wildflower spotting on a relatively flat trail.
The Milwaukee Trail takes advantage of the old Milwaukee Railroad tracks, including the bridges and tunnels. This 1.8-mile trail takes you on a walk through the treetops to the first tunnel, with just over 200 feet of elevation gain.
For big views over Butte, Big Butte Loop lives up to its name. With 1.4 miles and just over 170 feet in elevation gain, this makes a great way to wake up in the morning. This exposed and rocky trail doesn’t have a lot of shade, so it’s best to hit the trailhead before the heat of the day.
The rustle of quaking aspen leaves, whisper of wildflowers, and the sounds of the flowing stream make Jon’s Loop Trail a nature getaway in just 2.3 miles.
Also known as the Blacktail Creek Trail, this 3.2-mile asphalt trail follows along the creek in the southwestern part of town. Take a stroll, and enjoy some birdwatching and nature time right near town.
This trail in the Humbug Spires Wilderness Study Area takes hikers through 6 miles of the striking needle rock formations that form the Boulder Batholith. These rocky spires inspire and intrigue, with forested scenery and wider views of the surrounding mountains.
Gain over 800 feet of elevation in just over 4 miles on this loop trail, starting close to town. Expect variation between open and shaded, with views out over the valley to keep you going as you climb.
When your day of tramping along trails comes to an end, unhitch and kick back at a convenient camp, the Butte KOA Journey. Enjoy relaxation and a soak in the pool before your next day of adventuring begins.