The small town of Butte is known around the world for its colorful mining history. While Butte's glory days are now past, there continues to be many things for visitors to see and do.
1. Berkeley Pit
One of the first things you'll notice upon arriving in Butte is the huge open-pit mine on the hillside. A portion of this old mine forms a deep pit, now filled with almost 1000 feet of nasty toxic water. Berkeley Pit is both a Superfund site and a popular visitor attraction. A viewing platform overlooks the toxic lake, allowing you to get a good look while you learn more about its history (for a small ticket price).
Ride on a historic train over the route of the old Butte, Anaconda and Pacific Railway, which connected the mining and smelting communities of Butte and Anaconda. Along the way you'll see beautiful Montana scenery, old Anaconda Copper Company smelter stack, Fairmont Hot Springs, and land that is still recovering from mining pollution. The train tour boards in Anaconda and passes through Butte before returning to Aconda. The Copper King Express runs on Saturdays from late May through September.
Butte Trolley Tours provide 1.5 hour narrated trips highlighting Butte's fascinating history. Along the way you'll see gracious mansions and stately public buildings. The trolley makes a brief stop at Berkeley Pit, where you can get out and visit the viewing platform and gift shop. The Trolley Tour departs from the Butte Chamber of Commerce
5. Fairs & Festivals in ButteButte puts on a variety of special events throughout the year, many celebrating the city's Irish heritage.
The Copper King Mansion is a large brick Victorian built for William A. Clark, one of Butte's wealthiest copper-mine developers. Much of the original beauty of this 34-room mansion has been preserved, including its chandeliers, fabulous woodwork, stained glass windows, and magnificent furnishings. Guided mansion tours are available by appointment by calling 406-782-7580.
7. Our Lady of the Rockies
Our Lady of the Rockies is a white, 90-foot-tall statue of the Virgin Mary, set high on a hillside overlooking Butte. Completed in 1985, the landmark statue is a memorial to women around the world. You can take a bus tour to visit the statue; for details call 406-782-1221 or 800-800-5239.