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Built as a mining camp just after the Civil War, Butte was once known as one of the most dangerous towns in the West and “the richest hill on Earth” due to its highly productive mines. Today it’s primarily known for its raucous St. Patrick’s Day celebration (it has one of highest percentages of Irish Catholics per capita of anywhere in the country).
When you book an RV in Butte you can experience the rich history and culture of this southwestern Montana town, without needing to worry about where you’re going to spend the night or get from one place to another. It’s also a convenient way to explore the region, including the scenic, culture-packed city of Bozeman and the variety of museums and historical sites of Deer Lodge.
When you rent an RV in Montana, you may want to plan to spend quite a bit of time outside. Butte sits in a narrow valley on the western edge of the continental divide. The nearby peaks provide endless opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, and in the winter, downhill skiing.
For a beautiful drive through the nearby mountains, check out the Pintler Scenic Loop. The 60-mile-long road is an alternative to Interstate 90 and runs through some of the most awe-inspiring countrysides between the towns of Anaconda and Drummond before meeting back up with the highway. Along the way, you’ll have stunning views of Georgetown Lake, the Flint and Sapphire Mountains, and the chance to explore the very historic and tourist-friendly town of Phillipsburg.
You can also hike to the Our Lady of the Rockies Statue, a 90-foot likeness of the Virgin Mary that sits a couple thousand feet above the town. It’s one of the tallest statues in the United States and the hike to it is a somewhat-challenging seven miles each way.
If you’re coming during the winter months, Discovery Ski Area is about an hour's drive west of Butte and one the most underrated mountains in the state. There are dozens of runs, including a few large bowls, several lifts, and an average annual snowfall of over 200 inches, and yet rarely will you see a lift line there.
While Butte is a fairly small town, it sits at the intersection of two of America’s most important highways, Interstate 15 and Interstate 90, making Butte a central point in Montana travel. The Butte KOA is on the southern edge of the Uptown neighborhood and is one of the places to park the RV rental in Butte. Like most KOA parks, they have amenities including full hookups, a dog park, a swimming pool during the summer months, and bike rentals.
Another option is the 2 Bar Lazy H RV Park a few miles west of town on Interstate 90. It’s a bit smaller than the KOA and offers full hookups.
Twenty minutes farther to the west is Fairmount RV Park. The park offers full hookups, laundry facilities, BBQs, and a small store for supplies. Given its location near Anaconda, this could be a good place to stay if you’re thinking about driving the Pintler Scenic Loop with your Butte motorhome rental. It’s also adjacent to Fairmount Hot Springs, one of the most popular hot springs in the state.
Butte also has a Walmart Supercenter where you could camp in for a night or two (with manager permission). To fuel up your motorhome rental in Butte, you won’t have too much trouble as there are a few truck stops along busy Interstate 90 that have dump stations and large fueling bays.
To really understand Butte, you need to make a visit to the World Museum of Mining. The museum consists of a full-scale historical mining yard, complete with dozens of structures and an hour-long tour that goes underground to explore the Orphan Girl Mine. You can also swing by the Copper King Mansion, the former abode of mining baron Williams Andrews Clark. Its 34 rooms and opulent décor give insight into the sheer wealth that flowed from Butte’s mining claims in the 19th century. There’s also the Mai Wah Building in the Uptown neighborhood, which tells a very different story from Butte’s history, that of the Chinese immigrants coming to this town looking for a better life, but frequently facing discrimination and terrible working conditions.
If the kids need a place to cool off or run off some of their excess energy from being in the Butte RV trailer rental, plan a day at the nearby waterpark. The park offers a couple of slides, a climbing wall, and water volleyball course. For the parents, Montana also ranks high in craft breweries per capita; Butte is home to a few great ones and a distillery that is worth checking out while you’re there.