How to Spend a Weekend in Butte, Montana

I know what you might be thinking after reading this title: “what the heck could you possibly do for a whole weekend in a place called Butte, Montana?”

Well, my curious friend, quite a bit!

We took a little weekend trip to Butte this past weekend to celebrate Austin’s birthday and had a blast!

Austin and I love staying at old mansions that have been turned into bed and breakfasts, so that’s what we set out to find.

We found a place called Copper King mansion which looked super interesting in town. So, we decided on Butte and I set out to find things to do for the rest of the weekend once we actually got there.

If you’re going to be passing through Butte, or just live anywhere near the area, here’s what you need to check out:

1. Rent a couple ATVs and ride through the mountains

ATV riding in mountains in Butte, Montana

ATV riding in mountains in Butte, Montana

This activity is first for a reason! I found an ATV tour company called Montana ATV Adventures which takes you on a full day tour of ghost towns near Butte. This sounded AWESOME, but unfortunately, they were booked for the weekend we would be in Butte.

So, I looked a little further out and found Beaverhead Adventures in a town called Dillon, MT. It’s about an hour south of Butte. This appeared to be less of a tour and more of a rental where you get a couple of ATVs for the day and just ride.

I knew Austin would be more into the freedom of the rental, so Beaverhead was perfect for us.

I worked out the details with Mark, the guy that runs the show. When we arrived in Dillon, he explained how the ATVs work and then lead us to the base of the mountain and let us go for the day.

It was truly one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had. I always look up at the mountains in Montana and think “how do I get up there to see everything from those heights?” This is how. We came across some amazing views that day.

So, if you’re more into tours, I’d suggest booking with Montana ATV Adventures in Butte. If you’d rather do your own thing and explore on your own, Beaverhead Adventures is for you.

Just a few tips before you go (so you don’t make my same mistakes):

  • Bring food in a cooler. There are no restaurants or stores on the mountain.
  • Wear and bring sunscreen. Just do it.
  • Wear or bring layers. It can get chilly at the top of the mountain, so it’s nice to have if you need it.
  • Wear goggles or at least sunglasses. If you’re riding behind someone (like I was), you’ll have dust in your face/eyes almost all day.

This activity will probably take up an entire day, so half of your weekend in Butte, Montana.

2. Visit or Stay at Copper King Mansion

Copper King Mansion in Butte, Montana

This was the sole reason Austin and I decided to go to Butte in the first place. We LOVE old mansions that have been converted into bed and breakfasts, and this is one we found that was relatively closeby.

You can choose to stay the night at the Copper King Mansion and have a tour included, or you can stay somewhere else and reserve your tour separately.

The history of this place is so cool! The mansion was built in 1884 and then donated to the church some years later. Even later on, a woman by the name of Mrs. Cote bought the mansion. She cleaned it up and started to raise her family there while she turned it into a bed and breakfast.

Well, her granddaughter, Erin, who was raised in the mansion, still lives there and runs the bed and breakfast, today. We had the privilege of having breakfast with her on Sunday morning while she told us about all the holiday parties they had growing up in this house.

She said it was all she knew – she thought everyone lived in houses like this.

It can get kind of pricey if you stay for more than a couple nights, so that’s why this mansion is PERFECT for a weekend trip to Butte, Montana.

Interested in why we moved to Montana and how I convinced my job to let me work remotely? I’ve got the perfect blog post for you!

3. Visit the World Museum of Mining

Butte is an old mining town, so of course there’s a World Museum of Mining here! This is one of the activities that we wanted to do, but ended up skipping because we were too sunburned to enjoy anything else after ATV riding the whole day before.

It’s definitely on our list the next time we visit, though. Just make sure you plan to visit Tuesday-Saturday since they aren’t open Sunday-Monday.

4. Visit the Berkeley Pit

This was the other activity we had planned that we didn’t make it to because of the sunburn. The Berkeley Pit is a HUGE open-pit mine (as opposed to underground).

It’s now filled with highly acidic water and heavy metals which can be dangerous to drink, but not dangerous to look at. The owner of Copper King Mansion told us all about the different ways the town has tried (and failed) to clean this water and pump it into a different river or lake before it over flows.

If you want to behold this massive, toxic pit, you can drive to the Berkeley Pit viewing point. You’ll then buy your ticket, hop on a trolley, and it’ll take you right over.

Just like the Mining Museum, this is on our list for our next visit.

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A few more things that might interest you:

  1. Visit Our Lady of the Rockies
  2. Tour the Dumas Brothel
  3. Mai Wah Society Museum
  4. Granite Mountain Speculator Mine Memorial
  5. Butte Historic District

Butte isn’t a world-wide famous destination, but it does have some pretty interesting things to see if you’re in the area.

If anything, seriously, those ATV rides were unlike anything I’ve ever done and I’d recommend coming just for those.

Planning a weekend trip to Butte, Montana or any other small town soon? Let me know in the comments below!

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The Comments

  • Anna
    July 15, 2020

    What a beautiful place! I would love to visit Montana one day. Butte looks like such a fun little town.

  • PAtri
    July 16, 2020

    When I used to live in Utah, I didn’t want to travel overseas and just discover different states, which geographically speaking is like visiting another country in Europe. Unfortunately, I never made it to Montana which is absolutely in my US bucket list.

    • saraharnstein
      > PAtri
      July 16, 2020

      That’s kind of funny because Utah is on my bucket list! We are only in Montana for 2 years, so I want to make it down to Zion, Arches, and all the parks in Utah before we leave!

  • Kirsten Wendlandt
    July 16, 2020

    I haven’t had the chance to visit Montana yet but would love to visit one day! The museum sounds fun!

    • saraharnstein
      > Kirsten Wendlandt
      July 16, 2020

      Montana is beautiful! I highly recommend exploring this state 😊

  • Susan
    July 18, 2020

    The ATV riding looks really fun! I’ve only been to Glacier NP in Montana but would love to explore more of the state. Thanks for sharing!

    • saraharnstein
      > Susan
      July 18, 2020

      It was! I haven’t been to glacier NP yet, but I definitely want to visit while we’re still in Montana!

  • Shany
    July 19, 2020

    Looks like a great place to visit! I’ll add it to my trip once I’ll visit the Glacier NP. Looking forward to explore Montana 🙂

    • saraharnstein
      > Shany
      July 20, 2020

      I’m so glad to hear! I need to make my way over to Glacier NP while we’re in Montana!

  • Hannah
    July 21, 2020

    WOW, those photos look stunning! Especially the view of the mountains! It’s so spectacular and maybe I will add Butte in my bucket list of USA travel 🙂

    Hannah |

    • saraharnstein
      > Hannah
      July 21, 2020

      It was such a surprise! The ATV riding turned out awesome!

  • Jori
    July 25, 2020

    Wow, I had no idea it was so gorgeous there! I’m also a HUGE fan of renting ATVs because it gives you so much more freedom! Definitely adding to the list

    • saraharnstein
      > Jori
      July 25, 2020

      Yes, it’s sooo pretty! That was my first time renting ATVs and I’d definitely do it again!

  • Kesley
    July 25, 2020

    What an awesome experience! The photos are amazing! Thanks so much for sharing!

    • saraharnstein
      > Kesley
      July 25, 2020

      Of course! It was definitely an awesome weekend

  • Shany
    July 25, 2020

    What a beautiful place! Love the video- it looks like a great experience

  • Lana
    July 25, 2020

    I’ve never really been to America (been to NYC and Florida) and posts like this make me want to do a roadtrip and explore!! Love renting ATVs – what an awesome weekend itinerary!

    • saraharnstein
      > Lana
      July 25, 2020

      There are definitely some beautiful places to visit that are out in the country!

  • molly
    July 25, 2020

    Copper King Mansion looks interesting. Even though I have been through Butte a few times, I have never heard of it. Thanks for the tip!

    • saraharnstein
      > molly
      July 27, 2020

      Of course! We probably wouldn’t have found it, but I was specifically searching for BnBs and came across it!

  • Lauren
    July 26, 2020

    Montana has been on my travel wish list for a while now. Thanks for the great info!

  • Coline
    July 26, 2020

    Montana looks so nice! Hope to visit one day 🙂

    • saraharnstein
      > Coline
      July 26, 2020

      I highly recommend it! It’s so pretty here 😊