Stay and Play in Choteau, Montana
Montana is a favorite travel destination among many, especially those who love national parks, wide-open spaces, the Western way of life, cowboys and abundant outdoor experiences. Here in Choteau, our community is known for its small-town charm and endless adventures found in every direction.
Chances are, if you’re spending the night in Choteau, you are road tripping through Big Sky Country and exploring Montana’s two national parks: Yellowstone and Glacier. While there are many ways to travel between the world’s first national park (Yellowstone) and the Backbone of the World (Glacier), once of the most scenic routes is through Choteau and along the Rocky Mountains.
A Yellowstone to Glacier Road Trip
One of the best ways to see our iconic national parks is on a Montana road trip. Start your journey in Yellowstone National Park —the world’s first—and soak up its 2.2 million acres of thermal features and wildlife that include bison, grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, elk and more. After you’ve spent time in the park, head north on U.S. Highway 89 to Livingston before connecting with Interstate 90 through Bozeman. Once you make it to Three Fork, head north on U.S. Highway 287/U.S. Highway 112 to Helena. From Montana’s capital city, continue north on Interstate 15 through beautiful Wolf Creek Canyon. Take the exit for Choteau/Augusta just past Wolf Creek and stay on Highway 287 until you reach Choteau and the Stage Stop Inn for an overnight. After staying and playing in Choteau, continue north on U.S. Highway 89 through Bynum, Dupuyer and Browning. At Browning, you can continue to Glacier National Park’s east entrance in St. Mary or head to East Glacier Park and the nearby Two Medicine area of the park.
Explore Downtown Choteau
Our small town of 1,700 residents has plenty to offer in terms of shopping, dining and exploring. Recommended in-town attractions include the historical Old Trail Museum, Choteau Country Club (our public golf course), the Roxy Theatre and our local six-lane bowling alley. The Old Trail Museum is a must-do in Choteau, as it’s home to American Indian history and has exhibits on geology, paleontology and nature. Be sure to grab a scoop of ice cream a few doors down. There’s also plenty of places to rub elbows with the locals, including The Livery Saloon (located on-site at the hotel) and the Outpost Deli. See a full list of places to eat and drink here. *Please note: the golf course, museum and ice cream parlor are open seasonally during the summer.
Freezeout Lake: Montana’s Prairie Jewel and Birding Hotspot
Located a 20-minute drive from Choteau on U.S. Highway 89, Freezeout Lake is one of the must-see birding destinations in Montana. Every spring and fall, the Freezeout Lake Wildlife Management Area welcomes hundreds of thousands of birds—including tundra swans, snow geese and herons—that land on its waters on their way north. Learn more about the best times to view this migration here or watch a video here.
Hiking Trails and Day Hikes
From our location along the Rocky Mountain Front, there are plentiful hiking trails that lead into the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex and Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest. Visit our local waterfall, Mill Falls, for an afternoon picnic. And while you can set out on area trails on your own (we always recommend hiking in groups), Dropstone Outfitting offers day hikes (as well as multi-day trips) that depart from the Stage Stop Inn from mid-May through late September. An added bonus: room discounts are provided for guests with confirmed trips with Dropstone Outfitting and A Lazy H Outfitters.
Winter in Montana
While many of our visitors come during the summer months, winter in Montana is amazing. On the east side of the Rocky Mountains where Choteau and the Stage Stop Inn are located, winter brings light, deep snow and sun-filled days, making it easy to get out and explore the area. One of our favorite activities during the winter months is to head to Teton Pass Ski Resort and spend a day on the mountain. Snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling trails are also located at Teton Pass near Choteau, while Bynum Reservoir and Eureka Lake offer ice fishing.
Two Medicine Dinosaur Center and Trex Agate Shop
A short 20-minute drive north, and an ideal day trip, is the Two Medicine Dinosaur Center in Bynum, Montana. Another stop on the Dinosaur Trail, the Two Medicine Dinosaur Center has exhibits that include dinosaur and plant fossils. They also offer dig programs that allow you to help them uncover dinosaurs who once roamed Montana’s landscapes. Plus, visitors who do the dinosaur dig program at Two Medicine Dinosaur Center receive a discounted stay at the Stage Stop Inn.
Take a Drive
From our hotel’s location along the Rocky Mountain Front, there are plenty of gravel roads that will take you to some of the area’s most stunning landscapes. Just south of town, take Highway 287 and catch the Bellview Road turnoff to head west into the mountains. Along the way, you’ll have an up-close view of the landscapes that make this part of Montana so special. Keep your eyes out for the historic Bellview School House. Turn north along the front, drive past Pine Butte Preserve and past Ear Mountain before connecting back with Teton Canyon Road. Continue back east past Eureka Reservoir before returning to Choteau. You can view the map here.
Cowboy Up in Montana
Montana is often associated with the cowboy way of life and here in Choteau, we’re within easy reach of plenty of outfitters who provide ways to experience Montana at its most Western. North of Choteau on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, Deboo’s Ranch Adventures offers half-day and full-day horseback rides on the ranch, while Glacier Gateway Trailrides has a variety of horseback trail rides in Blackfeet Country. South and west of Choteau (near Augusta), Sun Canyon Lodge provides trail rides and guided boat tours on Gibson Reservoir.