Creek State Park waterfall and historic Butte, Montana
Lost Creek State Park is located between Philipsburg and Butte in Montana, so after visiting Philipsburg we decided to take the slight detour and see what this park had to offer.
You get to the park off MT 1 just after the town of Anaconda. It is signposted, so fairly easy to find. Once you actually enter the park the roads are very narrow and more like a dirt track. We did spot some RV's along the route, so smaller ones can get up here, but I wouldn't want to drive up here in anything too big. Also, the road is two-way so a tight squeeze in some places.
At the very end of the track, you come to a parking area which is not large, but when we arrived only a couple of other vehicles were there. I imagine it could get a bit crowded at peak times. The park has a fee of $3 per person. You have to take an envelope, fill out your details and leave the money in the envelope and post it in a little box. There is a tear-off piece that you place in your car so they know you have paid. If you are a Montana resident it looked like it was free.
There are toilets in the parking area and seating, so you can relax here and take in the stunning views.
From the parking lot, you can take a trail down into the wooded areas, or if you prefer you can take the short, paved trail that leads to a very pretty waterfall. Chris managed to get a prety stunning photo of the waterfall.
I, on the other hand, got some pretty standard photos!
I also got a pretty mediocre video!
We stayed here for a while, then travelled back to the highway to resume our trip to Butte. However, as we were exiting the park, this beautiful panarana presented itself.
So, back on the road, we entered the town of Butte which also promoted a historic downtown. We parked up close to the court buildings and the first thing we came across was a large statue called The Cowboy.
Butte was originally established back in the 1860's as a mining town. It became one of the largest copper boomtowns in the west. Once gold and silver were also discovered, people from all over the world descended upon the town to make their fortune. Immigrants from the UK, Ireland, Canada, Mexico and China moved here and the town became known as a place where any vice was obtainable.
Butte had a thriving red light district and men travelled from near and far to indulge in the services offered. The area remained active until 1982 when the famous Dumas Brothel eventually closed. At the time it closed the Dumas was the longest operating brothel in the United States, even remaining in business long after prostitution was made illegal.
One building stood out and that was The Leggat Hotel which had a great mural on the side saying it was fireproof. It has now been made into apartments.
Some of the buildings in the historic district are really beautiful, whilst others are falling into disrepair. Many of the stores are thrift type places or cafes. A lot are closed.
However, there are some great murals in the town.
As you leave Butte on Interstate 15 you can see a large white statue on the top of a hill. As we passed I quickly grabbed a photo. I thought it was Jesus at first, but after looking at the photos later and doing research it is actually the Virgin Mary. It is called Our Lady of the Rockies.