Wilderness Excursions

About Choteau

A Lazy H Outfitters is located just outside of Choteau in north central Montana. The town's charming Main Street includes shops and restaurants (and only one stop light), which entice travelers to stop as they drive US 89 to one of the region's National Parks, like Glacier or Yellowstone.

There are about 1,700 people who live in Choteau, which is named for French fur-trapper and explorer Pierre Cadet Chouteau Jr. In the mid-1800s, Chouteau Jr. established Fort Benton as the last fur-trading post on the Missouri River. Fort Benton is in Chouteau County, Montana. Even though Choteau (the town) was named after Chouteau (the man), it does not follow the same spelling and it isn't even in Chouteau County! Nonetheless, we think you'll find Choteau a very charming and warm community, and definitely worth a visit.

Choteau sits 20 miles east of the Rocky Mountain Front and 50 miles west of Great Falls. It lies at the junction of U.S. Routes 89 and 287. It is near the Lewis and Clark National Forest and the Flathead National Forest. 

The town is located along US 89, which is locally called the "Park to Park" highway because it stretches from Yellowstone to Glacier National Park. 

Dinosaurs

If you or your kids are interested in dinosaurs, you are going to love Choteau. The town is one of the stops on the Montana Dinosaur Trail. We are near Egg Mountain, one of the most important paleontology sites in the world. You can visit a Maiasaura (the Montana state fossil) at the Old Trail Museum in town. The museum also showcases the Egg Mountain find along with a commentary on the significance to the paleontology world. 

Just a few miles north of Choteau is the Two Medicine Dinosaur Center, which has the first infant Maiasaura bones from Egg Mountain and a reconstructed life-size Siesmosaurus (the largest in the world according to the Guinness Book of World Records).

Old West History

Choteau has been at the forefront of the old-west settlement since the 1860's and has seen its share of settlers, trappers, cowboys, and Indians as history has unfolded. The first fort (stockade) and Indian agency, known as "Old Agency," [referred to as the "Four Persons" Agency by the Blackfeet Nation] was located from 1868-1876 near the Teton River, three miles north of the present city of Choteau. By 1876 the Blackfeet Reservation boundary was changed and the agency was relocated north of Birch Creek on Badger Creek, (the Running Crane Agency.) In 1880 Old Agency was a hamlet of white men who had married Native American women, some Blackfeet, and some Metis who lived there with their mixed-blood children. In 1883 the land around Old Agency was sold and Isaac Hazlett platted the townsite of Choteau three miles south and moved the Hamilton and Hazlett store there.

Today the area around Choteau is rich in early American West history. The remote nature and low population density have kept many early buildings, landmarks, and other historical sites largely visible.

Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks

Choteau is strategically placed midway between Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks, two of the premier park destinations in the West. Many of our guests tie a visit to one or both of these parks to their wilderness summer pack trip with us.

Glacier National Park is the center of one of the largest and most intact ecosystems in North America. The views from the Going-to-the-Sun Road over the Continental Divide are extraordinary and so popular that you'll often experience heavy traffic in the park.

Yellowstone National Park is a cherished part of Wyoming and Montana. Its natural splendors give visitors an up-close-and-personal glimpse of what the continent was like in the days before recorded history. With more than two million acres of sprawling wilderness to explore, Yellowstone stands as one of North America’s greatest assets — and it’s open year-round for visitors to enjoy.

We recommend that you visit Glacier or Yellowstone, but also experience what it's like in the serene and remote backcountry of Montana. A pack trip into the Bob Marhsall Wilderness, where no vehicles are permitted, enables you to see and photograph the outdoors without anyone spoiling the view.

Lodging and Restaurants

Choteau has several highly regarded lodging and restaurant establishments. The proprietors are local families like ours, and meet you with the western warmth and hospitality. While the Haas' take care of you on your pack trip, many of our guests want to arrive a day or two before the trip, or stay after, to explore the area. There certainly are plenty of opportunities nearby to keep you busy.

Contact us and we'll be happy to make recommendations for your entire stay!

 

Popular Links

Helpful Sites