- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
Deer Lodge, a quiet community of 3,400 residents, maintains a complex of history museums in and near its old state penitentiary. Many locals make their living by ranching, which came to the 55-mi-long Deer Lodge Valley in 1862, when John Grant built the area's first cabin and began a cattle operation, selling beef to miners. Ranching remained the primary industry as the town of Deer Lodge developed. Its name derives from a 40-foot-high geothermal mound that used to emit steam from its top; Native Americans thought it resembled a large medicine lodge. The minerals and water attracted deer, and so the Native Americans named the place Deer Lodge. The mound is hidden behind trees and buildings at the Warm Springs State Hospital.
Deer Lodge at a Glance
Elsewhere in Helena, Bozeman, and Southwest Montana
- Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness
- Big Hole National Battlefield
- Big Sky and Gallatin Canyon
- Big Timber and the Boulder River
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Fodor's Go List 2014: Where we are going in 2014
- World Cup Fever: Start planning your trip to Brazil!
- Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards: Check out the winners of 2013
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's