Dillon and the Big Hole Valley

Dillon, Montana

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Dillon was named for Sydney Dillon, president of the Union Pacific Railroad, who was instrumental in establishing the railroad line from Ogden, Utah, to Butte, Montana. The name “Beaverhead” aptly describes a local rock formation and landmark that Sacajawea pointed out to Lewis and Clark. Sacajawea was also known as “Bird Woman.” The term Big Hole was the early trapper’s name for the large basin surrounded by mountains in the upper reaches of the Big Hole River. It was also the site of the historic 1877 Battle of the Big Hole, involving Chief Joseph and Col. Gibbon. Bannack is a ghost town rich in mining history. It was the first territorial capital of Montana, and receives its name from the Bannock Indians who previously occupied the area. At the site of present-day Clark Canyon Reservoir, the confluence of the Beaverhead and Red Rock rivers, Lewis and Clark abandoned their canoes and traveled cross country over 7,373-foot Lemhi Pass—and over the Continental Divide—in August of 1805. This eTrail provides detailed information on birding strategies for this specific location, the specialty birds and other key birds you might see, directions to each birding spot, and helpful general information.
Birding Montana

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Birding Montana

by Terry McEneaney (Falcon Guides)

Dillon was named for Sydney Dillon, president of the Union Pacific Railroad, who was instrumental in establishing the railroad line from Ogden, Utah, to Butte, Montana. The name “Beaverhead” aptly describes a local rock formation and landmark that Sacajawea pointed out to Lewis and Clark. Sacajawea was also known as “Bird Woman.” The term Big Hole was the early trapper’s name for the large basin surrounded by mountains in the upper reaches of the Big Hole River. It was also the site of the historic 1877 Battle of the Big Hole, involving Chief Joseph and Col. Gibbon.

Bannack is a ghost town rich in mining history. It was the first territorial capital of Montana, and receives its name from the Bannock Indians who previously occupied the area. At the site of present-day Clark Canyon Reservoir, the confluence of the Beaverhead and Red Rock rivers, Lewis and Clark abandoned their canoes and traveled cross country over 7,373-foot Lemhi Pass—and over the Continental Divide—in August of 1805. This eTrail provides detailed information on birding strategies for this specific location, the specialty birds and other key birds you might see, directions to each birding spot, and helpful general information.

©  Terry McEneaney/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Birding
Nearby City: Dillon
Trail Type: Several options
Duration: 2 to 3 days
Best Times: Best late spring through early summer; May, June
Local Contacts: Beaverhead National Forest; Beaverhead Rock State Monument; Big Hole National Battlefield
Local Maps: Montana Highway Map
Driving Directions: Directions to Dillon and the Big Hole Valley

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