Cowboys still ride the range in Phillips County and the places names evoke images that Hollywood has made famous – Ruby Gulch, Carson Coulee, Telegraph Creek, Cree Crossing or an old lonesome post office. Ranches still carry the names of their brands and local Native American names conjure up images of times and cultures fascinatingly different. For those wanting to experience real cowboy life, working ranch vacations are available. For others there are cattle drives, wagon train vacations, trail rides and of course the historical sites where it all really happened.
The infamous Kidd Curry (member of the notorious Wild Bunch) lived, worked and hid out in Phillips County. His old family homestead is still here and one of his numerous hideouts can be visited. You can still board the train in Malta (daily Amtrak service), although these days it is not recommended to hold it up.
Famous for wide-open spaces and diversity in landscape, Malta offers a variety of wildlife and cultural history. This area is much the way Lewis & Clark found it in 1805. Their descriptions of the profusion of game and magnificence of scenery along the Missouri River is filled with an awesome splendor that the modern visitor can readily relate to and access, even today! The town hosts to the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge (including the western portion of Fort Peck Lake) and Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge, which offer opportunities for deer, antelope, elk and upland game birds viewing and hunting. The Little Rocky Mountains are rich in mining history and offer a diverse mountain experience including hiking and gold panning. Fishermen find Nelson Reservoir, the Milk River and local ponds a haven for walleye, historic paddlefish, trout and many more varieties. An excellent opportunity for golf is offered at Marian Hills Country Club in Malta.
Malta is one of the notable stops on the Montana Dinosaur Trail with two excellent facilities on the trail. The Great Plains Dinosaur Museum and Field Station — on display are spectacular dinosaur specimens, stunning invertebrates, fossil fish and rare fossil plants. Also located on US 2, the Phillips County Museum features real life dinosaur displays set among the historical artifacts of early Native Americans and Homesteaders who traversed Montana’s Hi-Line. The Montana Dinosaur Festival is held in June each year in Malta and family dinosaur expeditions are offered in July and August through the Great Plains Dinosaur Museum and Field Station.
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