Scenic USA - Montana

Mill Creek Road

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Photos by Paula Krugerud
Paula Krugerud Photography

   Mention the name Anaconda, and first thoughts gravitate to one of the world's largest copper mines. Mill Creek Road Wildflowers Helping to string America with miles and miles of copper wire during initial years of the telegraph and telephone, the Anaconda mine produced more than 300 million dollars worth of metal during its lifespan.
   For Montana sightseers, the city of Anaconda is considered the gateway to the Pintler Wilderness Area, Lost Creek Falls and Lost Creek State Park, and the Big Hole National Battlefield. Pictured here is a frosty winter scene from a western Montana backcounty byway that the follows Mill Creek Road. Taking CR 569 from Route 1 in Anaconda, this scenic route crosses the Continental Divide and passes the 56,000 acre Mount Haggin State Wildlife Management Area. Bordering on the Deer Lodge-Beaverhead National Forest, this byway leads through miles of rugged and remote big game country. Offering a Mill Creek Road Wildlifelink between Highway 1 and Route 43 (and the Big Hole River), sightseers will enjoy this leisurely drive where state management lands are home for elk, white-tailed and mule deer, moose, coyote, wolves and antelope. Making a dramatic recovery from un-tempered early 1900s fur traders, mink, muskrat, beavers and black bears are now common. For birdwatchers, raptors, songbirds and waterfowl are year round residents. When the signs of spring approach and the snow has melted, mountains meadows are found decked-out in myriads of brightly colored wildflowers. With a dramatic Anaconda Mountain Range as a backdrop, this scenic backcountry byway is well worth tracking down.

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