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Philipsburg, Montana : Information and Photos

The School in Philipsburg
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Located in the Philipsburg Valley, Philipsburg started life as a mining town. But unlike many other mining towns in Montana and elsewhere, Philipsburg survived the end of mining and today serves as the county seat of Granite County, a popular destination for tourists and a small business hub for all the agricultural activities in the beautiful Philipsburg Valley.

Although Philipsburg is a small town, with a population of about 950 people, the town offers far more in terms of services than many similar towns its size due to being a popular tourist destination spot.

When driving down Highway 1, Philipsburg isn’t likely to make much of an impression. Indeed, I suspect most tourists who visit the Philipsburg Valley whiz right by town without ever seeing it since Philipsburg lies about a mile off the highway. This is a shame, too, since the downtown area of Philipsburg is historic, nicely restored and clean. Just as importantly, Philipsburg has managed to avoid becoming gaudy or the typical tourist trap so often encountered in popular tourist destinations.

In terms of scenic beauty, there is little to not like about Philipsburg’s location. The Philipsburg Valley due to its high elevation, has beautiful and extensive grasslands and fields of hay while four different mountain ranges provide a beautiful backdrop and surround the valley.

The Historic Philipsburg Jail
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With all the beautiful scenery located around Philipsburg, perhaps it’s not too surprising that four scenic drives and backcountry byways are located nearby. The Pintler Scenic Route passes through town. The Philipsburg Valley Scenic Loop begins in Philipsburg. And the Rock Creek Backcountry Byway and the Skalkaho Highway Scenic Byway begin just a few miles from town.

In terms of outdoor recreation, Philipsburg has an ideal setting. Rock Creek and its two forks provide superb trout fishing. Georgetown Lake, located just fifteen miles away, offers excellent fishing in a beautiful setting.

Philipsburg is also a good hub for winter recreation. Discovery Ski Area, located less than twenty miles away, is an excellent downhill ski area that few people from outside of Montana ever bother to visit. Additionally, snowmobiling in the vast federal lands that surround the Philipsburg Valley, is also extremely popular.

Finally, the camping and hiking in the mountains outside of town is, shall we say, abundant. The Anaconda-Pintlar Wilderness area offers some fantastic hiking and camping, while the less-visited Flint Creek Range has a multitude of backcountry lakes that have excellent fishing.

Overall, Philipsburg is a nice, historic town that is located in one of the most scenic valleys in Montana. Those who happen to be driving through on Highway 1 (and anyone driving down Interstate 90 should take this route), should definitely make a point of visiting Philipsburg.

Photographs of Philipsburg

Looking Down Into Philipsburg The Downtown Area of Philipsburg Busy Downtown Area in the Summer

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Where to Stay in Philipsburg

There are several small hotels and bed and breakfasts in town, although none are available for booking through hotels.com or expedia.com. The two hotels I've found in Philipsburg are the Broadway Hotel and the Inn at Philipsburg.

In terms of services, all the basics are available in Philipsburg. The town is quite small, so there's no "big box" stores. But groceries, gas and munchies are plentiful. Plus, the downtown area of Philisburg has plenty of small, "tourist related" stores, bars and restaurants.

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