Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Interpretive Center
Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark set out on a perilous, awe-inspiring and nationally important journey in pursuit of President Thomas Jefferson’s vision to expand America to the west. The expedition of the Corps of Discovery took place between 1804 and 1806, and the mission’s success made Lewis and Clark national heroes. Experience this incredible story at the Interpretive Center in Great Falls.
C.M. Russell Museum
Charles Marion Russell’s sympathetic paintings of the American West made him famous—and rich. Ironically, Russell (1864-1926) was well aware that the romantic era of the Old West was rapidly fading away during his own lifetime. The C.M. Russell Museum preserves and celebrates the works of the artist, who was also a passionate and outspoken advocate for Native Americans.
First Peoples Buffalo Jump
Before westward expansion took place in Montana, native cultures used the mile-long cliff to drive off and kill bison. The site is possibly the largest bison cliff jump on the North American continent. Visitors to this state park learn about the importance of the buffalo and bison to the native people that lived in the region, and also enjoy hiking and picnicking along the interpretive trail.
Giant Springs Heritage State Park
Captain Clark of the Corps of Discovery described the springs he encountered at present-day Great Falls as “the largest fountain or spring I ever saw, and I doubt if it is not the largest in America known.” He was on the right track: Giant Springs is the largest cold, freshwater springs in the world, with over 300 million gallons of water rushing from the rocks per day. Visitors to the park enjoy spectacular vistas and pleasant picnic grounds. A fish hatchery is also located at the site.
Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art
The beautiful museum building—originally Great Falls’ first high school, dedicated in 1896—houses works by contemporary artists, many of them from Montana. The museum’s permanent collection focuses on the artistic diversity of the American Northwest. The Square also serves as the community cultural center, and offers tours, guest lectures and workshops.