If you get to spend a whole day in our area, here are some of our residents' favorite things to do.
Zortman and South County Exploration
Get up early, because you have a full day ahead of you. Head down highway 191 South for about 45 minutes and you will see the signs for Zortman, MT. This old mining town still boasts a few year-round residents. Located in the Little Rockies range, Zortman is one of the few mountain communities in our prairie home. For breakfast, the Miner's Cafe serves amazing omelettes, the Denver is our favorite. Step outside, and across the street to take your picture in the Zortman jail - it's a must!
You have several choices for quick hikes in Zortman. A walk up to the white church on the hill allows for wonderful views of the town. You could also take any of the many trails for a brisk morning hike. If you are coming through on a summer holiday, be ready for a crowd! The BLM campgrounds fill up quickly with ATV riders, horseback riders and campers alike.
If you know you are coming through town ahead of time, contact the motel/garage to schedule a Gold Panning lesson! There is still gold in 'dem 'dar hills! Before you leave town stop by the general store for picnic lunch fixins' and gas (don't forget to fill up!).
Head back to 191 South until you reach the Missouri River. The same river that Lewis and Clark navigated on their expedition! Just before the river you will see an Auto Tour route. This ride takes your through Slippery Ann, and if it's September you will be able to catch the elk bugling, but you will have to stay through sunset - believe me it's worth it! Follow the auto tour route and see scenic views of the Missouri River breaks, the river itself, elk, deer, birds, coyotes and many other species of wildlife. If you have your Montana fishing license, take your rod and reel and try your luck fishing on the Missouri or any of the fishing access points you will find along the way. The auto tour route will wind you back up to route 191, and start to head north back to Malta.
As you return to town, head to dinner at Stretch's Pizza. Don't leave without trying their fried pickles! There's a kids arcade in the pizza shop, so be sure to bring your quarters!
After dinner, we recommend heading south of town on 5th avenue, follow the road until it turns to gravel, and go right at the split, find a good pull off and watch the sunset. But just remember, you will likely have a few rigs stop, to check on you to make sure you are OK - but that's just part of the hospitality you will find in Phillips County!
A Downtown Kind of Day
If you want to take the time to explore our downtown area, we recommend you start your day at the Hitchin' Post Cafe for a hearty homestyle breakfast. You will not go away hungry!
After breakfast, walk down the street to our two museums (open May to December) the Phillips County Museum and the Great Plains Dinosaur Museum. Don't forget to check out the Modes of Transportation Exhibit and the HG Robinson house as you stroll. Grab a Historical Walking Tour map from the Phillips County Museum and take the morning exploring all the history right here in Malta! Did you know that Kid Curry, who was part of Butch Cassidy's Wild Bunch, robbed a train here?! Or that there was movie filmed around our area in the early 1900's!
It will be about time for lunch by now, and we recommend that you head over to the Bistro for a fresh made deli-sandwich, homemade soup - and you just have to have one of their homemade pretzels, hot from the oven!
Next, head over to the Art Spot and have a private art lesson. After seeing all the beautiful scenery the prairie has to offer, we know you will be inspired to create something remarkable! Try your hand at sketching, wood burning or painting. If you are here on the right days, they also offer Cocktails and Canvas (adult) and Cupcakes and Canvas (family) classes. If you are not quite ready to take the plunge and create something of your own, then browse the gallery for a unique souvenir from one of our local artists and artisans.
While you are downtown take a stroll through all of our shops! Stop into Patty's Floral and Greenhouse to take home some new plants and starts for your gardens and grab your gardening supplies from Hardware Hank; update your home's furniture at Art's Furniture and Carpet; update your wardrobe at Family Matters, the Closet and Robin's Roost; pick up a digital camera to capture all your memories from Todd's Technology Store; find that perfect toy for the kiddo's at 3 Sisters; get your newest kitchen gadget at Valley Drug; pick out a Malta or Montana logo item from Sew Sassy; don't forget your pets and find them something at Spare Change; find that perfect piece of jewelry or book from Promises; and get your favorite Montana teas at Tulips and Treasures! And that's only a few of our shops, you are going to need the whole afternoon to get through them all! If you don't see something - ask, our merchants support each other, and if they don't know where to get something in town, they will know who can order it for you. While you are strolling around, cross the highway to grab a sundae or blizzard from our locally-owned Dairy Queen!
After all that fun you are going to need a good old-fashioned home cooked meal and we have that waiting for your at our Westside Restaurant. You will be welcomed to sit at the diner bar or a table. They have a delicious salad bar, and their chicken fried steak is a local recommendation! Don't forget to save room for dessert!
Phillips County - An Active Outdoors
Are you looking for outdoor fun? Well, stop at Albertson's first thing, and pack your picnic basket, because we have a full day of adventure for you!
You will never forget walking along our Trafton park's trail at sunrise. If you are lucky, you will see mist slowly rising off the Milk River, and hear the crunch of leaves under your feet. Take your four-legged friends too, as all our trails are pet-friendly.
Grab your kayak, hop in the vehicle and head just south of town to the Alkali Creek fishing access point (ask a local to tell you how to get there - but there's a sign just a few miles south on hwy 191). Put in there and spend the morning kayaking along the Milk River. You likely will see a variety of bird species, fish jumping and maybe even a few deer! The River will bring you back to town, where you can have a bit of lunch before heading to your next adventure.
This time, swap your kayak for your bike, and drive either out to Bowdoin Refuge to bike their 13 mile trail around the lake or if you are feeling a bit more adventurous, drive down to Zortman and bike along their trails through the mountains! Either way you will be treated to great trails, beautiful scenery and amazing wildlife.
Head back to Malta, take your picnic dinner and go out to our M-Trail on the southern edge of town. Find a seat on one of the donated benches and enjoy an eastern Montana sunset to finish out your day.