In the heart of the Big Belt Mountains, tucked away in a breathtaking canyon, is the historic town of Wolf Creek, Montana. Many who have discovered Wolf Creek return time and again to enjoy the peaceful solitude and laid back atmosphere. Just minutes from the Missouri River, located 35 miles north of Helena right off of Interstate 15, Wolf Creek is just 2.5 miles from the Wolf Creek Bridge river access and 4 miles from Holter Dam.
With two bar/restaurants, and the only gas station/convenience store between Helena and Cascade, Wolf Creek has everything you need in a classic small Montana setting. Only 8 miles from the town of Craig, Wolf Creek provides a respite from the hustle and bustle found around the Missouri River during the height of the season. Come discover for yourself the charm of Wolf Creek, Montana.
Nestled deep in the Big Belt Mountains in one of the most spectacular canyons in Montana, Wolf Creek was established as a stop along the Montana Central Railroad, which later became a part of the Great Northern Railway. Wolf Creek reportedly got its name from a local Indian legend that stated when the buffalo were being driven over a nearby cliff to their death, a wolf went along for the ride. They named the creek that flowed by the cliff “the creek where the wolf jumped too” or “the creek that the wolf jumped in.” Prior to Wolf Creek being established, there was a town called Cartersville founded where Little Wolf Creek empties into Little Prickly Pear Creek. Wolf Creek grew from Cartersville to serve the railroad.
The Wolf Creek Hotel, built in 1887, still stands and early on was frequented by outdoor enthusiasts and railroad travelers. It served as a stage stop along routes from Helena to Augusta and Fort Benton and sheltered workers who built Holter Dam in the early 1900’s. Two of our cabins at Wolf Creek Angler reportedly served as railroad housing during this era.
Prior to the construction of the railroad, the first road constructed through the canyon was a toll road built in 1865 by the Little Prickly Pear Wagon Road Company. By the early 1870’s, the road was an important freight and passenger route in the territory. Interstate 15, which winds through the canyon, was completed in 1967.
Wolf Creek gained some notoriety over the years with celebrity visitors such as the famous American boxer Jack Dempsey who trained here in 1923 and film stars like Dinah Shore, George Montgomery, Bing Crosby and Errol Flynn who visited Frenchy’s Resort in the 40’s and 50’s. The resort property still stands but the famous Frenchy’s Café burned down in 1958.
Amongst the fishing crowd, Wolf Creek is probably best known as the hometown of Jessie Burns in Norman Maclean’s semi-autobiographical novel A River Runs Through It. She was Maclean’s love interest in the story and became his wife. Her ashes were scattered on a mountain she named after herself, overlooking the Missouri River somewhere near Wolf Creek.
When traveling from the south, Wolf Creek is the jumping off point to access the Missouri River and provides easy access to Hwy 434 to get to Lincoln or Hwy 287 just north of Wolf Creek which goes to Augusta, Choteau and the east side of Glacier National Park.