Have Dog, Will Travel: Top Dog-Friendly Adventures Around Helena

Smiling dog in the back of a car with mountain sunset in the background.

By Chelsea Paschall

Paws Park

Close to downtown on North Last Chance Gulch, this dog park located in Centennial Park is a great place to let your dog play free and make friends in the dog community. There are separate fenced areas for small and large dogs. Lots of benches for those who like to sit and a path around the perimeter for those who like to walk.

Mountain View Park

Holding true to its name, Mountain View Park does grant a sweeping view of Helena and the Valley. You can happily enjoy big sky country while taking your dog for a walk at the gem of a park near East Helena.

10 Mile Creek

Built to be accessible for everyone Tenmile Creek Park is comprised of 180 acres of former ranchland with creek access. A lovely place for a relaxing walk close to town where your dog can play in the water.

South Hills Trail System Including Mount Helena

The South Hils Trail system provides ample trails for you and your furry friends to explore (the 1906 trail to Prairie Trail, nicknamed Stick Central by dog lovers, and Mt. Ascencion are top favorites). Since the trails are multiuse stay cognizant of bikers and trail runners. As per city regulations, dogs must be kept on leash within 100 yards of the trailhead and are expected to remain on leashes at trailheads.  Dogs on trails must be either kept on a leash or within site and under voice control.  These precautions are to prevent unwanted interactions between people, other dogs and wildlife. 

Park Lake Campground

If you’re looking for a short hike (.5 miles out and back) away from it all with the option to let your dog play in a lake then Park Lake Campground is for you and your canine companion! Also a good place for fishing and kayaking. The drive to the Park Lake is on a bumpy dirt road approximately 40 minutes from Helena.

Missouri River Beaver Creek Trail

This out and back trail through a scenic canyon allows for off leash exploration. The entrance to the Missouri River Beaver Creek Trail entails walking across Hauser Dam from the parking lot. Be advised there are some rocky parts that could be challenging for some dogs.

Willard Creek Trail

Near Clancy the Willard Creek Trail is out and back and provides you and your dog to walk alongside a creek with seasonal stunning wildflowers. This trail is located in bear country so be sure to carry bear spray. It includes a nice picnic area and is noted for being very dog friendly. The drive in is on a dirt road that can be ruddy in spots.

So much to choose from! Here is a handy link for Dog Friendly Hotels in Helena

Reminder…There is No Poo Fairy! Please pick up after your dog!

If you’re looking for a new companion, the Lewis & Clark Humane Society has many four-legged friends waiting to meet you.