Montana Highway 1 leaves the Clark Fork Valley at Anaconda  to wind through high mountain valleys and past ghost towns and old mining centers.
For most of its distance, Highway 1 travels along Flint Creek. Its high north-issuing valley is flanked by the low undramatic ridges of the Sapphire Mountains to the west and the easterly rugged Flint Creek Range. The highway plunges down to join the Clark Fork and I-90 at Drummond .
This alternative to the interstate doesn’t involve any extra mileage, but it does lead to plentiful scenic and historic sites, including the towns of Anaconda, known chiefly for its smelter but also for its incredible Superfund cleanup, and Philipsburg , a convivial old silver town with a wealth of century-old storefronts, private homes, and civic structures. Located in a steep draw beneath craggy peaks, “P-Burg,” as Montanans call it, is one of the most picturesque towns in the state.
Recreation includes skiing at one of Montana’s best small ski areas, Discovery Ski Area , lake fishing at 5,500 feet in Georgetown Lake , sapphire hunting at Gem Mountain Sapphire Mine , and exploring the ghosts of the mining towns that didn’t quite make it.