Belfry, Montana

Elevation: 3862 FT

Population: 218

County: Carbon

Just outside of Billings on the Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone River, Belfry was created by the construction of the Yellowstone Park Railroad during Montana's coal-mining boom, and is now mainly a farming community. The entire valley is part of the aboriginal territory of the Apsaalooke (Crow) Indians. Arapooish, an Apsaalooke chief, described Crow Country as "a good country because the Great Spirit had put it in exactly the right place."

In its day, Belfry touted three grocery stores, three hotels, two bars, a bank, a butcher shop, a hardware store, a depot, a gas station and a post office. Most of the bars are still in business, things have slimmed down. When the railroad ceased operations in 1953, Belfry became a quiet rural community of mostly ranchers and farmers.

One of Belfry’s best-kept secrets is that it’s the perfect spot for an authentic western ranch getaway. The beautiful Beartooth River Ranch sits at the base of the Beartooth Mountains, just 20 miles to the west of Red Lodge and an hour from Yellowstone National Park—perfect for a destination wedding. Or, visit the Beartrap Ranch for a luxury western stay in the heart of Montana's pristine wilderness. 

True Story

The local school is Belfy’s main entertainment and community center, and although the town is small, the school’s mascot—the Belfry Bats—is known far and wide.

Trip tip

Check out Belfry’s Kose Grocery Store Building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places and originally serving the community as a restaurant, dance hall, and important meeting spot for the first Belfryites. It has functioned as a general store, grocery, and community gathering place for its entire history.

Live Like a Local

Every year, Belfry celebrates Pioneer Days with a parade, scavenger hunt, lawn mower race and historical tours and a dance, if you feel like kicking up your heels.

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