Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Libby, MT

  • Published 2023/03/02

Libby is a city in northern Montana formed in the 1880s and originally named after a native miner’s daughter.

The city, at the foot of the Cabinet Mountains, has a history of mining and lumber.

Surrounded by more than two million acres of mountainous terrain, Libby features outdoor activities from hiking in the Kootenai National Forest to admiring the scenery of Lake Koocanusa.

The majority of tourist attractions in Libby have a historical link, an emphasis on relaxation, leisure, and entertainment, and an appreciation for nature and its beauty.

Here are the best things to do in Libby, MT:

See the Birds at Kootenai National Forest

A suspension bridge at Kootenai National Forest

melissamn /

This two-million-acre national forest offers a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities, including mountain biking, camping, fishing, skiing, hiking, and animal viewing.

The Kootenai National Forest lies on Montana’s far northwestern side, with the Canadian border to the north.

The steep landscape spreading from the river basins includes the Purcell, Bitterroot, Cabinet, Salish Mountains and the Whitefish Range.

Cedar grove at Kootenai National Forest

Danita Delimont /

They have identified 191 species in the forest.

You can find columbine, phlox, violets, and Indian paintbrushes among the many wildflowers in the forest.

The Kootenai National Forest in Libby is one of the ideal places for an unforgettable vacation.

The river of Kootenai National Forest

melissamn /

Visit the McGinnis Meadows Cattle and Guest Ranch

McGinnis Meadows Cattle & Guest Ranch is on a vast meadow with a year-round watercourse at 3,300 feet, covered with thickly timbered hills.

You’ll see remnants of the Davis family’s initial house, the “Old Orr Place,” and the subsequently used “Davis Place,” all homesteaded in the 1890s.

Shayne and his previous wife, Jo-Anne, founded the guest ranch in 1998, inspired by their passion for riding and the Buck Brannaman form of horsemanship.

Riding is their primary concentration, emphasizing horsemanship, whether in the ring, on the trail or driving cattle in the highlands.

Guests depart as better riders with various tools for their horses and in their personal lives.

Elk and moose also travel through the ranch.

Order High-Quality Meals at the Black Board Bistro

The Black Board Bistro, which opened in winter 2016, is the latest culinary attraction to Libby, Montana.

Seth and Riley Black own, run, and administer the Black Board.

They serve customized and Chef-prepared contemporary Mediterranean food.

Seth Black, the chief cook of the Black Board, has more than 18 years of culinary experience.

Their chef takes great care in sourcing high-quality, environmentally friendly sources.

They also prepare Northwest Montana’s best locally produced and house-made cuisine.

The goal of The Black Board Bistro is to gratify its customers by providing top-quality service and gourmet dining standards.

At the Black Board Bistro, sit, relax and savor a fantastic dining experience!

Relax and Dine at the Venture Inn and Restaurant

The Venture Inn is a nice hotel with conventional rooms, a heated pool and a hot tub.

It also has a restaurant offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner, only a short distance from Kootenai Falls.

Likewise, you’ll find en suite bathrooms with showers, flat-screen TVs, mini-refrigerator, coffeemakers, microwaves, and complimentary WIFI in each room.

Enjoy a complimentary breakfast every morning.

The hotel restaurant also has a fresh salad bar serving family-style American food, a guest laundry, and meeting and banquet hall facilities.

Their restaurant serves traditional home-cooked meals, making your stay even more relaxing.

The menu in Venture Restaurant offers a broad range of delectable alternatives that will satisfy every guest.

It is undoubtedly one of the most fantastic Inns to stay in Northwest Montana.

Learn History at Libby Heritage Museum

The Lincoln County Heritage Museum maintains the rich historical and cultural heritage of northwestern Montana.

The museum is inside a 12-sided log structure, which is also on the National Register of Historic Places.

Find artifacts from ancient Libby, showing its history of colonization, mining, and logging in the remarkable twelve-sided, 130-foot circular wood building.

This museum is dedicated to Libby’s late 19th and early 20th-century history and its population, including miners, loggers, trappers, and the Kootenai people.

Likewise, the museum features a cookhouse out from the early 1900s, a blacksmith shop, a Sylvanite ranger station, and a refurbished and equipped miner’s cottage.

Enjoy Recreational Activities at Turner Mountain Ski Area

Turner Mountain Ski Area is a unique business that contributes much to the community.

This tourist attraction is a skier’s and a snowboarder’s dream come true, with wide-open slopes, good snow conditions, stunning scenery, and low lift ticket prices.

The ski facility is 22 miles outside Libby, along Pipe Creek Road, at an elevation of 5,952 feet.

It offers world-class downhill skiing.

The mountain also offers economical recreation activities for both residents and tourists.

You can enjoy the double chairlift, a charming daytime lodge featuring a snack bar, and ski gear rentals.

Elk, mule deer, grizzly bears, mountain lions and goats, and bighorn sheep inhabit the area with rough landscapes.

Create fun and memorable moments with friends and family at Turner Mountain Ski Area.

Take a Photo at Kootenai Falls & Swinging Bridge

The view from within the Kootenai Falls & Swinging Bridge

Beach Creatives /

Did you know that the Kootenai Falls Swinging Bridge is Libby’s most famous bridge?

The US Forest Service created this footbridge to let firefighters reach forest fires over the Kootenai River.

However, a big flood destroyed the bridge in 1948.

The bridge was reconstructed on concrete piers, and the Libby Dam currently protects it from floodwaters.

Direction sign of Kootenai Falls & Swinging Bridge

melissamn /

It is used for administrative reasons, but it also shows a spectacular vista of the Kootenai River canyon, just below Kootenai Falls.

This swinging bridge might look dangerous, but it is safe.

The bridge allows easy access to forest fires over the Kootenai River.

Today, it’s a tourist attraction.

Stop in the center of the bridge to take in the breathtaking views of the Kootenai River canyon below Kootenai Falls.

Side view of Kootenai Falls & Swinging Bridge

Tomas Nevesely /

Play and Snack at Switchback Restaurant & Casino

Why waste a day in your hotel when you can unwind at a trendy bar?

Switchback Restaurant & Casino is a well-known attraction in Libby, Montana.

Drive to Switchback Restaurant & Casino to unwind with cocktails and exquisite cuisine ranging from handmade recipes to hand-pressed hamburgers and prime rib.

Your close companion for the day will be a Bockman burrito or perhaps a Chicago platter.

You are also invited to play at the on-site casino.

Switchback Restaurant & Casino offers a wide variety of entertainment and dining selections.

Play Golf with Pals at Cabinet View Golf Club

Do you and your pals play golf?

Whether you are a professional, beginner, or enthusiast, set aside some time to indulge your passion at Cabinet View Golf Club.

Cabinet View Golf Club, found in lovely Libby, Montana, is a gorgeous, challenging 18-hole golf course with outstanding scenery and remarkable vistas of the Cabinet Hills.

After a round of golf, stop by the on-site bar and restaurant for a quick bite to eat or a filling meal.

A variety of wines, beers, and liquors are available in the bar.

Wander the Montana Gallery USA

Libby’s several attractions mainly cater to individuals of all ages.

Explore the Montana Gallery USA if you want to spend some time with art.

You may look at a variety of local artworks and various pieces from local craftsmen, such as t-shirts, jewelry, furniture, and many more.

If you find what you’re looking for, grab it before someone else does.

Explore the wonder of art in Montana Gallery USA and take a minute to appreciate it.

Admire the Mountains at Lake Koocanusa Scenic Byway

Mountain views from Lake Koocanusa Scenic Byway

Tony Webster from Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Lake Koocanusa Scenic Byway, which traces the Kootenai River, is a roughly 108-km route.

It’s a long, narrow lake nestled between evergreen-covered mountains.

The border between the United States and Canada cuts the lake in half, and the scenic Byway showcases the southern half of the reservoir.

You can also follow a side loop from around the western end.

Numerous hiking paths cross the Byway, and a round cycling trail begins near the Libby Dam.

The Lake Koocanusa Scenic Byway offers recreational activities such as full-service and rustic camping, picnic, mountain climbing, nature watching, and fishing.

You can stop by several places and take in the views of the lake and National Forest.

Go Ice Skating at the Carousel Roller Rink

The Carousel Roller Rink is a family-owned roller skating rink.

This exciting tourist attraction in Libby features a small roller rink featuring black lights, disco lights, and loads of entertaining music and activities.

You can buy finger food such as pizza and corn dogs, beverages, and sweets here.

Likewise, try roller skating and bouncy house events for recreational entertainment.

Carousel Roller Rink is one of the best ways to spend a weekend at Libby!

Buy Handmade Beers at Cabinet Mountain Brewing Company

Cabinet Mountain Brewing Company in Libby is a family-friendly local brewery in Kootenai River Valley.

It opened in July 2014, Montana’s first brewery owned entirely by women.

Cabinet Mountain Brewing, nestled in one of the oldest parts of downtown Libby, has become a meeting spot for the community.

They make fantastic handmade beers and sodas that you can savor in their comfy living room or on the patio.

Pair your drinks with their delicious meals.

Cabinet Mountain Brewing Company would not exist without its outstanding employees.

Shawn, the brewer, takes tremendous delight in his work.

Their taproom team, with their vivacious energy and passion for outstanding beer, provides lovely service.

Additionally, the brewery hosts live music every week.

There’s no better spot to get a beer and a bite to eat than the Cabinet Mountain Brewing Company.

Stop by Libby Dam Visitor Center

The Libby Dam Visitor Center is a beautiful spot to bring your family and friends.

The facility also functions as a museum, with informative and entertaining exhibitions.

Picnic tables are available, and the surroundings are well-kept.

Take a picturesque drive along the Lake Koocanusa Scenic Byway and observe bald eagles and other animals.

Then, have a picnic and practice disc golf on the two courses surrounding the dam.

Afterward, go fishing, boating, and hiking.

The Libby Dam Visitor Center also has a small gift store; they do tours, too.

Add the Libby Dam Visitor Center to your interesting Libby itinerary.

Explore the Wildlife Recapture Taxidermy

Wildlife Recapture Taxidermy provides professional, high-quality taxidermy services for various species, including birds and mammals.

Their objective is to lead the world in animal taxidermy and restoration.

This taxidermy center continuously improves and employs the most cutting-edge materials and methods.

The Wildlife Recapture Taxidermy has a great understanding of wildlife and their natural environment and their creative talents.

They’ve made skulls, lifelike deer mounts, and grizzly bear carpets for homes, workplaces, and cabins.

Using various preservation tools, mounting, and casting materials, they’ll convert your prize trophy into an animal exhibit.

You can also buy taxidermied stuff from their wildlife collection if you want an animal piece but don’t want to hunt for it.

Wildlife Recapture Taxidermy can preserve the experience of your safari or outdoor vacation.

Try Your Hand at Gold Panning at Libby Creek Recreational Gold Panning Area

If you’re looking for a unique activity to experience the outdoors at Libby, why not try gold panning?

Libby Creek Recreational Gold Panning Area is the perfect spot for this recreational hobby.

This public site’s significance goes way back to the 1860s, back when gold prospecting was famous.

Officially opened in 1988, this recreational site contains overlooked gold that you can keep for yourself after your panning methods.

Libby Creek Recreational Gold Panning Area is within the Kootenai National Forest on Libby Creek Road.

This site is about 1 mile away from Howard Lake Campground.

Go Camping at Libby Volunteer Fire Department Memorial Park

Have time for an outdoor getaway while in Libby?

Then, you might like Libby Volunteer Fire Department Memorial Park.

This park, created in 1965, serves as a tribute to the firemen of the Libby community.

Its amenities include two picnic pavilions, a splash pad, and an RV site with a dump facility.

The centerpiece of the park is the Volunteer Fireman’s Tribute Monument.

Sitting right next to the City of Libby cemetery, Libby Volunteer Fire Department Memorial Park is on Mahoney Road.

Experience a Cabin Getaway at Koocanusa Resort & Marina

Your primitive stay within the wilderness at Libby is more memorable at Koocanusa Resort & Marina.

This fishing and lodging area offers a variety of rentals for camping and boating.

It features at least 110 RV sites, rustic cabins for rent, hiking trails, and a beachfront vista.

The resort is also famous for its hunting spots.

A trip to the marina provides you with about 24 rental slips with a wide selection of water fleets, including pontoons and paddle boards.

It’s always the right time to reflect amidst nature when you come by this site.

Koocanusa Resort & Marina is on Scenic Highway 37.

Start a Hiking Excursion at Flower Creek Trail

Flower Creek Trail brings the adventurer out of you with its 6-mile route.

Its moderate-to-difficult terrain shines a light on wooded forests and glimpses of lakes down below.

The trail is also famous for its wildflower overgrowth.

If you prefer water-based attractions, this trail has access to the likes of Flower Creek and Lower Sky Lake.

With about 1,000 feet of elevation gain, some of the trail’s more prominent activities include horseback riding, hiking, snowshoeing, and ski touring.

The scenery you’ll find at the peak of the trail, or even along its route, is worth it.

Flower Creek Trail is on Flower Creek Road from Highway 2.

Have Fun with the Whole Family at Uncle Paul’s

While Libby’s charm is its natural attractions, the city also has a few indoor centers for the whole family.

One of these is Uncle Paul’s.

This all-ages entertainment hall offers classic arcade games and karaoke facilities.

Its Toddler Boss area has climbing amenities, racing car tracks, and so much more!

The center also features Maddy’s World of Art where little ones can explore their artistic side.

You can find Uncle Paul’s on West 9th Street, open for event rentals too.

Final Thoughts

You must know by now that Libby is a place worth visiting for a quick getaway.

At Libby, you can visit museums, sample beers at breweries, dine on a tasty dinner, and admire the natural beauty.

Prepare yourself for a once-in-a-lifetime experience in Libby, Montana!

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