Saturday, June 15, 2019

If Bernie Sanders Is Right, Why not Make Socialism Voluntary? June 15, 2019 by Dan Mitchell

As reported by the Washington ExaminerCrazy Bernie thinks the American people will be happy to pay more taxes in exchange for more goodies from Washington.
Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said more taxes would be necessary in order to pay for things like universal healthcare and tuition-free college. …”a lot of people in the country would be delighted to pay more in taxes if they had comprehensive healthcare as a human right,” Sanders said. …Sanders, an independent senator from Vermont, said there is a “tradeoff” but he believes “most people will believe they will be better off…when they have healthcare as a human right and they have affordable housing, decent retirement security, and most Americans will understand that that is a good deal.”
I’m very skeptical of this claim.
When people are given the opportunity to voluntarily pay additional tax, whether to the federal government or state governments, they almost never cough up additional money.
Supporters of Bernie Sanders might claim that I’m being unfair. After all, he’s claiming that people would be happy to pay additional tax for additional spending, not additional tax for the current level of spending.
That’s a fair point.
So I’m willing to meet Crazy Bernie at the halfway point.
He says people would be happy to pay more tax and I think that’s wrong. How can we figure out which one of us is correct?
Simple. Let people choose. There are two ways to make this happen.
  1. Make socialism voluntary. If Crazy Bernie is correct about people wanting to pay more to get more, why not create a system where people can opt in or opt out? That shouldn’t be too difficult. Just create two tax systems, one for people who want to pay more to get more goodies, and another for people who don’t want that option. Heck, we could even create a third system for people (like me) who would like to opt out of existing redistribution and social insurance programs.
  2. Comprehensive federalism. Let’s basically repeal the Washington-centric welfare state and let states decide whether to impose such programs. If people like paying high taxes in exchange for big government, I’m sure politicians in New JerseyCalifornia, and Illinois will be happy to oblige. But if Crazy Bernie is wrong, maybe people will vote with their feet and migrate to states that presumably would forego the opportunity to replicate the programs currently imposed from D.C.
Needless to say, I very much doubt whether Crazy Bernie or any of his supporters will go for either choice.
They know that voluntary socialism inevitably breaks down.
And folks on the left favor tax and spending harmonization precisely because they know that federalism and decentralization will lead to a smaller welfare state.
Which is why, notwithstanding Crazy Bernie’s claim, I described this tweet as perfectly capturing “the essential difference between libertarians and statists.”
Statists don’t support choice. They don’t like federalism. The bottom line is that they know their intended victims will opt out.
Crazy Bernie is bluffing. He knows people don’t favor higher taxes. This cartoonexplains everything.

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11 QUESTIONS & A CUP OF COFFEE: MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENT CLINT ROMESHA By Marty Skovlund Jr. & Katie McCarthy | June 14, 2019

On Oct. 3, 2009, combat outpost (COP) Keating in the Kamdesh district of Afghanistan came under attack by 300 Taliban insurgents. During the Battle of Kamdesh, U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Clint Romesha is credited with leading the counterattack, directing air support, and providing suppressive fire throughout the 12-hour battle.
Romesha was in the Army from 1999 through 2011, when he left active duty to spend more time with family and work in North Dakota’s oil industry. In 2013, he was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Battle of Kamdesh. His book, “Red Platoon: A True Story of American Valor,” was released in 2016 and is being made into a movie by Sony Pictures.  
Romesha stopped by the Black Rifle Coffee Company headquarters in San Antonio, Texas, earlier this year and took some time to sit down with Coffee or Die for our latest installment of 11 Questions & A Cup of Coffee. Pour yourself a hot cup of joe or a cold brew, and enjoy.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Q&A with Medal of Honor Recipient Clint Romesha on Youtube
COD: How do you take your coffee?
CR: In the morning, a little cream; by 11 AM until about midnight, just black.
COD: How do you make your coffee?
CR: Old-school drip — just the old drip over.
COD: What’s the most bizarre or extreme place you’ve ever had or made a cup of coffee?
CR: I think the most bizarre would be the first time in an Abrams Tank, sitting there making it just off the back deck with the old canteen cup — the instant coffee out of the MRE. Set it on the exhaust, let it warm up. Always very flavorful with the extra exhaust fumes.
In this file photo dated July 27, 2009, U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Clinton L. Romesha patrols near Combat Outpost Keating in Kamdesh, Nuristan province, Afghanistan. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Army.
COD: What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done, physically or mentally or both?
CR: Out of all random things, the hardest thing I think I’ve done is when I had to do the audio version of my book. It was only like 20 pages, but when you’re stuck in a sound studio for 16 hours over two days, and after an eight-hour day, I’d get done — I was physically and mentally exhausted. Apparently, when I read out loud, I take contraction words and instead of “can’t,” I say “cannot.” And then, of course, they stop you every time you do something like that. A lot of restarts, to the point where it’s like, “Look, dude, this isn’t Teddy Ruxpin. People aren’t reading along with the book. Just let me talk how I normally do.”
Doing two days of that — like I said, it’s 16 hours to go through 20 pages — I was … I can’t imagine another time where I was more mentally and then physically exhausted. I know that sounds really weird, but it takes its toll on you.
COD: What motivates you to do what you do?
CR: The big thing that motivates me is, I’ve always had the philosophy in life that I can’t change anything in my past. I can learn from it, I can grow from it, but tomorrow is the most important thing. So, what am I doing today that will affect tomorrow, and what can I do today that helps either improve me or those around me to show up for the future?
Medal of Honor Tribute Video for Staff Sgt. Clint Romesha on Youtube
COD: What do you think is the most misunderstood thing about you or the work that you do?
CR: I think the most misunderstood thing about me is that people think I’m over 5-foot-5. It’s funny, but it’s true. When I meet people for the first time, they’re like, “I thought you’d be a lot taller.” And it’s like, “Well, no. When you’re 5-foot-5, you’re just harder to shoot.” So, being small is good.
COD: How do you define success?
CR: I define success as what we pass on to the next generation and how they contribute to the idea of American culture. That we have just the unlimited ability to be whatever we want and take on whatever past chances, opportunities to fail and be successful. Success for me is what that is. What you leave to the next generation to pass that on so they understand that you’ll inform them.
Staff Sgt. Clinton Romesha received the Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama in February 2013 for his action at Combat Outpost Keating Oct. 3, 2009. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Army.
COD: Mountain view or ocean view?
CR: Mountain. I grew up in Northern California, which most people think, “Oh, you’re from California — how are the beaches?” I was six hours away from the beach. I grew up in the Sierra Nevadas, the high-desert area. I loved looking at the mountains, I loved being in the mountains — the only spot that sucked with mountains was Afghanistan.
Mountains are always … I don’t know, there’s just serenity and looking at such a defining obstacle in your world. Whereas, I look at the ocean and I’m like, “I can’t swim, so screw that!”
COD: If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
CR: For me, it would be the ability to control time. I think if you can control time, you can control everything that comes out.
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Clinton L. Romesha with Bravo Troop, 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment provide security in the Hindu Kush mountains along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, July 11, 2009. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Army.
COD: What are your hobbies outside of what you’re known for?
CR: One of the hobbies I’ve been trying to work on — getting up to North Dakota, I’ve never skated before in my life. At 30 years old I decided, “I’m going to strap on some skates and learn how to play some hockey.” So, that’s been my hobby, pains, and aches for the last almost four or five years. Trying to figure out how to stop on skates, how to take a slap shot, how to not get hit, and how to stay on your skates before you’re on your butt.
COD: On a scale of 1 to 10, how confident are you in your ability to survive in a post-apocalyptic world? (1 being you’re dead on day one, 10 you’re the ruler of the New World Order.)
CR: I’d probably be about a six because I’d probably get lazy and bored at some point and let my guard down, and then slip up and fuck up.
I wouldn’t think zombies would want to go out to North Dakota though.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Joe Bonamassa - Riff Notes - History of the Blues

Trouble-Free Tips for Urban Camping By Megan Buemi

Getting out in the wilderness is great and all, but every once in a while, you need a little taste of city life. There are way too many amazing U.S destinations to forego urban destinations entirely, even for the outdoorsiest among us.
Of course, you could always go the traditional route: fly into your destination, arrive in a big, crowded airport, and find your way through the maze of city streets to an overpriced hotel room. But you can also experience the city life from the comfort and convenience of your travel trailer or motorhome — and we’re not talking about just parking on a city street, crossing your fingers, and hoping for the best (though some RVers have certainly done so with not-terrible results.)
So if you’re in the mood to conquer a concrete jungle, don’t go hanging up your RV keys quite yet. Here are a few surprisingly simple solutions if you’re wondering, “Where’s the best urban RV camping near me?”

Hassle-Free Urban Camping

Although the term “RV park” readily brings to mind a forest-covered stretch tucked away from the city’s hustle, there are plenty of resorts that exist within urban boundaries. Don’t get us wrong, they’re not free… but for a few days in the city within easy proximity of attractions or mass transit, they may just be worth it.

Choose an urban RV resort.

No, it’s not an oxymoron! There are actually quite a few RV campgrounds and resorts that are situated right in, or very nearby, big city centers. For example, if you’re looking to explore the Big Apple while calling your motorhome home, you’ll want to check out Liberty Harbor RV Park, which is situated just 15 minutes from the heart of NYC in Jersey City, New Jersey. You can get into town on the train or ferry, and even better, you’ll have a relatively quiet, calm place to retreat to once you’ve had enough of city life… which, let’s be frank, can happen pretty quickly in Manhattan
Liberty Harbor isn’t the only urban RV resort — far from it! Here are a few more reputable RV campgrounds that are within a stone’s throw of major metropoles.
Although not all cities have these sorts of resorts available, it’s definitely worth scoping out ahead of time, since it’s a totally-hassle-free, comfortable, and convenient solution. Of course, big city livin’ comes at big city prices, so be prepared for many of these campgrounds to charge $100 a night or more.

Alternative Urban Camping Tips

Headed to a place that doesn’t have a nifty urban RV resort like the ones above — or just not into paying those premium per-night prices?
Here are some alternative RV camping tips if you’re stopping over in a big city for a night or two and need a place to park your camper.

Visitors Centers and Chamber of Commerce Buildings

If your city’s travel bureau has an operant visitors center, the large parking lot may be friendly to overnight RV stays — although it’s always important to check inside and make sure. The same goes for Chamber of Commerce facilities, which need supersized parking lots to handle their municipal duties.
Of course, information on whether or not overnight RV parking is allowed may or may not be available on the organization’s website. We recommend calling ahead of time to confirm, just to make sure you don’t end up you-know-where without a paddle.

Casinos, Resort Hotels, and Convention Centers

If you’re headed to a city that’s a major gathering spot, chances are they have some super-sized hotels and convention centers with ample parking. These facilities may or may not allow overnight RV parking, and some may charge a fee… but it’s also not unheard of for a hotel to offer hookup RV sites within convenient distance to city attractions. (For a fee, of course.)
For example, Jason and Nikki Wynn of Gone with the Wynns were able to explore urban Chicago (which they were visiting for a music festival) by parking their RV at McCormick Place, the largest convention center in North America. They paid $22 per night plus an $8 reservation fee for a total of $30 per night — which isn’t nothing, especially for dry camping. But they were also within easy biking or public transit access to just about everything they wanted to do while they were there.
Casinos are another solid option if you’re in an area that allows them, and many even have parking areas set aside specifically for RVs. You may even end up with a meal voucher or other incentive to get you to go inside and gamble. Bet at your own risk… but definitely take them up on the free meal.

Plain Old Parking Lots and Garages

Yes, you may actually be able to park your motorhome or travel trailer in a paid city lot — though length and height limits will, obviously, apply. And considering that parking a regular car in these lots can be prohibitively expensive, expect to dish out for the privilege of keeping your camper there overnight.
On the other hand, city lots do sometimes feature 24-hour security, which can be a real boon when you’re camping in an urban location. There’s also, however, noise to consider… if the lots are open all night, chances are cars will be going in and out, which may be difficult to deal with if you’re a light sleeper.

General RV Camping Tips for City Living

Urban camping is a fun alternative adventure to the traditional RV camping life, which usually involves getting as far away from the rush of city living as possible. But if you are going to tackle an urban destination, here are some general tips to help keep you happy in the midst of the city’s chaos.

Light sleeper? Bring earplugs.

No matter where in the city you camp, chances are, it’s gonna be noisy — and as most RVers know, these vehicles generally lack the sound insulation you get in a sticks-and-bricks home. Sleeping well is absolutely essential to not hating your waking hours, so if you’re a light sleeper, toss some earplugs onto your packing list… or maybe consider upgrading to a white noise machine.

Try to avoid driving, if you can.

One-way streets, crazy city traffic, a veritable orchestra of honking horns… driving in the city is just plain no fun, no matter how you slice it. Which is exactly why you want to try to find a campsite that’s close enough to the action that you can get there by bike, public transit, or on foot.

Save cash by eating at home.

One of the very best parts of RVing is your ability to make your favorite meals on the road, thanks to your built-in kitchen. And while you’ll obviously want to splurge on a few local delicacies, cities have a way of — excuse the pun — eating through your travel budget quickly, so saving some coin by cooking breakfast and lunch at home is a great way to make it through without too bad of a case of sticker shock!

How to Find the Best RV Sites No Matter Where You Are

No matter where you’re headed, if you’re a fairly serious RVer (or even just someone who takes a trip a few times a year), we highly recommend investing in a Passport America membership. It’s true, there are plenty of discount camping club memberships to choose from, so what makes this one different? Well, for less than $50 per year, you’ll get 50% off your campsite accommodation fees at almost 1900 campgrounds across the country, including some in urban locales as well as those further afield. Especially when you’re talking about big city pricing, that discount can pay for itself in the space of a single weekend — and plus, it’s a really great way to learn about campgrounds that might not otherwise have been on your radar. For more information and to sign up for your own Passport America membership today, click here!
Whether you’re after big-city adventure or a lower-key off-grid trip, we’re here to help make your RV vacation absolutely perfect at every step along the way — and we can’t wait to hear about the results!

The Right-Wing Debate Between Classical Liberalism and Bigger Government June 14, 2019 by Dan Mitchell

wrote yesterday about the debate among leftists, which is partly a contest between Bernie Sanders-style socialists and Elizabeth Warren-style corporatists.
Now let’s look at the debate on the right.
There’s an ongoing argument over what it means to be conservative, especially when thinking about the role of the federal government.
You can view this debate – if you peruse this “political compass test” – as being a battle over whether it is best for conservatism to be represented by Friedrich Hayek or Angela Merkel? By Donald Trump or Gary Johnson?
As far as I’m concerned, it’s a debate between whether the right believes in the principles of small-state classical liberalism or whether it thinks government should have the power to steer society.
Representing the latter view, here’s some of what Henry Olsen wrote for the Washington Post.
…libertarian-minded opinion leaders have criticized Trump… For these people, Trump was…an apostate whose heresies had to be cast out of the conservative church. Trump’s overwhelming victory in the primaries should have shocked them out of their ideological slumber. …the market fundamentalists seem to see nothing— absolutely nothing — about today’s capitalism to dislike. …National Review’s founder, William F. Buckley, famously wrote that…the federal government’s proper peacetime duties are solely to “protect its citizens’ lives, liberty, and property.” With respect to its efforts to do anything else, “we are, without reservation, on the libertarian side.” But that dog don’t hunt politically. ..libertarian-conservatives remain oblivious or intentionally in denial… The New Deal’s intellectual core, that the federal government should vigorously act to correct market failures, remains at the center of what Americans expect from Washington. Trump’s nomination and election proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that even a majority of Republicans agree. Less doctrinaire conservative thinkers understand this. Ramesh Ponnuru noted in his National Review essay that…capitalism “require[s] invigoration” as a result. The American Enterprise Institute’s Yuval Levin goes further, noting that “sometimes our economic policy has to be determined by more than purely economic considerations.” Other factors, such as social order and family formation, are also worthy goals to which pure economic efficiency or growth must bend at times. …this debate is fundamental to the future of conservatism and perhaps of the United States itself.
And here’s the beginning of a history-filled article by Joshua Tait in the National Interest.
When FOX television host Tucker Carlson recently attacked conservative faith in free market economics, he probably surprised a number of his viewers. For too long, Carlson charged, libertarians and social conservatives have ignored the fundamental part economic structures play in undermining communities. Families are crushed beneath market forces. Disposable goods—fueled by consumer culture—provide little salve for drug addiction and suicide. Markets are a “tool,” Carlson said, not a “religion.” “You’d have to be a fool to worship” them. Carlson put a primetime spin on an argument that has been brewing for some time on the right. Just as the 2008 economic collapse and the national prominence of Bernie Sanders have begun to shift the Democratic Party’s stance toward socialism, so the long effects of the downturn and Trump’s election have caused a rethinking of conservative commitment to free markets.
Last but not least, Jonah Goldberg examines a slice of this divide in a column for National Review.
The idea holding together the conservative movement since the 1960s was called “fusionism.” The concept…was that freedom and virtue were inextricably linked. …Today, conservative forces concerned with freedom and virtue are pulling apart. The catalyst is a sprawling coalition of self-described nationalists, Catholic integralists, protectionists, economic planners, and others who are increasingly rallying around something called “post-liberal” conservativism. By “liberal,” they…mean classical liberalism, the Enlightenment worldview held by the Founding Fathers. What the post-liberals want is hard to summarize beyond generalities. They seek a federal government that cares more about pursuing the “highest good” than protecting the “libertarian” (their word) system of individual rights and free markets. …On the other side are…conservatives who…still rally to the banner of classical liberalism and its philosophy of natural rights and equality under the law. …this intellectual mudfight really is…about what conservatism will mean after Trump is gone from the scene. …the so-called post-liberals now want Washington to dictate how we should all pursue happiness, just so long as it’s from the right. …Where the post-liberals have a point is that humans are happiest in communities, families and institutions of faith. The solution to the culture wars is to allow more freedom for these “little platoons” of civil society… What America needs is less talk of national unity — from the left or the right — and more freedom to let people live the way they want to live, not just as individuals, but as members of local communities. We don’t need to move past liberalism, we need to return to it.
For what it’s worth, I prefer Jonah’s analysis.
But I’ll also make three additional points.
First, if we care about maximizing freedom and prosperity, there’s no substitutefor classical liberalism.
In my lifetime, there have been various alternatives to free markets. There was pre-Reagan Rockefeller Republicanism, post-Reagan “kinder and gentler,” George W. Bush’s so-called compassionate conservatism, reform conservatism, and now various strains of Trumpism and populism.
It may very well be true that some of these alternatives are more politically palatable (though I’m skeptical given the GOP’s unparalleled electoral success with an anti-big government message in 1980, 1994, 2010, and 2014).
But even if some alternatives are more popular, the associated policies will hurt people in the long run. That’s a point I made when arguing for supply-side tax cuts over family-friendly tax cuts.
In other words, you demonstrate compassion by giving people opportunity to prosper, not by giving them other people’s money.
Second, there’s nothing about classical liberalism or capitalism that suggests people should be selfish and atomistic.
Indeed, I pointed out, starting at the 3:36 point of this interview, that a libertarian society is what allows family, neighborhood, and community to flourish.
And, as Jonah explained, the “platoons” of “civil society” are more likely to thrive in an environment where the central government is constrained.
My third and final point is that I’m pessimistic.
The debate on the left is basically about how to make government bigger and how fast that process should occur.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a similar debate on the right, featuring different theories of how to shrink the size and scope of government.
Instead, the Reaganite-oriented classical liberals are the only ones who want America to become more like Hong Kong, while all the competing approaches basically envision government getting bigger, albeit at a slower rate than preferred by folks on the left.
In other words, we’re in a political environment where everyone on the left is debating how quickly to become Mexico and many people on the right are debating how quickly to become France.
No wonder I’ve identified an escape option if America goes down the wrong path.

Montana and the Nation's Flag by Kirby Lambert, Outreach and Interpretation Program Manager

While July 4th is celebrated as America’s birthday, since 1949 citizens of the United States have also celebrated June 14 as National Flag Day. The Treasure State is, of course, represented by the 41st white star on the field of blue in the upper left-hand corner of the “stars and bars” (that’s us—the second-from-the-left star on the second-from-the-bottom row). But what did Old Glory look like when it only had 41 stars? Or did it, in fact, ever have exactly 41 stars? That’s a more complicated question than you might think.

In January 1889 there were 38 states, and 38 stars on the flag.

On February 22, 1889, President Grover Cleveland signed an omnibus bill that paved the way for the entrance of Montana, Washington, and North and South Dakota into the Union.  By July 4, 1889, however, none of those territories had yet become states, so the U.S. still had a 38-star flag.

This mural depicts President Grover Cleveland (right), Secretary of State Thomas F. Bayard (left),
and Joseph K. Toole (standing), congressional delegate from Montana Territory at the signing of the
 “Omnibus Bill” on February 22, 1889,
 an enabling act which ultimately led to the creation of four new western states:
Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Washington.

 In November of 1889, the four territories did become states:  North and South Dakota on the 2nd; Montana on the 8th; and Washington on the 11th.  Although the states were admitted to the Union on those dates, the flag—as is always the case—would not officially be changed until the following July 4th.  Manufacturers began making 42-star flags in anticipation.  

On July 3, 1890, however, Idaho became the 43rd state. Therefore, when Montana’s star was added to Old Glory on July 4, 1890, it was officially a 43-star constellation. In reality, however, no one had had time to manufacture 43-star flags. Most of the flags actually used that day were 42-star flags.

On July 10th, 1890, Wyoming became the 44th state, so many manufacturers went straight to making 44-star flags, knowing that 43-star flags would soon be obsolete. This 44-star constellation remained official until Utah was admitted to the Union in 1896.

A relatively small number of 41-star flags were manufactured in spite of the fact
such  a configuration was never the official design of the U.S. flag.

 Obviously, the early 1890s were a confusing time for flag makers and the result was a wide variety of unofficial and inaccurate flags. Although the U.S. flag never formally had 41 stars, some 41-star flags were nevertheless manufactured. The Montana Historical Society has two in its permanent collection.

For more information refer to: The Stars and the Stripes: The American Flag as Art and as History from the Birth of the Republic to the Present, by Boleslaw and Marie-Louise D’Otrange Mastai (New York: Alfred A. Knopf), 1973 (reprinted 2002).

Southwest Montana’s 10+ State Parks June 13, 2019 by SouthWestMT

Allow us to introduce you to your next summer adventure. Montana boasts a network of over 55 State Parks – scattered literally from one corner (Brush Lake in Northeastern Montana) to the other (Bannack in the Southwest). The best part about the 10+ State Parks in our beautiful region is that they make the perfect pit stop as you drive from Yellowstone to Glacier – these hidden gems lie right between Montana’s National Parks! Here’s a quick rundown of the State Parks located in Southwest Montana!

1. Bannack Ghost Town

With a visit to Montana’s first territorial capital, the Old West will come alive again. Bannack is settled along Grasshopper Creek and is the site of a major gold discovery of 1862 and is one of the best-preserved ghost towns in the state. Learn more about Bannack’s incredible history.
Bannack | Dillon, MT

2. Lewis & Clark Caverns

The Lewis & Clark Caverns is one of the largest known limestone caverns in the Northwest. From May to September the Caverns are open for tours, with the occasional special touring offering during the off season. The park also has a campground, hiking trails, and visitor center.

3. Lost Creek

One of our favorite features of Montana is that you are never too far from incredible untouched wilderness. While State Parks may not count as untouched, Lost Creek offers an amazing ADA accessible trail to a cascading waterfall. This beautiful park will not disappoint!
Lost Creek State Park | Anaconda

4. Clark’s Lookout

This State park truly gives visitors the opportunity to stand in the footsteps of giants. Look out over the valley from the very spot William Clark stood, surveying the Corps’ expected route on August 13, 1805.

5. Beaverhead Rock

As the Lewis & Clark expedition made their way into the Dillon area, Beaverhead Rock was the landmark that Sacagawea recognized as being the land of her people. As you follow the Lewis & Clark trail, this is a must see.
Beaverhead Rock | Dillon, MT

6. Anaconda Smoke Stack

As you drive into Anaconda, you can’t miss the Smoke Stack on the horizon – this State Park thrives on history … and was once part of the Copper Smelter! Insider tip … during the annual Smelterman’s Celebration (at the beginning of August) they offer a limited number of tours (by reservation) up to the stack, complete with historical interpretation!

7. Spring Meadow

Spring Meadow is located in the western corner of Helena and has served the community as a popular urban day-use park. Enjoy an afternoon of swimming, fishing, walking, birdwatching, or simply spending time with friends and family.
Spring Meadow | Helena, MT

8. Black Sandy

Two words … water recreation. Located on the shores of Hauser Reservoir in Helena, this State Park is the perfect weekend camping destination or simple day-trip! If you are looking for somewhere for boating, fishing, swimming, camping, picnicking, bicycling, or even mountain biking – this is your park!

9. Elkhorn Ghost Town

All that remains of the charming town of Elkhorn is two historical structures: Fraternity and Gillian Halls. It is the views that make this State Park one for the books! Don’t miss an opportunity to explore a back-road in Southwest Montana.

10. Granite Ghost Town

Granite is one of … quite a few ghost towns in Southwest Montana, but what sets this town apart is that unlike so many others in the region, this town was built on silver not copper or gold. Dig deeper into the history of this once thriving 1890s boom town!

11. (BONUS) Missouri Headwaters

You caught us, technically this one is not in the boundary of the Southwest Montana tourism region, but it’s so close we could not help ourselves!
This State Parks marks the confluence of the Jefferson, Madison, and Gallatin Rivers to form the Mighty Missouri. Top reason to visit the park this summer? They offer a summer speaker series Saturdays at 7pm – check out their events.
Missouri Headwaters State Park

Which State Parks are on your bucket list for the summer?