BUTTE, MT - What do people get wrong about Butte?

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I hear (and heard, especially when I lived outside of Butte) a lot of misconceptions, over-dramatizations, and just flat out lies from people who don't live here in Butte. Sometimes, even people here in Butte. Although most of them don't really bother me and have some ounce of truth to them (looking at you, "Butte isn't dangerous"), there's one that never ceases to anger me just on the sheer sense of how wrong it is.

You guessed it based off the title: it makes me angry when I hear people say, "There's nothing to do in Butte." Why? Well, because there's plenty to do here in Butte America, and I'm going to try and whither that misconception down, article by article.

This edition covers an awesome place just about 20 miles outside of Butte, where water activities, relatively sandy waterfronts, and tons of hiking area come together to create a perfect outing for a family, a group of friends, a couple on a date, or even just the lone wanderer. I'm talking about Delmoe Lake, and whether you've been there before or not, listen up!

What to Expect at Delmoe Lake

  • Swimming is safe and encouraged
    • Unless there's some type of event happening to its ecosystem, Delmoe is safe to swim in. I've seen many rumors online about leeches and "swimmer's itch," but have yet to see anything concrete. I even called the Butte-Jefferson Ranger District office for info on these rumors and they said they've never heard anything either. The water can be cold, though!
  • Watercraft, motorized or otherwise, are allowed
    • When you're heading out to Delmoe Lake, you may want to pack a kayak, paddleboard, or any type of watercraft—motorized or otherwise—with you, as the lake is huge, beautiful, and safe in terms of water quality. There is a smaller boat launch available as well.
  • Wildlife is alive and well
    • The wildlife is one of the best parts about Delmoe. However, bears do roam the area, so if you're camping, you're going to need to bring safe and sturdy food storage containers to protect yourself and your camping friends. You may also want to bring bear spray or other bear protection. Also bring a camera for some sweet pics.
    • Fishing and hunting are very popular here, so make sure to grab your gear and post up. You will need to get a permit for either though, obviously.
  • The road there is bumpy and difficult
    • If you're someone who's planning to rock your 1998 Honda Civic up to the lake, you may want to consider something different (though anything is possible). The road to Delmoe, though easy to find off of the Homestake exit, is extremely bumpy, long, and requires some type of confidence in your vehicle—and in your skill.
    • I have seen plenty of campers, RVs, and other massive vehicles make the drive.
  • Parking lot to water access is very close
    • If you drive all the way to the lake, you won't have to hike in to get water access. I rock flip flops from the car to the water.
  • Tables are available
    • Right off the lot are picnic tables, grass, and plenty of areas to hang with ease. Plus, there is ample space for a lakeside party, either near other people or off on your own a little distance away.
  • The sun "sets" a little sooner on the lake
    • One thing people never talk about is the geological features and how that affects the sunset. At Delmoe proper, the sun will set perhaps an hour or two sooner than normal due to the surrounding mountain features and higher elevation, though out on the lake itself the sunset will be closer to normal time as the mountain is less obstructive.
  • Yes, Delmoe is safe
    • Yes, the people are cool. I've been there plenty and every time I went people were very nice and just looking to have a good time. Of course, crime exists everywhere, because people exist everywhere. But I think you'll be just fine.
  • Some tree cover, though not much
    • Some parts of the hangout zone have tree cover, but I'd bring a ton of sunscreen just in case.
  • Official info can be found here

I always forget something, so make sure to let me know what I missed and I'll add it here to the ultimate Delmoe Lake guide.

Stay tuned for more stuff to do next week!

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