In & Around Helena

Downtown Helena

What are you looking for in a college town?

Maybe it’s a place that’s small enough to feel like home but not so big that it’s overwhelming. That combines the excitement of urban arts and culture with all the adventures of the great outdoors—where you can get an internship at the state’s capital and hike, bike, and snowshoe in the Rockies.

Welcome to Helena.

Home to Carroll College and the capital of Montana, Helena checks all of those boxes and more. Our hometown shares our sense of community—a unique combination of support and possibility. Get to know Helena, and we think you’ll agree that there’s no college town like it. 

The state capital advantage

As a state capital, Helena provides you with a wide range of opportunities to expand your horizons—in your career and in your life. Our students have completed internships at the many state and federal agencies that are headquartered here, including at the offices of our U.S. senators, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and more.

Being Montana’s capital also meansTwo students deep in laughter while drinking coffee while one has whipped cream on their nose that Helena is home to a vibrant arts community—from museums and art galleries to an acclaimed symphony and performance venues. 

And whether you crave handcrafted ice cream or the best local microbrew, you’ll find what you’re looking for in Helena’s restaurant scene. Taste world cuisine without leaving the city, with options ranging from Greek to Japanese, Cajun to Asian, and more.

At the heart of the Catholic community

Since its founding in 1909 by the Diocese of Helena and Bishop Patrick Carroll, Carroll has occupied a central role in the life of the Diocese and in the Helena Catholic community. 

An enduring testament to the College’s place in the community is the Cathedral of Saint Helena, the cathedral of the Diocese whose construction was made possible by Bishop Carroll’s tireless fundraising and oversight. 

I came to Montana with three leading ideas—the idea of a parochial school system, the idea of a cathedral, and the idea of a college.

Bishop John Carroll

The connection forged more than a century ago remains as vibrant as ever, as Carroll students, faculty, staff and alumni continue a tradition of service to the Diocese. This character imbues Carroll College with a particular focus on service to parish communities in Helena and throughout the state.

Bishop John Carroll

Carroll's Montana Heritage

A trailhead to adventures

Student carries a bright kayak out of the storage facility

Here’s what awaits you just beyond Helena:

  • 75 miles of hiking and biking trails (minutes away)
  • Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park (a few hours away)
  • The Crown of the Continent Eco-system, including the Bob Marshall, Scapegoat, and Great Bear Wilderness areas( minutes to a few hours away)
  • Awe-inspiring scenery (pretty much everywhere)

One of the best ways to take advantage of the area’s great outdoors is through the Carroll Adventure and Mountaineering Program (CAMP), where you can join other students in fly-fishing in the Missouri River, mountain biking on the South Hill trails, snowshoeing in the Helena National Forest, and more.

Carroll College students make the great outdoors of Big Sky Country their own. With so much to do, there’s no doubt that Carroll College ranks as one of the best mountain colleges in the nation.

College Consensus 25 Best Colleges in the Mountains