Welcome to Fort Smith, Montana

  • Bighorn Canyon

    Photo courtesy: Travel MT/Jim Wylder

Fort C. F. Smith was established on August 12, 1866, to protect immigrants traveling on the Bozeman Trail from attacks by the Sioux Indians. The Bozeman Trail crossed the Bighorn River 400 yards from the fort. Located near the present town of Fort Smith, all that remains of the site are low mounds and interesting stories. The site is on private land and visitors may see it by making prior arrangements at the Yellowtail Dam Visitor Center.

The nearby Bighorn Lake extends approximately 60 miles through Wyoming and Montana, 55 miles of which are held within spectacular Bighorn Canyon Recreational Area. The Recreation Area is composed of 70,000+ acres, which straddles the northern Wyoming and southern Montana borders. Within the area is the Devil's Canyon Overlook providing breathtaking views and cliffs that tower 1,000 feet above the lake level. There is a visitor center in Fort Smith. The Afterbay Lake below the Yellowtail Dam is a good spot for trout fishing and wildlife viewing for ducks, geese and other animals. The Bighorn River below the Afterbay Dam and Campground is a world-class trout fishing area. Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area boasts breathtaking scenery, countless varieties of wildlife, and abundant recreational opportunities such as boating, fishing, ice fishing, camping, and hiking.