Helena Oktoberfest

Home Helena Oktoberfest
Photo by Jim Chapman

Celebrating Helena's Community

Special thanks to our partners, Blackfoot River Brewing Company and The Base Camp.

Community is key here in Helena.

Whether you're grabbing a beer at Blackfoot or outfitting yourself with the newest gear for your trip at The Base Camp, Montana Wilderness Association recognizes the essential services that businesses like these provide to the Helena area. That's why we partnered again with both Blackfoot and Base Camp for an Oktoberfest-themed weekend filled with hikes, presentations, beer, live music, brats, pretzels, and even a stein-holding contest.

All three of us in this partnership want to give back to you, the residents of Helena and show our appreciation for your support in our endeavors. Check out the list of Oktoberfest events below and we hope to share a beer or the trail with you at some point during that weekend. 

Blackfoot River Brewing Company66 S Park Ave

The Base Camp5 E Broadway Street

Montana Wilderness Association80 S Warren Street

Friday, September 20th

6:00 pm: Lynn Wisehart at The Base Camp

Swing on by The Base Camp to hear from Lynn Wisehart, part of the first women's team to hike border to border, and sample the brand-new Juniper IPA from Blackfoot, brewed just for this weekend! 

About Lynn Wisehart:

Lynn Wisehart holds a degree in photography from The Evergreen State College in Washington.  After graduating, she joined Jean Ella to through-hike the CDT in 1978, thereby becoming part of the first women's team to hike border to border, just before the trail was officially sanctioned.

Following their hike, Jean and Lynn created "To Take The Risk," a presentation about their seven-month-long adventure. Lynn and Jean presented that program as a motivational speech, encouraging the audience to dream big, take risks, and challenge themselves.  During those years, Lynn based herself out of Bozeman, MT where she continued her passion for the visual arts by attending MSU's video and film school. Lynn went on to become a whitewater kayak instructor for the next twenty years, traveling the country in her VW van. She also bicycled around nine countries in Africa for one year then subsequently made another slide show entitled "Solo Safari" that she again presented throughout the western U.S.

Finally feeling the need for a larger roof over her head, she settled in McCall, ID where she sold real estate, then met her husband who has a similar appetite for adventure. They now spend summers in N. CA and winters in AZ, when they aren't traveling abroad.

About The Base Camp:

The Base Camp is a Montana owned company since 1975 with folks that love to share the grand experience of Montana and the Northern Rockies. They love where they live, work, and play and they want to help you to enjoy our part of the country to the fullest. They have the staff with the knowledge to direct you to all of Montana’s special places and what you need to get the most out of your visit. Whether you need the right gear and equipment for enjoying our wildlands or just comfortable and durable casual clothing to enjoy the Montana lifestyle, The Base Camp has it all.

About Continental Divide Trail Coalition: 

The Continental Divide Trail Coalition (CDTC) is the 501(c)(3) national non-profit working in partnership with the US Forest Service, National Park Service, and Bureau of Land Management to complete, promote and protect the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail. Founded in 2012 by a passionate group of volunteers and recreationists, CDTC is a membership organization working to building a strong community of supporters who want to see the CDT protected not just for today’s users, but for generations to come.


Saturday, September 21st

8:30 am: Morning Hikes Near Helena

Choose from four available hikes Saturday morning, ranging in difficulty and length, and explore the public lands right outside your backyard. 

Mount Helena Hike

Start time: 8:30 a.m.
Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 4 miles
Leader: Heather Greene, MWA's development director

Take in downtown Helena with this classic hike.

Register for hike

Kading Hike

Start time: 9:30 a.m.
Difficulty: Strenuous
Distance: 8 miles
Leader: Kevin Moore, MWA's Wild Divide chapter president, and Bill Hallinan, Wild Divide chapter member

Hike up behind the Kading Cabin to explore the trails that MWA helped renovate with CDTC.  

Register for hike

Backwoods Survival in Unionville 

Start time: 9:00 a.m.
Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 2 miles
Leader: Bob Ronan, MWA's database manager

Visit the Forest Service land behind Unionville to learn about some of the plants you can (and can't) eat along the trail, how to set up the perfect hammock, and how to start a fire with a rock.

Register for Course

MacDonald Pass Hike

Start time: 9:30 a.m.
Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 8 miles
Leader: Lauren Murray, CDT Coalition

Hope on Vigilante Shuttles for a free trip up to Mac Pass.

Register for hike

2:00 pm: Close down Park Ave at Blackfoot River Brewing Company and Miller's Crossing

We're closing down Park Avenue to celebrate Oktoberfest at Blackfoot that afternoon. We received permission from the city to rope off the parking spaces so we can hang outside, drink amazing beer, eat great food, listen to live music, and watch (or even participate in) the stein-holding contest.

Visit the Blackfoot after your hike to try the Juniper IPA, and better yet, $1 of every beer purchased that day will be donated to Montana Wilderness Association to help us better protect the public lands in you cherish. Also, check out the commemorative t-shirts made just for this weekend while supplies last!

And in case you need to hear it again, you'll be allowed to drink your German beer and beverages from Blackfoot and Miller's OUTSIDE! Just please don't carry beverages from one establishment into the other, and don't carry your drink outside of the roped-off area that'll be provided. 

About Blackfoot River Brewing Company:

At Blackfoot River Brewing, they believe in making their handcrafted beers the right way. They use only the finest traditional ingredients, specifically tailored to each style of beer. This means that they sacrifice costs and efficiency to give you the quality of beer that you deserve. Most importantly, at their brewery, the brewing of beer is much more important than the selling of beer. In this industry, many brewers come up with catchy names and marketing terms to sell beer; they just focus on making really good beer.


4:00 pm: Dance to live music from Copper Queen and win the Stein-Holding Contest!

Hang around with your Juniper IPA to hear from Helena's own bluegrass and folk band, Copper Queen.

Make sure you're around for the first annual Oktoberfest stein-holding contest. To enter, stop by The Base Camp or The Bluestone to donate to MWA and become a member; you'll then be entered into the drawing for the contest. You can also enter to be drawn the day of the event. There will be two main heats of 15 men and 15 women. Then, wait a bit longer to see MWA, Base Camp, and Blackfoot staff compete for bragging rights. 

Swing by Miller's Crossing or grab some German brats from Rockstarr BBQ. 


Sunday, September 30th

11:00 am: BBQ from Triangle Lazy J at the Bluestone

Head on up to the iconic Bluestone building, MWA's headquarters, right next to the equally iconic Helena Fire Tower. Learn more about MWA's programs while staff and local chapter members grill out with Triangle Lazy J barbeque and enjoy the tail end of summer.  

12:30 pm: Learn from Dropstone Outfitting about packing in The Bob

Dropstone Outfitting is the only outfitter in the 1.5 million-acre Bob Marshall Wilderness that caters specifically to guided backcountry foot travel. They offer stock supported hiking trips where all you carry is a small day pack as you explore the peaks and valleys of the Bob Marshall. The trips are accompanied by a small string of pack animals that carry the rest of the gear. They also offer backpacking adventures, "theme" centered hiking trips such as "Yoga in the Bob Marshall Wilderness," custom backcountry experiences, and day hiking opportunities. Drop camp services are also available. 

Because they cater to foot travel, our trips concentrate on what they think makes for exceptional hiking adventures; beautiful vistas, remote locations, distinctive and often rarely used routes, and small group sizes. 

For any questions about the weekend, please contact Mike Rooney at mrooney@wildmontana.org or 406-443-7350 x103. 



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