Guest Program

For a printable copy of the Guest Program please click here

Helena is a small capitol city with plenty of great things to do. Our population may be small but our “Queen City of the Rockies” has wonderful opportunities. September is nearing the end of our summer and we often refer to this time as the frenzy before frost. Expect to spend much of the guest program outside. Bring sunscreen and a jacket. The days are hot and sunny and the evenings are cool. As soon the sun drops behind our beloved MT Helena, expect a temperature change from the high 70’s to the low 60’s.

We are providing guest outings every day of the conference. Be prepared to enjoy a few wonders of our beloved “Big Sky” state. The goal of the guest program is to give our visitors a trip of a lifetime. Come join us for a grand time.

Sunday:

  • Starting on Sunday morning interested guest and delegates are welcome to attend the conference sponsored Golf Outing at Bill Roberts in Helena. You can sleep in as the golf course is about 10 minutes from the hotel – unless the traffic is heavy then it takes 12 minutes.
  • For those not wanting to golf but want to have fun we have two alternative guest outings. For the exercise minded, join a guided hike to the top of MT Helena. The hike takes about 2 ½ hours. All you need is a water bottle, jacket and good tennis shoes. To beat the heat of the day, the hike outing will leave the hotel at 8AM and returning by 10:30AM.
  • The other Sunday guest outing is geocaching. Helena just happens to be one of the premiere geocaching cities in the nation. If you have ever spent time looking for something in your garage, then this is the sport for you. The geocache outing will run from 11AM to 2PM.
  • Sunday evening will be conference icebreaker event for all guests and delegates. The dinner outing to the Kleffner Ranch will be a highlight to your stay in Helena.

Monday:

  • The day will begin with a downtown backroom tour of Helena’s historic Last Chance Gulch. History buffs will have an inside look into Helena’s colorful past.
  • Enjoy a tour and lunch at the historic Pioneer Cabin. The Pioneer Cabin stands as one of the last remaining structures that represent early Helena. It is the only one of its kind in the state of Montana. It also serves as the gateway to Reeder's Alley, the oldest part of Helena.
  • In the afternoon, plan on enjoying a tour of Helena’s landmark, Cathedral of Saint Helena. The stained glass windows are breathtaking and the story of how the windows arrived in Helena is priceless.

Tuesday:

  • The entire day will be a day trip to Great Falls, Montana. The day will start with experiencing one of the largest buffalo jump sites in North America at First Peoples Buffalo Jump. Then we are off to spend rest of the day at Giant Springs State Park and the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Interpretive Center along the Missouri River in Great Falls. Experience the world’s shortest river and a fish hatchery at Giant Springs. At the interpretive center you will re-live the 1804-06 Lewis and Clark Expedition's 8,000-mile journey across western North America. The 90-mile drive between Helena and Great Falls is a spectacular journey through the Rocky Mountain Front.

Wednesday:

  • Helena is a ceramic lover’s town thanks to the amazing Archie Bray Foundation. “The Bray” is world renowned for its influence on ceramics. On this outing plan on a walking tour of the amazing sculpture grounds, top of the line ceramic are displays, working artist and an opportunity to play with clay. Archie Bray, Sr. started this legacy in 1951 with a simple statement ... “for all who are seriously interested in any branches of the ceramic arts, a fine place to work”.
  • Enjoy lunch at “The Bray” with Helena’s unique round sandwiches from the Staggering Ox. Trying to explain an Ox sandwich is – well you just have to experience it!
  • The afternoon will be a tour of the Montana State Capitol and Montana Historical Society. These two sites are on every Helena tourist list. For our HEEP visitors we have arranged for backroom tours that very few experience.
  • Wednesday evening will be the conference banquet held at Radisson Colonial Hotel. All guests and delegates are welcome. Following the annual HEEP business meeting, sit back and enjoy Bruce Anfinson, Montana's Musical Ambassador.

Thursday:

  • For those not wore out, the morning starts with a short drive to Last Chance Ranch. At Last Chance Ranch explore this homestead location filled with wildlife, history, and activities. The lodge sits on 80 acres of private property and is surrounded by Helena National Forest. Travel back in time via horse-drawn wagons through Helena’s high mountain forest. From the ranch, we zip back to Helena to join the conference attendees on the final outing.
  • After lunch, the HEEP guests join the conference attendees for a trip through the Gates of the Mountains. Grab your sunscreen and jacket! Today you will follow the route of Lewis & Clark’s Corp of Discovery. See for yourself the wonder that Captain Lewis wrote about on July 19, 1805; this evening we entered much the most remarkable clifts that we have yet seen. these clifts rise from the waters edge on either side perpendicularly to the hight of 1200 feet. ... the river appears to have forced its way through this immense body of solid rock for the distance of 5-3/4 Miles ... I called it the gates of the rocky mountains”.
  • The evening at the Gates will conclude with a picnic, live music and a wonderful view of the Missouri river at Holter Lake

Friday:

  • Rest – and plan for your next visit to “The Last Best Place”.