Montana Counties
Montana County map
Click Image to Enlarge

Montana Counties

There are fifty-six counties in Montana. Montana has two consolidated city-counties- Anaconda with Deer Lodge County and Butte with Silver Bow County. The portion of Yellowstone National Park that lies within Montana was not part of any county until 1997, when part of it was nominally added to Gallatin County, and the rest of it to Park County.

Deer Lodge County, Montana

Deer Lodge County Education, Geography, and HistoryDeer Lodge County, Montana Courthouse

Deer Lodge County is a county located in the state of Montana. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 9,298. It forms a consolidated city-county government with its county seat of Anaconda. The county was founded in 1865

Etymology - Origin of Deer Lodge County Name

Deer Lodge Valley, which in turn was either named for the Native American name "Lodge of the White-tailed Deer" or a salt lick where deer came in droves


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Deer Lodge County History

Deer Lodge was created 2 February 1865 as one of the original 9 Montana counties. The county seat is Anaconda.

The area included within the boundaries of Powell County, Montana, was from 1803-1848 located in what was loosely identified as the Oregon Country. After the creation of the Oregon Territory in 1848 it was part of that territory until 1853 when it was included in the new territory of Washington. It became a part of Idaho Territory in 1863 and on January 16, 1864 the County of Deer Lodge was established by the legislature of Idaho with the county seat located at Idaho City (near the Cottonwood Fork of the Deer Lodge River). The county was never organized and it was not until Montana became a territory that Deer Lodge County really existed. On February 2, 1865 the first legislature of Montana Territory created nine counties of which Deer Lodge was one. The county seat was established at Silver Bow and changed to Deer Lodge City December 10, 1867.

Various changes have been made in the boundaries of the original Deer Lodge county at different times. The original county has been divided several times. Silver Bow, Granite and Powell counties were taken from the original county of Deer Lodge.

 Deer Lodge was one of several Montana cities in the contest for the location of a permanent capital for the state in 1892. Anaconda and Helena received the two highest votes in that election and in 1894 Anaconda was defeated by Helena for the capital site. Since it could not have the capital, Anaconda decided the county seat should be changed to that city and in 1896 Anaconda took the county seat from Deer Lodge by a vote of 3,232 to 1,403. The offices were moved January 25, 1837. As an excuse for Anaconda's action in taking the county seat, the charge was made that Deer Lodge had supported Helena for the capital in the election of 1834, but the Deer Lodge paper stated that at least 70% of the vote had gone to Anaconda. The change of location of the county seat was probably responsible for the creation of Powell County, which occured January 31, 1901, with Deer Lodge designated as the county seat. 

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 741 square miles (1,920 km2), of which, 737 square miles (1,909 km2) of it is land and 4 square miles (11 km2) of it (0.57%) is water

Located in western Montana, the city of Anaconda is the county seat of Deer Lodge County. In the late nineteenth century, Anaconda was a thriving mining metropolis.

The county area is 741 square miles, characterized by densely timbered forest lands, lakes and recreation grounds. The county has common borders with Beaverhead, Butte-Silver Bow, Granite, Jefferson and Powell counties.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Granite County, Montana - northwest
  • Powell County, Montana - north
  • Jefferson County, Montana - east
  • Silver Bow County, Montana - southeast
  • Beaverhead County, Montana - south
  • Ravalli County, Montana - west


Montana Colleges, Universities, & Schools
Compare More Colleges and Universities
Find the Right School

Find more schools to match to your needs.

County Resources
US Counties
Click Image to Enlarge