In Judith Basin County where mountains and meadows, buttes and hills, benches and plains meet the big, blue Montana sky, relatively few changes have occurred since the turn of the century. Although faces have changed, many homesteads have vanished, some towns have disappeared, and fences mark the landscape here and there, an aura of both the excitement and the serenity of the past remains.
In the heart of the state known as "The Last Best Place," Judith Basin County epitomizes the classic Montana description of "high, wide, and handsome." Judith Basin County includes 295,000 acres of the Lewis and Clark National Forest; surrounded by four mountain ranges - the beautiful Little Belt Mountains, Snowy's, Highwoods, and the Judith's - covered in a sea of grass and wheat, the farmer, the recreationalist, the rancher, and the sportsman are able to reap and enjoy the rich bounties of this intriguing Basin.
The legendary western artist Charlie Russell learned the ways of the cowboy and mountain man in this basin, and many of his famous paintings were inspired by the landscape, the people, the drama, and the history that unfolded here at the turn of the century. The artist lends his name to the stretch of Hwy 87 between Great Falls and Lewistown known as the Charlie Russell Trail. Square Butte, Utica, Stanford, and the Judith Basin country are scene's captured in Russell's art, and traveling through the basin, much of the country remains unscathed from those early renditions of the area.
Agriculture is still the primary economic source for the Judith Basin, and its soil allows for quality wheat and grain crops, and a grain that sustains some of the finest cattle in North America. Yogo Dike, home of the world famous Yogo Sapphires, are the only naturally blue sapphires in the world. These renowned and treasured gems are still mined today on private property.
The hardy souls that homesteaded the Judith Basin have learned that the bounty of this land can only be won through hard work and determination. Today, those that have chosen to call Judith Basin County home continue to inspire the next generation with life's learned lessons.
Business and employment opportunities in our wide but small county abound, and affordable housing is readily available. We invite you to experience the many wonders of our area described by Charlie Russell as being"...shut off from the outside world...a beautiful and bountiful domain," and ask that you respect the memory of those who lived here and the rights of those who still do.