Tunnel to the Pit.

Berkeley Pit Overlook

Field review by the editors.

Butte, Montana

Never underestimate the drawing power of a big hole in the ground, especially one filled with a deadly soup of arsenic, cobalt, and cadmium.

The Berkeley Pit at one time was America's Largest Truck-Operated Open Pit Copper Mine. Now it's a 500-acre lake of deadly drainage, 1,800 feet deep and a mile across. The pit holds over 40 billion gallons of waste so deadly that in 1995 it killed over 300 snow geese that mistakenly landed on it.

And it's an official attraction! Pay two dollars, walk through a tunnel cut through the pit's side, and emerge at the Overlook and Interpretive Pavilion, with picnic tables, restrooms, and a snack bar. You're kept safely out of the Death Zone, and the lake can display a dazzling palette of colors -- red, yellow, neon green -- in the sunlight.

Berkeley Pit Overlook

Berkeley Pit Viewing Stand

Address:
200 Shields Ave., Butte, MT
Directions:
Berkeley Pit Viewing Stand. Northeast edge of the city. I-90/15 exit 126. Drive north through town on Montana St., turn right onto Park St., and drive a mile east. On the left.
Hours:
Summer 9 am -5 pm. Or by appt. info@pitwatch.org (Call to verify)
Phone:
406-723-3177
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Historic Dumas Brothel MuseumHistoric Dumas Brothel Museum, Butte, MT - < 1 mi.
Statue of Auditor, the Strip Mine DogStatue of Auditor, the Strip Mine Dog, Butte, MT - 1 mi.
Our Lady of the RockiesOur Lady of the Rockies, Butte, MT - 2 mi.
In the region:
Boy with the Leaking Boot, Helena, MT - 46 mi.

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November 23, 2014

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