The Montana Trail was wagon road that served gold rush towns such as Bannack, Virginia City and later Helena, Montana during the Montana gold rush era of the 1860s and 1870s. It branched from the Oregon Trail in southeastern Idaho and ran north through eastern Idaho along a well-established native American route into western Montana. A branch also connected with Salt Lake City that was an important supply point for the early years of the gold rush. The Montana Trail continued north and east through Montana to Fort Benton, Montana on the Missouri River. Fort Benton was a second important supply point connecting the gold rush towns to the Missouri riverboat trade.
The Montana Trail, the most important trail in the early history of Montana and one of the most important trails of the old West, was the scene of many stagecoach robberies, holdups, and life and death dramas so prevalent in the old West.