Our Lady of the Rockies
Since 1985, Our Lady of the Rockies, a 90-foot statue in the likeness of the Virgin Mary, has overlooked the city of Butte from the Continental Divide. Currently she is only available to us through bus tours from June through September. However, her future holds much more. Still in the planning stages, a 25-person tram will be added to the equation, allowing for ten months of visitation to both the Lady and the multitude of recreational land surrounding her.
The tram will include two cars, one starting at the bottom of the 2,000-vertical-foot climb and the other leaving from the top; travel time is five minutes each way. The cost per ride will be about $10 for adults with discounted rates offered to senior citizens and children. Season passes will be available as well.
Once up top, passengers will have access to spectacular views and thousands of trails already in place. Tramcars will be designed to transport mountain bikes, cross-country skis, and hang gliders. The East Ridge, a launch site owned by members of the Montana Gliding Association, will be easily accessed through the use of the tram.
At the base of the tram, a recreational hall will be available to rent for special occasions. For the kids, a carousel is planned, plus picnic areas and two stocked fishing ponds.
The idea of the tram has always been a part of the dream of Our Lady of the Rockies staff, but is now nearing the beginning stages of building. According to the president of Our Lady of the Rockies, Bob Leipheimer, there is but one obstacle to cross. “We’ve got all the finances in place and the land in place, but access to our 50 acres where the base will be is in question. We’ve got about 1,200 feet of road that we need access to. When that happens we will start work immediately.”
Once the tram is in place, Our Lady of the Rockies will invite many new visitors and outdoor enthusiasts ready for a quick trip to the Continental Divide.