North Central Montana, commonly referred to as the “Hi-Line”, encompasses Hill, Blaine, Phillips, Valley, Daniels, Roosevelt and Sheridan counties. Northwest Realty & Auction is located in Phillips County, its agents traveling to serve those counties around us as needed. Phillips County was founded in 1915 when it separated from Blaine County. Prior to 1912 both counties were considered part of Chouteau County. The Canada-United States border with Saskatchewan forms for northern border of Phillips County, while the Missouri River and the Missouri River Breaks forms the southern border.
The Little Rocky Mountains lie within Phillips County, as does the Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge, the Missouri River Breaks, Nelson Reservoir, Sleeping Buffalo Hot Springs, Fourchette Bay, the Milk River and a portion of the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation. Fisherman find the local area a haven for Walleye, historic Paddlefish, Trout and Northern among others. Popular finishing spots include Nelson Reservoir, located 17 miles east of Malta and Fourchette Bay, 42 miles south. The Milk River flows through Malta on its way to join the Missouri River farther east, however it first runs into Fort Peck Lake, 110 miles east of Malta. Fort Peck is a sprawling body of water with 1,520 miles of shoreline and year-round recreation opportunities. Famous for our wide-open spaces and diversity in landscape, we offer a variety of wildlife and cultural history. We are hosts to the C.M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge, which offers opportunities for viewing deer, antelope, elk and upland game birds as well as hunting. The Little Rocky Mountains are rich in mining history and offer a diverse mountain experience. The Milk River Valley is well known for its mule deer and upland game bird habitats, and have provided for numerous impressive trophy hunts. Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge is a 15,500-acre wetland habitat on the central flyway. Over 200 varieties of birds (including large numbers of ducks, geese and pelicans) visit the refuge, along with deer, pronghorn antelope and other wildlife. Hunting and fishing are natural pastimes to most area residents, along with riding, hiking, and snowmobiling.
Average precipitation for the year in Phillips County is 12.88 inches, with an average high temperature of 56 degrees and average low temperature of 27 degrees. The climate is mild during summer when temperatures tend to be in the 60’s, and cold during the winter when temperatures drop down into 10’s and below. The warmest month of the year is July with an average maximum temperature of 84.6 degrees. The coldest month is January with an average minimum temperature of -2.1 degrees. Temperature variations between night and day can be significant during summer with a difference of as much as 32 degrees, and moderate during winter with an average difference of 25 degrees. Rainfall is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year. The wettest month is usually June with an average rainfall of 2.57 inches.
The 2010 Census rated Phillips county as having 4,253 residents. The largest town in Phillips County is Malta, with 1,997 people. In 2018 the Home ownership rate in Phillips County was 76.1% Malta, Saco, Whitewater and Dodson all have K-12 schools, a post office and churches. Malta also has a grocery store, gas stations, motels, restaurants, banks, a library, auto repair shops and retail stores. Agriculture is a driving force of the local economies on the Hi-Line as well as throughout the state of Montana. There are 26,900 Farms and Ranches in Montana, with the average size being 2,156 acres. 62.4% of Montana soil is currently utilized as a farm or ranch. There are 95,155 harvested acres in Phillips County, with the average farm size being 3,613 acres, slightly over the Montana average. Notable events in Malta’s History include the train robbery just east of town by Kid Curry, a member of Burch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch, who got away with $40,000 in 1901 and the discovery of 77-Million Year old Dinosaur named Leonardo in 2000, currently on display at the Great Plains Dinosaur Museum, a stop on the Montana Dinosaur Trail.