NSS Convention 2018
July 30th - August 3rd
Welcome to NSS Convention 2018!
Helena is centrally located within Montana, and while it is our state capital, it is relatively small and quiet with a population of about 40,000 people. Helena lies between Glacier National Park (~3.5 hrs) and Yellowstone National Park (~3 hrs), but there are many attractions in and around Helena which we are excited to share with you!
Here are just a few of the opportunities near Helena: Montana's only public show cave, Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park; the Gates of the Mountains Boat Tour, a 2-hour scenic boat tour of a 1,000 foot tall limestone canyon; Canyon Ferry, a large reservoir for swimming and boating; excellent mountain biking and hiking trails within Helena city limits; and of course, many caving opportunities within 20-150 miles of town.
The campground will be located on 26 acres of grassy, treed property just outside city limits. Campers can choose their spot in the shade of the 100-year-old cottonwood trees, or near Ten Mile Creek, which runs through the campground. There are many great choices for budget to luxurious hotels and restaurants within a few miles, and there is even a small bar and corner market right across the street from the campground.
The main venue will be Capital High School, just a 5 minute, 2.3 mile drive from the campground. Don't feel like driving? Take one of the shuttles. Or even better, bring your bike and take the paved bike path from the campground to the high school! All sessions, vendors, and the like will be held at the high school, with the exception of the vertical sessions, which will be held at the Lewis and Clark County Fairgrounds (~0.5 miles across the street from Capital High).
Caving and the Outdoors
Montana is called "Big Sky Country" with good reason. The contrast between our river valleys and the high, glacier-carved peaks creates the dramatic landscape that we are known for around the world. Our outdoor explorations can satisfy the most adventurous cavers. Montana caves are typically high elevation, cold (35-45 degrees F), and are often highly vertical and challenging. If you plan to cave during your time in Montana, be sure to bring plenty of warm clothes to wear under your cave suit!
Whether your interest is in geology, wildlife-watching, fishing, water-skiing, or underwater basket weaving, you'll find it in Montana. There are more grizzly bears in Montana than any other state in the lower 48.
**If you plan to recreate in grizzly bear country during your visit, get bear spray and know how to use it! Bear spray is sold in most outdoor stores in the state, and can be rented for the day or the week from Yellowstone National Park. Follow the directions on the label and use ONLY as a deterrent.**