Montana and the Little Belt Mountains are instrumental parts of the U.S. military, learn about how Montana helps protect the entire country.

Historic Points

Ace in the Hole

International Recognition 

Located only 2 miles south of Monarch, Montana on Highway 89, this sign commemorates the efforts that took place during the late 50's and early 60's to establish crucial missile silos located in this area. Montana's low population of people and very rugged terrain makes it an ideal candidate for missile silo locations, and the Little Belts is both. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, John F. Kennedy referred to this area as the military's, "Ace in the Hole", and these silos were credited for curbing the Soviet Union from launching their own nuclear weapons. Since these silos were constructed, Maelstrom Air Force Base (near Great Falls, MT) and the MDT (Montana Department of Transportation) maintain all Minuteman missile silos located in the Little Belt Mountains.

Military Operations and Recreating in the Little Belts

Many of the same roads used for recreation are also used to access these missile silos, allowing continued funding for maintenance. The Military infrequently uses these roads so DO NOT be alarmed if you see them in the Little Belts. Simply show respect and do not interfere. 

Nearby Historic Sites

Other historic sites located within 30 miles from Ace in the Hole.

  • Neihart Mines 12 Miles South
  • Sluice Boxes 13 Miles North
  • Showdown / Mizpah  21 Miles North

Related Articles & Sources

READ: Great Falls Tribune Article from 2014 about "The Ace in the Hole"

READ: MDT Article page 7, "MDT on the Front Line of Cold War", by John Axline

Ace in the Hole Location