Norris is a small unincorporated community in northeastern Madison County, Montana, United States, at the intersection of U.S. Route 287 and Montana Highway 84 on the Backroad to Yellowstone. The location is a hilly, relatively arid area used for farming and ranching; the Tobacco Root Mountains form a visual backdrop to the west. Norris is the start of State Hwy 84 to Bozeman. The highway travels through the dramatic Bear Trap Canyon and parallels the lower Madison River, home to Rainbow and Brown trout.
History of Norris
Several mining districts were located in the area in the 1860s, though their success was generally brief. A now-abandoned branchline of the former Northern Pacific Railway once terminated at Norris. An agricultural experiment station operated by Montana State University – Bozeman is at Red Bluff, about three miles east on Highway 84.
These days, Norris is home to unique businesses. The “Water of the Gods” hot springs. Music, food and a relaxing soak – perfect after a day trolling for trout on the Madison River or hiking in Bear Trap Canyon. Open year round, the hot springs feels even better when the snow is flying!
The Norris Bar & The Snorrin’ Horse Grill is a local institution for thirst-quenching adult beverages after a hard day on the ranch or river. Friends and passersby are all welcome.
And you can belly-up to a different kind of bar in Norris…a Hat Bar! At Westrends, Larry the Hatman will handfit your custom cowboy hat. Design the shape to fit your style and Larry will create the perfect hat from fur or light felt. The Norris store also carries other cowboy accessories and tack. On most weekends, you can find Larry on the road at rodeos and stock events where he can create new hats or repair and reshape damaged hats. his is especially useful for those bronc and steer riders!
Thanks to Carmen Smith of the Norris Bar & Snorrin’ Horse Grill for the history and photo of Norris.