Helena (pronunciation ; ) is the state capital of the U.S. state of Montana and the county seat of Lewis and Clark County.
Helena was founded as a gold camp during the Montana gold rush, and established in 1864. Over $3.6 billion of gold was extracted in the city limits over two decades, making it one of the wealthiest cities in the United States by the late 19th century. The concentration of wealth contributed to the city's prominent, elaborate Victorian architecture.
At the 2010 census Helena's population was 28,190, making it the fifth least populous state capital in the United States and the sixth most populous city in Montana. It is the principal city of the Helena Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Lewis and Clark and Jefferson counties; its population is 77,414 according to the 2015 Census Estimate.
The local daily newspaper is the Independent Record. Semi-professional sports teams include the Helena Bighorns Tier III Junior A hockey team. The city is served by Helena Regional Airport (HLN).
The Helena area was long inhabited by various indigenous peoples. Evidence from the McHaffie and Indian Creek sites on opposite sides of the Elkhorn Mountains southeast of the Helena Valley show that people of the Folsom culture lived in the area more than 10,000 years ago.