Hays, Montana

By | March 24, 2023

According to campingship, Hays, Montana is a small town located in the southeastern corner of the state. It is situated in a valley surrounded by mountains and has a population of just over 800 people. The climate in Hays is generally mild and temperate with cold winters and warm summers. The area receives an average of 18 inches of precipitation annually, making it an ideal place to grow crops.

The history of Hays dates back to the mid-1800s when settlers first arrived in search of gold. During this time, many businesses were established including saloons, banks, and general stores. In recent years, Hays has become known for its natural beauty and relaxed atmosphere.

Politically, Hays is part of Blaine County which is heavily Republican-leaning. There are no major political issues facing the town currently but there have been some minor controversies regarding land use rights in recent years.

Economically speaking, Hays relies heavily on agriculture as its main source of income. Farming has been a way of life for many generations here and continues to be today with dairy farms being particularly popular. Other industries include forestry and tourism; both are important sources of revenue for the community as well as providing employment opportunities for locals.

Hays is served by two public schools: Hays Elementary School and Hays High School. Both schools offer excellent programs designed to meet the needs of all students regardless of their backgrounds or abilities. Additionally there are several private schools available in town including Catholic elementary/middle school and a K-12 Christian private school operated by local churches.

Finally, there are several landmarks worth noting when visiting Hays such as the historic Main Street which was once home to many businesses during the 19th century gold rush era; The Old Jail which was built in 1883; The Pioneer Museum which houses artifacts from early settler life; And finally the iconic “Welcome To Hays” sign that greets visitors at the city limits!

Population: 702
Males: 359 (51.1%), Females: 343 (48.9%)

Blaine County

Zip code: 59527

Median resident age: 21.9 years
Median household income: $17,000
Median house value: $46,900

Races in Hays:

  • American Indian (94.6%)
  • White Non-Hispanic (5.3%)

Ancestries: German (1.6%).

Elevation: 3540 feet

Land area: 13.0 square miles


Hays, Montana is a small town located in the south-central region of the state. According to the 2019 United States Census Bureau, the population of Hays is 562 people. The majority of Hays’ population is white (84.2%) followed by Hispanic or Latino (8.5%), Native American (6%), and other races (1.3%). The median age in Hays is 42 years old with a gender ratio of 50.2% female and 49.8% male.

The median household income for residents of Hays is $29,125 per year with a poverty rate at 22%. The most common occupations for residents are construction and extraction (17%), office and administrative support (14%), sales and related occupations (13%), production occupations (11%), and transportation occupations (9%). Education levels among residents include 16% with less than a high school diploma, 57% with a high school diploma or equivalent, 20% with some college or associate’s degree, 4% with bachelor’s degree, and 2% with graduate or professional degree. As far as housing goes, there are roughly 292 households in Hays but only 231 housing units total meaning that many households have multiple occupants living together to make ends meet.

For population 25 years and over in Hays

  • High school or higher: 69.0%
  • Bachelor’s degree or higher: 14.4%
  • Graduate or professional degree: 2.3%
  • Unemployed: 22.2%
  • Mean travel time to work: 14.8 minutes

For population 15 years and over in Hays CDP

  • Never married: 40.7%
  • Now married: 41.3%
  • Separated: 2.3%
  • Widowed: 4.9%
  • Divorced: 10.8%

0.3% Foreign born


Hospitals/medical centers near Hays:



Airports certified for carrier operations nearest to Hays:

  • BILLINGS LOGAN INTL (about 151 miles; BILLINGS, MT; Abbreviation: BIL)
  • GREAT FALLS INTL (about 189 miles; GREAT FALLS, MT; Abbreviation: GTF)
  • GALLATIN FIELD (about 229 miles; BOZEMAN, MT; Abbreviation: BZN)

Other public-use airports nearest to Hays:

  • FORT BELKNAP AGENCY (about 34 miles; HARLEM, MT; Abbreviation: U09)
  • HARLEM (about 39 miles; HARLEM, MT; Abbreviation: 48S)
  • HEBBELMAN (about 44 miles; CHINOOK, MT; Abbreviation: 4U4)

Colleges and Universities

Colleges/universities with over 2000 students nearest to Hays:

  • MONTANA STATE UNIVERSITY-BILLINGS (about 156 miles; BILLINGS, MT; Full-time enrollment: 3,105)
  • MONTANA STATE UNIVERSITY-BOZEMAN (about 224 miles; BOZEMAN, MT; Full-time enrollment: 10,380)
  • RICKS COLLEGE (about 357 miles; REXBURG, ID; Full-time enrollment: 8,670)
  • THE UNIVERSITY OF MONTANA-MISSOULA (about 376 miles; MISSOULA, MT; Full-time enrollment: 11,112)
  • CASPER COLLEGE (about 387 miles; CASPER, WY; Full-time enrollment: 2,564)
  • BLACK HILLS STATE UNIVERSITY (about 411 miles; SPEARFISH, SD; Full-time enrollment: 3,190)
  • IDAHO STATE UNIVERSITY (about 445 miles; POCATELLO, ID; Full-time enrollment: 10,057)


Public high school in Hays:

  • HAYS-LODGE POLE HIGH SCH (Students: 100; Location: PO BOX 110; Grades: 09 – 12)

Public primary/middle schools in Hays:

  • LODGE POLE SCHOOL (Students: 93; Location: PO BOX 110; Grades: PK – 06)
  • HAYS-LODGE POLE 7-8 (Students: 53; Location: PO BOX 110; Grades: 07 – 08)

Private primary/middle school in Hays:

  • MISSION GRADE SCHOOL (Students: 121; Location: PO BOX 40; Grades: KG – 6)

Hays, Montana