Malta was named after the Mediterranean island of Malta by an official of the Great Northern Railroad who by the spin of a globe determined the name. A post office was opened in 1890 and when Phillips County was created Malta was named the county seat.
Malta has two notable stops along Montana's Dinosaur Trail. The Dinosaur Field Station - a working paleo laboratory was opened in 2003. Located at the junction of US 2 and 191 in Malta, the Field Station is home to "Leonardo the Mummey" dinosaur - a 77 million Brachylophosaurus unearthed north of Malta. Also located on US 2, the Phillips County Museum features real life dinosaur displays set among the historical artifacts of early Native Americans and Homesteaders who traversed Montana's HiLine. The Montana Dinosaur Festival is held during the third week of June each year in Malta and family dinosaur expeditions are offered throughout the summer months through the Judith River Dinosaur Institute.