The Bob Marshall Wilderness

Are You Ready To Fully Explore The Bob Marshall Wilderness Area?

The Bob Marshall Wilderness area is referred as simply “The Bob” by locals. The preserved wilderness complex covers over one million acres in Central Montana. Did you know that it’s the most completely preserved mountainous ecosystem in the lower 48 states? The U.S. Forest Service manages and protects the Bob Marshall Wilderness area. 

The Bob Marshall Wilderness area lies within the Flathead National Forest and Lewis and Clark National Forest. The roadless and motorless backcountry follows the Continental Divide for 60 miles with elevations ranging from 4,000 to 9,000 feet.

What To Expect  

These wilderness areas and heights can only be accessed by foot or horseback. However, once inside you are surrounded by pristine old-growth forests, river valleys, rugged peaks, alpine lakes, waterfalls, and grassy meadows.

The Bob is home to large grizzly bears, moose, elk, black bears, mountain goats, wolves, and bighorn sheep. You will be in awe of bald eagle, osprey, pelican, grouse, ptarmigan, and trumpeter swan sightings. Not to mention the cutthroat fishing is incredible.   

Be ready to unplug as your senses come alive and connect with the vast array of nature’s pure awesomeness. Summer is the best time to explore the Bob Marshall Wilderness area. Professional and experienced outfitters offer multi-day pack trips from July through September that can take you along the trails and off the beaten path.

Chinese Wall Pack Trips

The Chinese Wall is the most popular and recognized destination in the Bob Marshall Wilderness area. The striking wall formation stretches for 22 miles through the wilderness on the western boundary of the Sun River Game Preserve. This is a definite bucket list pack trip for any backcountry horseback riding, hiking, fishing, or nature enthusiasts.  

You can easily access the Chinese Wall from the South Fork, along the well-traveled Holland Lake-Benchmark Trail. Make sure to plan your trip accordingly, since camping is strictly prohibited along the fragile Cliff and Salt mountains. During your journey, be sure to enjoy the sights and sounds along the Salmon Lake.

Peaks to Peaks

Towering peaks stand tall and run at great lengths though the Bob. In particular, on the western boundary, Holland Peak is a spectacular 9,356 foot giant that can be reached during a short day hike. Then, to the north Great Northern Mountain summit towers at 8,705 feet, and can be achieved by an off trail 8 mile round trip hike. Finally, to the south Scapegoat Mountain is the most prominent jewel of the southern complex area.  

Who’s Bob?

Bob Marshall was a forester and conservationist. His vision was to protect parts of Central Montana area as a wilderness designation. Not too long after his death in 1940, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture designated 950,000 acres as wilderness. The Wilderness Act was passed in 1964 by the U.S. Congress, in which the Bob Marshall Wilderness area received wilderness protection. Today, the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex includes the Scapegoat Wilderness, Great Bear Wilderness, and the Bob Marshall Wilderness. Thanks Bob!

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