- With the greatest concentration of grizzly bears outside of Alaska, the Flathead Mountain Range offers close encounters with the local wildlife.
- At the rugged Scapegoat Wilderness anglers can reel in a giant bull trout at one of the 14 lakes or 89 miles of streams.
- Only seen by the most intrepid trekkers, the Chinese Wall at the Bob Marshall Wilderness is suited for adventurers on horseback.
What can I do in the Flathead Mountains?
Encompassing over 1.5 million acres of unspoiled ecosystem between the Bob Marshall, Scapegoat and Great Bear Wilderness, the Flathead Mountain Range offers some of the best backcountry trekking in the US.
From the hiking areas around Hungry Horse Dam and the Great Northern Mountain to the Spotted Bear River and the Chinese Wall at Bob Marshall Wilderness, the Flathead Mountain Range passes through remote terrain and most trails are not for the rookie hiker.
The two most popular and most challenging hikes:
- Great Northern Mountain Trail: For those looking to ascend a mountain peak, check out the Great Northern Mountain trail. It’s a very strenuous 8-mile hike with a 4,400 foot elevation gain. Not for the meek, the trail passes through dense forest, rushing mountain streams, and steep slopes, but the payoff is extraordinary views of Glacier Park and surrounding Flathead Mountains.
- Grant Ridge Loop: The 10-mile loop moves through Alpine forests at Great Northern Mountain with a 3,605 foot elevation gain.
This area contains the largest concentration of grizzly bears in the contiguous US, so wildlife viewing is around every corner.
Horseback riding wild backcountry of the Flathead Mountains deserves a visit to the Chinese Wall in the Bob Marshall Wilderness – it’s the ultimate adventure.
From Headquarters Creek Pass, just east of the town of Choteau, the trail to the Chinese Wall’s 1,000 foot limestone cliffs are about a 20-mile trip-and that’s one way. An experienced horseback outfitter is the best way to see this amazing natural wonder.
There are plenty of opportunities for great fishing in the Flathead Mountain Range, but if you are looking for some peaceful mountain waters, then head to Scapegoat Wilderness. It’s a favorite for local anglers. With 14 lakes and 89 miles of streams you are bound to catch a massive bull trout or whopper whitefish.
The Flathead Mountains feature 31 camping areas all managed by the Flathead National Forest Service. From late-May to September visitors can enjoy a variety of campground facilities, from primitive to rustic cabins.
Check out the Forest Service Zip’s Place Cabin, 48 miles east of Hungry Horse. Part of a rustic homestead built in 1937, it offers rustic accommodations in a pristine wilderness area for up to 8 people.
Where are the Flathead Mountains?
Southeast of Whitefish, the Flathead Mountain Range expands from Hungry Horse Dam down to Rogers Pass via the Bob Marshall and Scapegoat Wilderness, west of the Continental Divide. Bob Marshall can be accessed off of Highway 2 between West Glacier and East Glacier, but the Great Bear and Scapegoat Wilderness areas are more remote.
The Great Bear Wilderness is accessed via forest service roads, located off from the adjacent Highway 2 on the north side and Highway 83 on the west side.
Also only accessible by forest service roads, Scapegoat Wilderness’ nearest main roads are Highways 287, 83 and 200.
Who can I call if I have more questions?
Flathead National Forest Service 406-758-5208