Bob Marshall Wilderness Area in Montana

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Bob Marshall Wilderness

Wildlife and scenic beauty are yours in the Bob Marshall Wilderness, with 2,400 square miles of rugged mountains, fascinating wildlife and outdoor recreation that can’t be beat.

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  • Come to the Bob Marshall Wilderness to see rugged mountains, fascinating wildlife and enjoy the best in outdoor recreation
  • The best time to come is July through October
  • Hike, backpack or horseback-ride over 1,000 miles of trails
  • Try some rafting on the Middle Fork of the Flathead River


The Bob Marshall Wilderness Area is comprised of 1.5 million acres, with towering waterfalls, clear alpine lakes and rugged mountain peaks. It’s a wonderful vacation destination when in the Glacier National Park region.


This wilderness is located within Flathead National Forest, south of Glacier National Park. It can be reached via trails. The most popular access point is on the western edge, in Swan Valley at Gordon Pass. You can get to Swan Valley on Montana Highway 83. It’s located between Seeley and Swan Lakes.


The best time to visit Bob Marshall Wilderness, Montana is from the 1st of July through the 1st of October, dry months with highs in the 80s or 90s. July seems to be the busiest month within “The Bob” (as it’s called locally).


  • Hiking and Backpacking
    You’ll discover over one thousand miles of trails of all kinds within this wilderness area, giving you the opportunity to do some real exploring.
  • Horseback Riding
    There are probably more horses moving along these trails than there are hikers. With the gentle terrain and perfect grazing grasses, it has become a popular riding area.
  • Rafting
    Take your family on a real adventure and go rafting on the Middle Fork of the Flathead. The best time for this activity is from the middle of July to mid-August.
  • Hunting and Fishing
    Hunting and fishing are allowed within this wilderness area; you just have to get permits through the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
  • Wildlife Watching
    Avid wildlife watchers love coming to Bob Marshall Wilderness so they can see animals in their natural habitat. Watch for grizzly bears, gray wolves, lynx, bighorn sheep and cougars. You’ll see other smaller wildlife too, such as beaver and river otters.

Additional Info

See the large escarpment, part of the Continental Divide and called the Chinese Wall, which travels a length of 40 miles and averages 1,000 feet tall.

The Bob Marshall Wilderness Area is the second largest wilderness in the lower 48 states. The only one larger is the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness in Idaho.