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Spotlight: Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest

Spotlight: Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest

Southwestern Montana offers something for every outdoor enthusiast.

Beaverhead Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. Photo by Leona Rodreick

Getting There

Located on over three million acres in the southwestern corner of Montana, Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest offers something for every outdoor enthusiast. Check Butte or Missoula, Montana airports for flights into this scenic and unforgettable wonderland, or drive in from the south after a stop-over in Yellowstone National Park, where you’ll find the planet’s most diverse and intact assemblage of geysers.

What You’ll Find

From the Great Basin Desert to alpine tundra, with coniferous forests and grasslands in between, the Beaverhead-Deerlodge showcases a variety of out-of-doors experiences at their best. Explore primitive wilderness, travel backcountry roads, discover the history and culture of the area, spend a lazy day relaxing in camp or spot some of the more than 300 wildlife species that call this forest home.

Make Sure You

Visit historic Lemhi Pass. Here in August 1805, aided by Shoshone people of this region, explorers Lewis and Clark crossed the Continental Divide – an important accomplishment considering this was the western-most edge of the U.S. territory.

At Lemhi Pass, take time to reflect on the broad scope of history connected with this narrow gap in the formidable Rocky Mountains. Although Lewis and Clark carried a diplomatic message of peace to Native Americans, they were the harbingers of coming changes.

Try This

Rent a rustic cabin. Getaways include the West Fork of Rock Creek Cabin, located in the Gravelly Mountain Range and once used as a Forest Service Guard Station, or the curiously named Vigilante Middle House, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1920s. From bunkhouses to guard stations, the Beaverhead-Deerlodge has more than 20 memorable cabins awaiting you!

Don’t Forget

Winter! The heat of summer may have you longing to hit the slopes and it’s never too early to start planning a winter escape! Skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling are activities to look forward to. Downhill ski area destinations on the Beaverhead-Deerlodge include Discovery Basin and Maverick Mountain.

Get Started

Have an activity in mind? Hiking, mountain biking, fishing, hunting or just breathing in the fresh air. From simple pleasures to rugged, high-elevation backpacking excursions, this forest offers year-round activities. Contact any of the eight Beaverhead-Deerlodge offices to start planning your southwestern Montana itinerary today!