Department of Transportation.
On the Pioneer Mountains Scenic Byway in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, you can travel the length of the Pioneer Mountain Range. Granite peaks topping 10,000 feet in elevation are to the east, and gentler, forested terrain stretches out to the west. You'll see mountain meadows, lodgepole pine forests and broad "willow bottoms." The road gently ascends a 7,800 foot divide between Wise River, flowing north, and Grasshopper Creek, flowing south. Interpretive sites along the byway tell travelers about the natural scene and some of the interesting history of the Pioneer Mountains. You may also visit the ghost town of Coolidge and the abandoned Elkhorn silver mine.
Navigating the Byway:
The Pioneer Mountains Scenic Byway starts at Montana State Highway #484 in the town of Wise River and travels south approximately 49 miles over Forest Service Highway #73 to County Highway #278.
From Wise River the Byway goes south up the Wise River Valley for a distance of 26 miles to Crystal Park where the Byway tops out at approximately 7800 feet above sea level. This section of the road is paved.
From this high point, the road drops slightly to Price Creek where it turns into a lane and a half wide gravelled and dirt surfaced road. This section of the road winds along steep forested hill sides descending into the Grasshopper Creek Valley, passing near Elkhorn Hot Springs and the Maverick Mountain Ski Area before reaching the open grass and sage brush covered hills near the valley bottom along Grasshopper Creek.
Approximately 4 miles further down the valley lies the small settlement of Polaris, Montana. The Pioneer Mountains Scenic Byway ends at the junction with Beaverhead County Road #278, 7 miles south from Polaris.