2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.

Also on

Enter Zip Code

Backpacker Magazine – May 2000

Running With Mustangs In Montana's Pryor Mountains

Montana: The Pryor Mountains harbor the nation's last free-roaming wild mustangs, not to mention wilderness that is as wild as the horses.

by: Alan Kesselheim

PAGE 1 2

Picture yourself on a mountain slope in Big Sky Country, a day of travel under your boots. Suddenly a herd of wild horses gallops across the horizon, manes and tails flying and all of them frisky with spring fever. Sound like a scene from a Hollywood western? Guess again. It's just another day in the Pryor Mountains in southeastern Montana, where the nation's last free-roaming wild mustangs with Spanish blood thunder across the plains and high meadows.

In the Pryors, the wilderness is as wild as the horses. The same rugged topography that isolated and preserved the mustangs' bloodline serves up 38,000 acres of challenging hiking terrain. The best bet, both for finding snow-free hiking in spring and seeing wild horses, is to head for the rugged southern part of the range. Start walking from the end of Crooked Creek Road, across miles of open country along Sykes Ridge and Burnt Timber Ridge (between 7,500 and 9,000 feet in elevation). From the high meadows, drop into Big Coulee Canyon, a narrow slot on the western edge of the wild horse range. Along the way, you might come face to muzzle with America's wildest horses. Most trails aren't maintained and there are no guidebooks to the area.

The Pryor Mountains are managed with a light rein and visited by few, a throwback to the days before hiking permits and designated campsites. Just follow the sound of thundering hooves. And don't be surprised if you feel a little wild yourself.

PAGE 1 2

Subscribe to Backpacker magazine
Sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter
Address 1:
Address 2:
Email (req):

Reader Rating: -


Your rating:
Your Name:


My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

Trailhead Register
Trekking the Huayhuash
Posted On: Aug 29, 2014
Submitted By: RebeccaD
Trailhead Register
bicycling question
Posted On: Aug 29, 2014
Submitted By: hikerjer
View all Gear
Find a retailer

Special sections - Expert handbooks for key trails, techniques and gear

Check out Montana in Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride
Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

Boost Your Apps
Add powerful tools and exclusive maps to your BACKPACKER apps through our partnership with Trimble Outdoors.

Carry the Best Maps
With BACKPACKER PRO Maps, get life-list destinations and local trips on adventure-ready waterproof myTopo paper.

FREE Rocky Mountain Trip Planner
Sign up for a free Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning kit from our sister site

Follow BackpackerMag on Twitter Follow Backpacker on Facebook
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions