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Hidden Montana

No need to fight the crowds in Glacier or Yellowstone. Montana is full of life-list trips--you just have to know where to look.

Wilderness—the real kind, where bears roam the mountainsides, trout leap from tiny alpine lakes, and national park crowds are far, far away—is alive and well in the treasure state. here are eight places to get you started.

Beaverhead Range

Heart Lake and Homer Youngs Peak

The secret: Idyllic elk meadows and an imposing summit lie just a few miles from a little-used trail.



Ajax Lake and Ajax Peak

The secret: A long dirt-road approach to the trailhead dissuades most hikers from attempting this magnificent summit, but they don’t know about the five-star car camping en route.  



Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness

Six Lakes Walkabout

The secret: To find the best of the Anaconda, head off-trail past isolated tarns, over high ridgelines, and around an iconic peak.


Mission Mountains
Turquoise Lake

The secret: Hike to the shore of a half-mile long lake for mountain vistas and gold-medal cutthroat fishing.


Sawtooth Range

Rocky Mountain and Old Baldy

The secret: Discover a wide-open view over the vast Bob Marshall Wilderness from this solitary summit.


Cabinet Mountains

Northern Cabinets Thru-Hike
The secret: Explore a new route across one of America’s most beautiful-and overlooked-ranges.

Snowshoe Peak
The secret: Pick a sneak route up the region’s tallest summit.

Absaroka Range
Pine Creek Lake and Black Mountain
The secret: Keep climbing when others turn back to reach the lake-filled foreground-or the top-of this steep, dark-mountain castle.

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