With the Continental Divide arrayed around the perimeter of southwestern Montana, it’s no wonder there’s great hiking and camping just about everywhere that’s uphill. A Beaverhead National Forest map reveals hikes in every direction, but avid hikers should try to visit a few isolated ranges.
The Snowcrest Range contains rugged and seldom-visited 10,000-foot peaks, with large populations of elk and mountain goats. The mountains divide the Ruby, Red Rock, and Blacktail Deer drainages in a remote area. The Snowcrests are about 20 miles southeast of Dillon along Blacktail Deer Creek Road. Even more remote and rugged are the mountains at the head of Big Sheep Creek (turn west at the Dell exit 45 miles south of Dillon and follow signs for Big Sheep Canyon).
Between the Beaverhead Mountains (guardians of the Continental Divide) and the Tendoy Mountains, tributaries of Big Sheep Creek fan out. Trails lead up to glaciated valleys and knife-edge ridges along the Montana-Idaho border. Check with the Forest Service office in Dillon for details.
© W.C. McRae & Judy Jewell from Moon Montana, 7th Edition