The upper Missouri Valley is lined by the Elkhorn Mountains to the west and the Big Belt Mountains to the east, each a part of the immense Helena National Forest. While these ranges are not particularly developed for the hiker and camper, the combination of mountain shelter and verdant river meadows makes the area famous for its hunting.
Monte’s Guiding and Mountain Outfitting (16 N. Fork Rd., 406/266-3515, www.montesguiding.com) offers both guided fishing trips and big-game hunting expeditions.
As elsewhere in Montana, cattle drives have become high recreation around Townsend. Montana High Country Cattle Drive (7837 Hwy. 287, 406/266-2498 or 800/654-2845) organizes three five-day drives each summer; prices run $1,750 per person, including tent lodging, chuckwagon meals, horses, and help from real ranchers and outfitters. During the drive, information programs focus on natural history and issues facing contemporary ranchers.
© W.C. McRae & Judy Jewell from Moon Montana, 7th Edition