Access to the Wilderness
Napa Point Road starts near the headquarters of the Swan River State Forest and provides access to the Inspiration Pass trailhead. It’s a challenging but fairly lightly used trail. Sup Creek Campground near the trailhead is a good place to spend the night before embarking on the full-day hike to Sunburst Lake.
Smith Creek Pass also receives less traffic than many of the other trails that lead into the wilderness. To reach the trailhead, take Falls Creek Road (across from the Condon Work Center on Highway 83) four miles to Smith Creek Road. Make a sharp right and drive another mile to the trailhead. The climb up the west side of the pass is not easy, and coming down the east side can be even tougher.
Gordon Pass, starting from Holland Lake, is well maintained and heavily used by horse packers and hikers. Big Salmon Lake is a popular destination. Trails come at it from every direction, but the shortest route is from Holland Lake.
Pyramid Pass, with a trailhead near Seeley Lake, leads to the headwaters of the South Fork of the Flathead River, which starts as Danaher Creek deep in the Bob and flows toward the southern tip of Hungry Horse Reservoir. Reach the trailhead by taking Cottonwood Lakes Road (just north of the town of Seeley Lake) to Morrell Road (No. 467). Turn left on Morrell Road and travel six miles to Pyramid Pass Road (No. 4381, Upper Trail Creek Road). Turn right and drive six miles to the trailhead. Pyramid Pass is a steep climb and receives medium to heavy use by backpackers and horse packers.
From the south, reach the North Fork of the Blackfoot trailhead by taking Highway 200 to five miles east of Ovando and turning up the North Fork of Blackfoot Road. Drive four miles to North Fork Trailhead Road, and take it seven miles to the trailhead. It’s a fairly heavily used trail, with both foot and horse traffic.
Many outfitters run trips into the Bob; horse-packing guides from the Seven Lazy P (406/466-2044, www.sevenlazyp.com), based in Choteau, have excellent reputations.
© W.C. McRae & Judy Jewell from Moon Montana, 7th Edition