The Wilderness

Major Access Trails used by the Chaffins
The main trails of the Bob Marshall Wilderness all lead into or out of the South Fork of the Flathead River valley. This valley is wide in places, and big Salmon Lake - the largest in the Wilderness - is perhaps one of the most popular destinations in the backcountry. Outfitters have been packing into the South Fork area since the 1920s when the "rich and famous" from Hollywood and elsewhere came here for adventure and to get away from the pressures of city life. The South Fork is the heart of the Wilderness area and many historic landmarks are accessible from here.


The South Fork
(Via Seeley Lake) Pyramid Pass Location: Take the Cottonwood Lakes Road #477 (joins Hwy. 83 1/2 mile north of Seeley Lake). Travel east about 2 1/2 miles then turn north on the West Morrell Road #467. Continue on this forest road for another 6 miles, then turn east again on the Pyramid Pass Road (or Upper Trail Creek Road) #4381. Follow this road for 6 miles to the trailhead. Facilities: Trail provides spectacular views of Clearwater Valley and popular access to Young's Creek, Hahn Creek and the headwaters of the South Fork of the Flathead. Rated as difficult and requires hikers and packers to climb 1640 feet within 4 miles. Use: Medium to Heavy. Mainline Forest Service trail, maintained regularly from early summer through fall. Hikers can expect to meet packstock, horses and riders.

Monture Creek
Location: The Monture Creek Road #89 joins Hwy. 200 about 15 miles from Clearwater Junction at the Ovando turnoff. Take the Monture Creek Road about 8 miles to the trailhead. Facilities: Campground near the trailhead maintained by Forest Service. Also, Forest Service Guard Station nearby. Trail goes through roadless areas for about 10 miles to Hahn Creek Pass which provides access to the Bob Marshall Wilderness, South Fork of the Flathead River and the Hole-in-the-Wall cave. Rated as moderate to difficult. Use: Medium to Heavy. Hikers can expect to meet packstock, horses and riders.