The Bob Marshall Wilderness in the northern Rockies of western Montana is lauded for its scenery and wildness. Part of an even larger, 1.5-million-acre-plus complex of wildernesses shared by four national forests, this vast tract of mountains, rivers, lakes and bears is a premier hiking destination.
The wilderness area presents a variety of hiking options. Some, like the route to Marion Lake, are relatively short day hikes; many, like the trail to Picture Ridge, are long and strenuous. Contact the Forest Service for more information and for map suggestions.
Terrain and Weather
Hikers should be conditioned for the rigors of mountain hiking. Some trails require river fords; use the utmost caution in these situations, some of the most dangerous the backcountry hiker encounters. Be prepared for snow, which blankets the high country for much of the year, and stay off exposed ridges and summits during thunderstorms.
While you are unlikely to encounter any, grizzly bears inhabit the Bob Marshall and are potentially dangerous. Be aware of bear sign like scat, tracks and diggings, and avoid animal carcasses. Give other creatures like mountain lions, black bears and elk plenty of space.