Montana Vacations

ELENA NATIONAL FOREST

Consisting of several units around Helena, Montana, in the west-central part of the state, this National Forest includes a section of the Continental Divide and several mountain ranges. Highest elevation is 9,172-foot Mount Baldy.

There are precipitous peaks, huge cliffs and spires, canyons and rock formations, with open meadows, plus fir and pine forests. Among the wildlife are deer, elk, grizzly and black bear, moose, and antelope.

The National Forest has two designated wilder-nejss areas, consisting of about 83, 000 acres of the.

239, 000-acre Scapegoat Wilderness, which extends into nearby National Forests, and the 28, 562-acre Gates of the Mountains Wilderness.

Activities: Hiking and backpacking are available on more than 700 miles of trails, including 120 miles of the Continental Divide Trail (see entry page 197). A section of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail is found here as well.

Horses are allowed on most trails.

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Cross-country skiing is possible in the forest during winter. Hunting is permitted in season, and fishing is also feasible.

Camping Regulations: Camping and campfires are allowed throughout most of this National Forest, except near public use areas or where posted otherwise. No permits are required.

For Further Information: Helena National Forest, 301 South Park, Drawer 10014, Helena, MT 59626; (406)449-5201.

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