Expect and Prepare

The country’s highest density of grizzly bears live here, take all necessary precautions

Over 2.5 million acres of roadless area makes this wilderness area extremely isolated.  

Carry a GPS and paper maps to avoid getting lost. 

Through the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex

 

162 miles of wilderness hiking gives this trail section its name. Following the Continental Divide Trail, the trail goes through Great Bear Wilderness, Bob Marshall Wilderness, and the Scapegoat Wilderness. An additional 1 million acres of designated roadless area surrounds the official wilderness areas and creates over 2.5 million acres of roadless territory.

This huge area is second only to the 3.3 million acres of wilderness in central Idaho. Enjoy absolute serenity, hiking as far from civilization as possible.

These areas promise some of the wildest hiking in the country. So wild that the military uses this area to train special forces, far away from civilization. The hiking follows ridgelines and river valleys. With little to no day hikers in this section, there is the possibility of not running into another person for days on end.

The Bob Marshall Wilderness complex is home to grizzly bears, wolves, mountain lions, elk, moose, and most big game. This region is home to the densest population of grizzlies in the country.

The impressive mountain range is known as the Rocky Mountain front. The mountains rise steeply, adjacent to the great plains to the east and provide the most abundant wildlife population in the country. It is the only place where grizzly bears can still migrate into the plains and back to the mountains. This geologic feature also happens to be rich in natural gas and coal. The fight to protect wildlife or to harvest resources is ongoing.

Being so close to the great plains, the weather is ferocious. The uplifting land can create hail storms and intense thunder storms. This is truly one of the wildest sections of the WWT.

Extreme weather, overgrown trails, and the need for GPS navigation is all part of the fun.

 

Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex History

 

The entire wilderness complex is sometimes referred to as “the bob” in reference to Bob Marshall. A great man and the pioneer of the wilderness movement.

He traveled extensively across the country, from the Adirondacks, to Montana, even the Brooks Range in Alaska. His revolutionary views for making wilderness a social issue helped to create large tracts of roadless territory inside national forest lands. When the federal government passed the Wilderness Act in 1964, much of the land he helped preserve received the designation.

His famous article, “The Problem of the Wilderness” has been cited as one of the most influential pieces in founding the wilderness movement. His views on minority rights and the importance of wilderness to the retention of American individualism has lived to this day. And it is this spirit that the WWT hopes to encapsulate and carry on for future generations.

Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex Trail Section map: Coming Fall 2018

Wild West Trail Map picture