Expect and Prepare
Grizzly territory, take all necessary precautions.
Chances of precipitation is high, bring rain gear and prepare for the wettest section of the trail.
Wildfires are common and portions of the trail do not receive maintenance.
Crown of the Continent
The rugged Selkirk Mountains lay to the east as the Wild West Trail bids the Idaho Centennial Trail goodbye. Following the Pacific Northwest Trail, the mountains are vast and the trail is wild. Large conifer tree forests blanket the landscape, intermixed with meadows and rivers.
Grizzly bears call much of this section home. As the trail goes east, it crosses the Montana border and nears Glacier National Park. Following the PNT for this section means traversing mountain peaks and experiencing the “crown of the continent”
The ecosystem here is wild and largely untamed, almost identical to what Lewis and Clark would have experienced when they passed through. Most of the big game animals still call this place home and the liberal conservation policies of both the United States and Canada maintains the beauty of the region.
Follow the PNT until Glacier National Park, where the WWT makes a southward turn.
Crown of the Continent History
In the early 1900’s, the northwestern corner of Montana was still considered a dark spot on the map. Enormous mountains, glaciers, and wildlife had found refuge in this corner of America. Much of the land either belongs to Native Americans or is federally designated as national forest.
A strong tradition of conservation by local people has kept this section of the continent wild.