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HISTORY & PREHISTORY

Lee Metcalf Wilderness

Lee Metcalf Wilderness

The Lee Metcalf Wilderness Complex consists of 6,000 acres of wild canyon country along the Madison River. Bear Trap offers nine miles of possibly the wildest whitewater in Montana. The dry canyon sweeps up 6,500 feet to the craggy crest of Spanish Peaks, one of the greatest elevation gains in Montana. In the Spanish Peaks glaciers carved the valleys into U-shapes, with glacial lakes, knife ridges, and twenty-five peaks soaring above 10,000 feet.

11,316-foot Hilgard Peak is the highest point in Montana outside of the Beartooth Range. About seventy gemlike lakes are pocketed along the divide, most of which are in the more rugged southern reaches near Hilgard Peak. Vast grassy subalpine basins and lush meadows make superb living space for elk, moose, sheep, and the threatened, free-roaming grizzly.

The most popular activities in the high alpine country of the Spanish Peaks are fishing, big game hunting, geological study, rock climbing, hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, camping, and uncluttered relaxation. The Lee Metcalf Wilderness is great for anything from getting a little R and R to an exciting whitewater rafting trip!

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