50 Wild Places: Celebrating Montana's Outdoors
50 WILD PLACES by The Missoulian
A good start for exploring: Picking just 50 wild places to explore in Montana might seem an impossible task. The Wilderness Act of 1964 endowed the state with 3.4 million acres of federal wilderness. That doesn't count national parks, wildlife refuges, wild and scenic rivers, and other fantastic bits of Big Sky Country. Then again, that abundance guarantees even the most outdoor-oriented adventurer would need a couple of lifetimes to use up the map. Some places need little more than a driver's license and a tank of gas. Others demand stamina, special skills, or a willingness to sleep on hard ground while things go bump in the night. We tried to pick a mix of all those options. And we quickly realized that at the end of every one, two more wild places beckoned. Walking trails lead to river floats. Mountain passes sit below peaks to climb. Afternoon picnics expand into all-week backpacking adventures. Two things link all these places: They are national treasures and they are as fragile as sacred relics. They deserve our appreciation and respect.
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