Welcome to the Trail Well Traveled!
Each Friday, in partnership with Montana Wilderness Association we will feature a new western Montana trail and then give you some helpful details and tips to get on your way!
Everyone knows June marks the true beginning of summer – but since we’ve still got a few weeks until it’s official, and since there’s still LOTS of snow in the high country, Craig has opted to send us this weekend to the northernmost hike on the association’s website that is still listed as accessible in the spring. Here’s a hike that keeps total elevation to a low – plus, who doesn’t want to spend some time on the High Line?
Lost River Wildlife Management Area
Located along the Canadian border, the Lost River WMA is a remote refuge created to conserve and enhance riparian habitats and wildlife populations along the Milk River and provide recreational opportunities for wildlife viewing and hunting of upland game birds, mule deer, white-tailed deer, pronghorn antelope and elk. A hike along its ridges provides scenic views of an expansive landscape including the river and the Sweetgrass Hills.
Roundtrip: 6 miles
Elevation Gain: 750 feet
Directions: From Missoula, make like you’re headed to Great Falls via Highway 200 to Highway 89, but when you reach Interstate 15 at Vaughn you’ll head north instead of southeast. When you arrive at Shelby, head east on Highway 2. Continue east until you’re about a mile from Hingham – here you’ll turn north onto Hingham Road North. After about 25 miles, you’ll run into County Road 105 N – turn right here for another half mile, then left onto County Road 145 N. Continue north on that road for about 4.5 miles and then follow the signs to the trailhead.
What to expect: There are no trails in the wildlife management area, but hiking is easy through the grass, although the rugged river breaks can be challenging. There is little shade to escape from the heat on hot summer days except for cottonwood trees along the river, so be sure to dress appropriately and bring plenty of water.
There is a small parking area, but there is no potable water, no bathroom and no picnic area.
Note that crossing the Milk River can be difficult because of the muddy bottom. However, the most interesting cultural and historic sites are on the far side of the river.
Tip: Tipi rings and other evidence of human use can be found as well as fossils. Please leave cultural and geologic artifacts in place.
Learn more about this trail, file your own trip report and photos, or check out some other great hikes at hikewildmontana.org. And don’t forget to tune in to the Trail 103.3 each Friday at 9:45 am for the next featured trail and your chance to win!
Big thanks to Rangitsch Bros RV for sponsoring the Trail Well Traveled. Proudly serving Missoula for over 56 years, whatever camper best suits your needs Rangitsch Bros has got it!