Near the Silver Bow Club
Hiking is a great way to experience Southwest Montana. At the ranch, guests enjoy our mile-long cart path which meanders along the river and returns to the lodge. Trails lead up the slope behind the lodge for panoramic views of the valley, the river, and our expansive ranch lands.
But if you want to see more of Montana’s mountains, lakes, and forests, taking a hike in the Beaverhead-Deer Lodge National Forest is a great place to start.
Humbug Spires Wilderness Trail
In just short drive from the ranch, you’ll find the Humbug Spires Wilderness Trail. This easy hiking trail a three and a half mile, in and back trail with views of quartz monzonite spires which reach for the sky.
The trail is less traveled giving one a feeling of solitude. Watch for wildlife such as moose or mountain grouse as they frequent areas along the creek. Mule deer and bighorn sheep also frequent the area.
Follow Moose Creek Road to the trailhead. There is a pit toilet at the trailhead but otherwise, no facilities. The trail winds through the spires – the Wedge is a favorite with rock climbers. This is a great trail for a family hike.
Sawmill Gulch Hiking Trail Begins at Divide Bridge
Another easy to hike trail is the Sawmill Gulch Trail. Hike as an out and back trail, three miles long. A destination-less hike, it’s perfect for exercise and views.
Located just upstream from the ranch, you’ll find the Divide Bridge Campground. Here you’ll find a picnic area and a boat launch on the Big Hole River. The area is a great place for a picnic or to stretch your legs, but if you are up for a hike, this is a favorite.
The Sawmill Gulch Trail leaves from the campground and follows Sawmill Gulch Road. The trail boasts spectacular views while rock hounds find rose quartz rocks along the way.
Want More of a Challenge?
The Pioneer Mountains feature many hikes – some lead to awesome fishing. Here’s a favorite – Lake Agnes.
Browns Lake to Agnes Lake
For a bit more of an adventure and hike, visit Lake Agnes. The drive from the ranch takes about forty-five minutes to get to the trailhead at Browns Lake. Take the frontage road through Melrose, then a right onto Brown’s Bridge Road. The road ends at Rock Creek Road, take a right and follow the good gravel road to Brown’s Lake Campground. Wildflowers along the way are an added bonus!
Park at the campground. For a low-impact walk, hike along the 37 acres Brown’s Lake. The road deteriorates but makes a nice walking trail. Fishing for native cutthroat in the lake is an added bonus!
To reach Agnes Lake, start at the trailhead at the campground. This hike is more difficult as you gain nearly 1000 feet of elevation in 1.5 miles. The hike takes you through dense stands of timber with openings with views. This popular hike ends at the 108-acres Agnes Lake which is filled with eagerly feeding arctic grayling. If you plan to fish, bring along some parachute adams, flying ants, or woolly buggers.