Walking the Wild
Get your boots on the ground and discover Montana's wild on a Wilderness Walk
What are Wilderness Walks?
Each Wilderness Walk is an opportunity to slow down, feel the earth beneath your feet, travel a winding path through the forest, or reach the top of a mountain. It's an opportunity to experience nature with all your senses. And here's the best part: you'll be going with experienced volunteers who share their knowledge and passion for protecting our last wild places.
To walk and roam these wild places is an opportunity to become intimately involved with a landscape, to learn its character, and understand why it's so important to protect our wild places for future generations, and for ourselves.
Wilderness Walks are free and open to the public.
Please consider becoming a member or making a tax-deductible donation to the
Wilderness Walks program below to ensure this program will continue for generations to come.
Thank you for supporting Wilderness Walks!
To ensure you receive a copy of the 2017 Wilderness Walks Book and are able to register before the general public, become a MWA member or renew your membership today.
Summer Wilderness Walks
Registration open to MWA members only until May 1, 2017. Non-members can register starting at 9 a.m. on Monday, May 1.
The same times apply to trail stewardship projects.
The summer Walks schedule is available mid-April. Hikes run May through September, ranging from leisurely family outings to strenuous trips. Participants have explored the rugged peaks of southwestern Montana and the Absaroka-Beartooths, the dense forests of northwestern Montana, the mountain folds and glacial lakes of the Crown of the Continent, the open steppe country in the Island Ranges, and eastern Montana’s riparian areas, canyons, and buttes.
Winter Wilderness Walks
The Winter Walks schedule is posted in mid-December each year. Outings run January through March. Volunteer leaders take you on walks or snowshoe outings. Difficulty ranges from beginning scenic jaunts to more challenging hikes to the top of mountain peaks. There are also opportunities to track lynx, wolverines, and other wildlife. Walk leaders provide snowshoes if necessary.
Wilderness Walks History
Wilderness Walks began in the summer of 1960 when Montana Wilderness Association founders Ken and Florence Baldwin led 14 hikers into the Crazy Mountains. Inspired by the positive feedback they received the next year, they set out with a group of 40 hikers to Table Mountain in the Spanish Peaks. As Wilderness Walks grew in popularity, Ken and Florence continued to lead walks around the Bozeman area and began recruiting other wildland enthusiasts to help lead hikes across the state.
The Baldwins set in place a program that still today gets outdoor enthusiasts – novice, expert, and in-between – out into Montana's wild landscapes. Keeping with the Baldwin's vision of using Wilderness Walks as a way to build grassroots support for Montana's wild places, we continue to offer hikes into our campaign landscape areas that educate participants about the landscape and how we can protect it.
Over 50 years later, Wilderness Walks are Montana Wilderness Association's most popular and well-known program. With your support, we hope to continue offering walks across the state for many years to come.