• A summer virga over the Little Belt Mountains and Middle Fork Judith River WSA.

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Photo by Patrick Colleran
David Creek Trail (photo by Mark Wetherington)

David Creek Trail (photo by Mark Wetherington)

Between the famous and splendid landscapes of Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks await a lifetime of less heralded mountains and wilderness areas to explore. 

Teacup Lake (photo by Tyler Courville)

Teacup Lake (photo by Tyler Courville)

A few short and steep climbs brought me into the heart of the rocky backcountry of the East Pioneers. 

On the trail to Pine Creek (photo by Annelise Weinmann)

On the trail to Pine Creek (photo by Annelise Weinmann)

With the celebration of the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary, Yellowstone is bound to be crowded this summer. 

Looking out over the Cabinet Mountain Wilderness (photo by Anthony South)

Looking out over the Cabinet Mountain Wilderness (photo by Anthony South)

It may have been summer everywhere else in the Northern Hemisphere, but it sure didn’t feel like it here. 

Cecil Garland in the backcountry (photo courtesy of the Garland family)

Cecil Garland in the backcountry (photo courtesy of the Garland family)

Over the last few years, I’ve interviewed numerous wilderness champions, including environmentalists, government agency personnel, farmers, ranchers, politicians, outfitters, Native Americans, authors, artists, and ordinary citizens who simply love Montana’s outdoors. 

CDT Montana trail crew celebrating their work on Flesher Pass

CDT Montana trail crew celebrating their work on Flesher Pass

Although we all came from different walks of life, it was amazing to witness how quickly we came together.