Cabinet Mountains & Scotchman Peaks

Home Our Work Protecting Wild Places Cabinet Mountains & Scotchman Peaks
(MWA photo)

Wild, Rugged, and Biologically Rich

The Cabinet Mountains Wilderness is a pristine jewel 35 miles long, varying in width from eight miles to less than one half mile. This 94, 272-acre area is the only designated Wilderness on the 2.2 million-acre Kootenai National Forest.

The Cabinet Wilderness and adjacent unprotected lands rise steeply from the forested, glacially-sculpted slopes in the valley to nearly 9,000 feet of elevation on the snow-covered peaks. With up to 100 inches of rain annually, this inland rainforest holds unique biological richness. Home to mountain goats, wolverines, lynx, native trout, and a recovering grizzly bear population, more of the last remaining adjacent roadless lands need to be protected.

The communities of Libby, Troy, Noxon, Trout Creek, and Heron that surround the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness have been dependent on public lands for economic viability, primarily in the timber and mining industries. Now these communities are shifting. To remain resilient, healthy, and viable, these communities are embracing recreation and wildlands.

Scotchman Peaks Wilderness

To the west of the Cabinet Mountain Wilderness, still in the Cabinet Range, is the 88,000-acre Scotchman Peaks roadless area. Scotchman Peaks spans the Idaho-Montana border and provides the backdrop for the communities of Clark Fork, Hope, and Sandpoint.

Superb access to these magnificent peaks offers an unparalleled outdoor experience. Scotchman Peak, at 7,009 feet, looms above Lake Pend Oreille and the Clark Fork River.

The Kootenai National Forest and the Panhandle National Forest have recognized how biologically diverse and special the Scotchman Peaks are by recommending this rugged area for Wilderness designation in their forest plans. MWA, in partnership with Friends of Scotchmans Peak Wilderness, has worked for over ten years to build a broad base of support in Montana and Idaho for permanent Wilderness protection, with support coming from a variety of groups and individuals, from the Bonner County Commissioners to Montana Governor Steve Bullock. The time is now to protect the Scotchmans forever. 

Recently, the Kootenai Forest Stakeholders Coalition -- a diverse group of business owners, local elected officials, and other community members, including MWA -- struck an agreement that would designate roadless areas in the Scotchman Peaks. Read more about the agreement. 

To learn more about what we’re doing to protect the wild country that surrounds the existing Cabinet Mountain Wilderness and to find out how you can get involved, contact Amy Robinson at For more information, visit The Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness website.