- In 1996 the Forest Service merged the Beaverhead National Forest and the Deerlodge National Forest into what is now called the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. Now the largest of the national forests in Montana, it covers 3.32 million acres. The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail and Nez Perce Historic Trail pass through the
Copyright: - US Forest Service
Georgetown Lake and the Pintler Range, south of Philipsburg, Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest
The Forest offers breathtaking scenery for a wide variety of recreational pursuits. Whether it's wilderness trekking in the Anaconda-Pintler or Lee Metcalf wildernesses, driving the Gravelly Range Road or Pioneer Mountains Scenic Byway, or camping in one of the 50 campgrounds in the forest, the Beaverhead-Deerlodge offers the full spectrum.
On the Beaverhead section of the Forest, lie the rugged Bitterroot and Centennial Mountain Ranges along the Continental Divide. To the east is the Madison Range. Between lie broad open valleys bisected by isolated high mountain ranges.
The Deerlodge section of the Forest straddles the Continental Divide. It lies in the heart of richly historic mining country. The Pintlers exhibit classic Montana snow capped peaks. Georgetown Lake offers good fishing, year round.
Summertime affords chances to hike and drive primitive routes to high-mountain lakes or to drive more improved roads to places like Delmoe and Wade lakes. Winter enthusiasts find snowmobiling, cross-country skiing trails, as well as downhill skiing at Discovery, near Anaconda, and Maverick Mountain, near Dillon.
The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail and Nez Perce Historic Trail pass through the forest. Georgetown Lake offers winter and summer recreation near Philipsburg. At the ghost towns of Elkhorn and Coolidge, you can relive Montana's boom and bust past. Sheepshead
Recreation Area, north of Butte, offers pleasant picnicking and lake fishing, accessible for the disabled.
Recreation - The variety of recreation opportunity on the Forest are outstanding. It ranges from wilderness trekking to hundreds of miles of trails for motorized travel. Some 50 campgrounds provide a wide range of camping, from Philipsburg Bay Campground's 69 sites to many campgrounds that have only a half dozen sites or fewer.
Climate - Temperatures and precipitation on the Forest vary with elevation. Summers tend to bring moderate to warm temperatures with clear days. Summer highs are normally in the 70's and 80's with relatively cool to cold nights. Winter brings cold temperatures with ample snow for winter recreation activities. Winter temperatures frequently drop well below zero but clear, crisp days are common. Snowpack normally remains in the high elevations well into June or even July making some areas inaccessible until then.
The Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest is located in southwest Montana. Forest Service offices administering the National Forest are in Butte, Dillon, Philipsburg, Deer Lodge, Whitehall, Boulder, Ennis, Sheridan, Wise River, Wisdom, and Lima. Only five paved routes cross this large Forest: Interstates 15 and 90, State Highways 43 and 278,
and the Pioneer Mountains Scenic Byway.