Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park

Adventures in Western Montana

May 11, 2011, 9:11 am

Every so often, you come across a place that seems to stand still with time, where life is slower, the grass is greener and the fish always bite. This corner of Western Montana is home to nearly 4,000 square miles and charming small towns with names like Trout Creek, Alberton, Hot Springs, St. Regis and Paradise.

Combine the area's deep forests, beautiful canyons, hidden gems and undiscovered quiet corners and you know you've found something special and a region that's packed to the brim with natural treasures like hot springs, incredible fishing holes, seemingly untrodden hiking paths, incredible day drives and a Montana favorite: the huckleberry.

For a beautiful drive, visit the National Bison Range near Moiese. Take Red Sleep Mountain Drive, a one-way, 19-mile long gravel road, as it careens through the heart of the range, providing you with beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, as well as wildlife watching as the range is home to bison, newly born bison calves (the bison calve during spring), elk, antelope and eagles.

If you're into fishing, you're in good company as fishing is practically a religion for many Montanans. And with streams, rivers, lakes and reservoirs like ours, it's for good reason. Anglers can find great bass fishing at Noxon Reservoir near Trout Creek, while casual fishermen can spend the morning casting a line on the Clark Fork River or on a quiet mountain stream as it makes its way out of the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness.

After spending the morning hiking near Thompson Falls, connect with the area's history with a visit to the Old Jail Museum. One of the oldest buildings in continuous use in Sanders County, the museum is open Memorial Day - Labor Day and is home to historical artifacts and images.

The annual Sanders County Fair, held in late August / early September in Plains is a perfect mix of old and new, with events that include a demolition derby, carnival, horse show and rodeo.