Great Bear Wilderness

Located in the Flathead National Forest in Montana.

The 285,771-acre Great Bear Wilderness is located in northern Montana just south of Glacier National Park and northwest of the Bob Marshall Wilderness. The Great Bear is on the west side of the Continental Divide with elevations from 4,000 feet along the Middle Fork of the Flathead River to 8,705 feet at the top of Great Northern Mountain. The headwaters of the Middle Fork of the Flathead River lie within the Wilderness boundaries.

Access to the Great Bear is by trails originating from forest roads located in the major drainages to the north and west. Major roads adjacent to the Great Bear include U.S. Highway 2 to the north and Montana Highway 83 to the west. Schafer Airstrip, a 3,000-foot grass strip, is located along the upper fork of the Flathead River and is open to public use.

The Wilderness contains more than 300 miles of trails. Topography ranges from ridgetops to gentle sloping alpine meadows and forested river bottoms. Wildlife includes wolverine, deer, elk, moose, grizzly bear, black bear, mountain goat, and mountain sheep. In season, the Flathead River and its tributaries provide fishing for cutthroat trout, dolly varden, whitefish, and kokanee salmon. The upper Middle Fork of the Flathead River within the wilderness has been designated "wild" under the National Wild and Scenic River System.

For more information contact: The Flathead National Forest

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 25 May 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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