All you have to do is hike…
Have you dreamed of hiking Montana without the burden of a heavy pack? Dropstone Outfitting is the only outfitter in the 1.5 million acre Bob Marshall Wilderness that caters specifically to guided backcountry foot travel. We offer stock supported hiking trips where all you carry is a small day pack as you explore the peaks and valleys of the Bob Marshall. The trips are accompanied by a small string of pack animals that carry the rest of the gear. Also, we offer backpacking adventures, “theme” centered hiking trips such as “Yoga in the Bob Marshall Wilderness,” custom backcountry experiences, and day hiking opportunities. Drop camp services may also be provided.
Because we cater to foot travel, our trips concentrate on what we think makes for exceptional hiking adventures — beautiful vistas, remote locations, distinctive and often rarely used routes, and small group sizes. Also, we focus on traveling with minimum impact to the land — practicing Leave No Trace Ethics — while providing you with good food, good company, and a specific knowledge of the Bob Marshall Wilderness.
Join us in 2014 to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Wilderness!
Check out our 2014 Trips.
The Bob Marshall Wilderness
The Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex (nicknamed “the Bob”) consists of 3 wilderness areas–the Great Bear, the Bob Marshall, and the Scapegoat — making it the 5th largest Wilderness area in the lower 48 states. It is surrounded by an additional 1 million acres of roadless areas, National Forest, and Bureau of Land Management Land, making it one of the most ecologically complete systems in the U.S. “The Bob” holds the highest population density of Grizzly bears than anywhere else in the contiguous U.S., and it’s home to several other noted species including mountain goats, bighorn sheep, elk, wolves, mountain lions, lynx, and wolverines.
The wilderness area was named for the co-founder of the Wilderness Society and forester, Bob Marshall who was an early champion for this region. Much of the current Bob Marshall Complex was set aside as “Primitive Areas” in the early 1930’s, and was then later designated “Wilderness” in 1964 when the Wilderness Act passed congress.
The “Bob” is a diverse region which encompasses the drier, more open Rocky Mountain Front to the East, and the lush, heavily timbered Swan and Flathead Ranges to the West. The Chinese Wall, a shear limestone escarpment, sits at the center of the “Bob,” extending for 40 miles along the continental divide. To the north, it is capped by the 115,000 acre Badger Two Medicine, an area regarded as sacred to the Blackfeet. On the southern boundary, the Blackfoot River winds it’s way through open mountain meadows and stands of Ponderosa Pine trees. The “Bob” is truly an unique area because of its vastness, ecological diversity, and history of preservation and conservation. In short, it is wild.
A Bit About Dropstone Outfitting
Dropstone Outfitting, located in north central Montana, is run by Yve Bardwell and Maggie Carr. We (Yve and Maggie) grew up in the area, working for various guest ranches, ranches, and the Forest Service. We share a strong sense of place with the Rocky Mountain Front and the “Bob,” and we take pride in providing quality backcountry trips. We feel fortunate that we are able to share this landscape with others.
Read more on the About Us page.
So. . . What is a dropstone?
Many people ask us how we came up with our business name since it is a bit unique. A dropstone is “geo-slang” or another word for a glacial erratic. Glacial erratics are pieces of rock that differ in size and type of rock native to the area in which they rest. The Rocky Mountain Front, much of the Bob Marshall Wilderness, and the northern great plains were once home to several large glaciers. As the glaciers receded, they left behind debris they had transported from other locations. Along the Rocky Mountain Front, you will often see large boulders sitting out in the middle of the prairie; this is a glacial erratic. Check a picture of a dropstone along the Front. . . .