Birch Creek, Big River Meadows, and Bennie Hill

Trip Details

Trip Date:

09/02/2019 - 09/08/2019

Trip Type:

Stock Supported

Number of Days/Nights:

7 Days - 6 Nights



Distance with Day Hikes:



Price Per Person:





  • Dramatic geology
  • Fall colors
  • High elevation meadows
  • Wilderness solitude
  • Unique water features


Experience late summer in the Bob Marshall Wilderness on this route through some of the most breathtaking country around. As leaves begin turning gold, orange, and red, the bugling of bull elk and crisp night air begin to hint at fall. Explore the rock pools and grottos of Birch Creek, the high-elevation alpine Big River Meadows, and the stark limestone features of Walling Reef and the North Fork of Dupuyer Creek.

Birch Creek has an almost Southwest feeling to it, with its rock water features, small canyons, and steep mountains. We explore this dramatic landscape as we travel up the drainage. Before crossing the Continental Divide, the topography softens slightly, taking us through a series of open meadows before reaching Gateway Pass. From the pass, it’s only a short distance to the picturesque Big River Meadows. Big River Meadows is partially circled by high ridges of the Continental Divide to the east and falls away forwards Strawberry Creek to the west. We stay here for three nights, exploring Bighorn Mountain (8174’) along the divide and Crystal Ridge, a broad open ridge filled with geologic wonders. This is a perfect location for wildlife viewing and watching the sunset on the ridges of the divide.

We retrace our route for several miles before turning up Phone Creek. In this drainage, we camp near a sweet little waterfall for two nights, allowing us to explore the Phone Creek Pass area, where few travel. Our last day provides a host of extraordinary sights, from the views at Bennie Hill Pass, to the stark limestone ridge of Walling Reef, to the steep walls of the North Fork of Dupuyer Creek Canyon.

This trip is ideal for those who want to experience the mountains on the cusp of seasonal change and some of the wildest country in the Bob.

Please call or email for more details.
(406) 289–0863


Deposits are non-refundable, and the balance is due by May 15th  unless otherwise specified.  The balance is non-refundable after this date.  We do not give refunds for any reason. This includes but is not limited to; route changes due to wildfires, smoke, floods, trail conditions, or unprecedented weather events.  We do not give refunds if personal health inhibits you from participating on a trip.  Because of this, we STRONGLY recommend purchasing trip insurance.  We recommend Global Rescue’s Signature Travel Insurance.

Trip Rating Definitions



  • 5 - 8 mile travel days along river grade trail with some undulating terrain, but no major changes in elevation. All hiking is on maintained trail.


  • 6 – 10 mile travel days with some of those days requiring changes in elevation of 500 – 1200 ft. over several miles. Short portions of route may be off-trail.

Moderately Strenuous

  • 8 – 12+ mile travel days with some days having a combined change in elevation totaling 2,500 feet, or more, over several miles. Off-trail hiking and routing finding with short portions of limited exposure possible.


  • 7 – 12+ mile travel days with regular changes in elevation over a few miles. Frequent off-trail hiking over uneven terrain with areas of exposure and route finding involved. Previous backcountry experience required.

*Please note these descriptions are used for travel days only and are our attempt to provide a rating for the overall trip difficulty. On layover days we will offer optional hiking opportunities that may not be in keeping with the rest of the trip difficulty rating.

Additionally, changes in elevation are meant to represent the days’ starting and ending elevations, but not necessarily the total elevation lost and gained throughout the course of the day. If you have questions or concerns regarding trip difficulty and your abilities please contact us.