Bob Marshall Wilderness Backpacking Traverse

Triple Trans-Bob Marshall Wilderness Backpacking Traverse: West to East via the Swan Range, Pagoda Pass, and the Chinese Wall with Bill and Bryn Cunningham

Trip Details

Trip Date:

06/26/2018 - 07/06/2018

Trip Type:


Number of Days/Nights:

11 Days - 10 Nights



Distance with Day Hikes:



Price Per Person:





  • Rugged and remote adventure
  • Vibrant early summer panoramas
  • Opportunity to traverse entire Bob Marshall Wilderness
  • Longer trip ideal for wilderness immersion


Explore the majesty of the wilds in our Triple Trans Bob Marshall Wilderness Backpacking Traverse. This trip covers the breadth of the Bob from west to east, camping next to high alpine lakes beneath Cooney Mountain, (8709’), hiking along the swift crystalline waters of the South Fork of the Flathead, and scaling Salt Mountain (8270’) along the Chinese Wall. We hike off trail across permanent snowfields in the Swan Range, along the spine of the geologically impressive Pagoda Range, and across the continental divide through a tiny slot in the otherwise formidable Chinese Wall.   While about 70% of the travel is on-trail, expect several days of rugged off-trail adventure, reaching places seldom visited by humans.

Our route takes us up and over the Swan Range on the west side of the Bob. We then travel down to Big Salmon Lake and the South Fork of the Flathead River where fishing opportunities abound. From here, we hike over the Pagoda Range to the east, exploring the high country above the White River before venturing up Cliff Creek and taking in the high country on the backside of the Chinese Wall. The end of our trip finds us basking along the North Fork of the Sun River, which has more incredible fishing opportunities and early summer flowers flourish. Our final day takes us via boat ride out through the massive limestone of the Sawtooths, the eastern most mountain range in the Bob Marshall Wilderness.

This is a rare opportunity to traverse the entire Bob Marshall Wilderness and have a true wilderness experience where all you need is what you carry on your back. This is strictly a backpacking trip with no stock support except for one food drop mid way through. If what you are looking for is adventure in some seriously wild country, then this is the trip for you. Please call or email for more details.

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


Trip deposits are non-refundable.  The remainder of the trip price is due on May 15th unless otherwise specified and is non-refundable at that time.  We STRONGLY encourage purchasing trip insurance for reasons including, but not limited to health issues, weather events such as wildfires/smoke/floods, and necessary route changes that may impact your ability or desire to participate in the trip.   We recommend the Gold or Platinum Plan by TravelGuard.

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
7 – 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 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 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.