Hike through one of the last truly pristine large river valleys in the lower 48 states on this 6-day trip. The North Fork of the Sun River is framed by the Sawtooth Range to the east and the Chinese Wall escarpment to the west, collecting water from small mountain streams for almost 30 miles and making it an angler’s dream and a hiker’s paradise. The mountains, rivers, and valleys all seem bigger on this trip as peaks rise over 3,000’ from the valley floor.
We will travel the length of the lower half of the North Fork, having plenty of opportunities to cast a line into the river or explore the timbered ridges that rise from the valley. For those who enjoy a little scramble, we’ll climb Arsenic Peak (8,498’), the towering sentinel of the lower North Fork.
The first day involves a significant climb over a mountain pass that affords unparalleled views of the Great Plains to the east and the Chinese Wall to the west. After the pass, all travel days are relatively mellow, with opportunities to get up high on day hikes. With the presence of frequent smaller wildfires, the valley has retained an open feel, with parks, aspen groves, and patches of unburned timber making it attractive to humans and wildlife alike. We have seen elk, bears, moose, and wolves in the North Fork – Montana’s very own Serengeti.
This trip is wonderful for avid hikers, those who want to relax along the river, and backcountry anglers. It offers great swimming holes, plenty of day hikes, wildlife viewing, and a matchless opportunity to explore a large portion of the wild North Fork of the Sun River Valley.