Get lost on the back roads that lead to the largest wilderness complex in the Continental U.S.
Story and photography by Greg LindstromBy autumn, days are a perfect time for reflection, and there is no better place to get lost in thought than along the Hungry Horse Reservoir. A road trip around the reservoir offers panoramic views, sparse crowds and a great chance to view wildlife near the heart of the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex.
The complex, made up of the Great Bear, Scapegoat and Bob Marshall wildernesses, totals more than 1.5 million acres and spans 60 miles along the Continental Divide. In the fall, underbrush turns a fiery orange-red and is the perfect compliment to the hillsides of changing mountain larch.
The loop is slightly longer than 100 miles, but plan on spending at least four hours driving the gravel road. At dusk and dawn, look for wildlife in the dense forests, especially near creek crossings and along the shore of the reservoir.
Most importantly, take time to pause and reflect on the beauty and solitude found around every bend.
How to Get There: Travel U.S. Highway 2 east to the town of Martin City. Follow Central Avenue through the town and follow signs towards the East Side Road. After approximately 50 miles turn right, crossing the South Fork Flathead River, and travel the West Side Road another 50 miles back to Martin City.