If lack of inspiration or opportunity has kept you pinned to the couch this winter, members of the Montana Wilderness Association have a remedy.
This weekend they’re leading a snowshoe trek into Devil’s Glen, one of the most surprisingly accessible winter destinations in the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex. The six-mile roundtrip along the Dearborn River out of Augusta makes a great introduction to snowshoe travel and winter backcountry experience.
Long a gateway into the Scapegoat portion of the Bob Marshall, the Silver King-Falls Creek Addition won full wilderness designation for 16,711 acres in 2014 through the Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act. The trip starts from a trailhead near Bean Lake, which can be reached from several well-maintained gravel roads leading off either Highway 200 east of Lincoln or Highway 287 south of Augusta. The first mile of the trail skirts around several private houses and ranches before reaching Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest land.
The Dearborn River originates at about 6,000 feet above sea level and cuts through some 1.5 billion-year-old Precambrian sedimentary rock, known as the Belt Supergroup. Eroding through that hard, metamorphic rock results in a river channel barely wider than a cross-country ski in places, especially through the Devil’s Glen gorge at the turnaround point in this trip.
Saturday’s hike has a limited participation capacity, but the trail exists every day of the week. For other winter outings with the Montana Wilderness Association, check out the 2018 Winter Offerings webpage at Wildmontana.org. For specific information on Saturday’s hike, contact Casey Perkins at 406-544-1093 or firstname.lastname@example.org.