24 Mar 2018

Our Homestead is located in the Big Belt Mountain Range that lies east of Helena, extending south to Townsend. The Gates of the Mountains Wilderness area (28,562 acres) is situated in the North Big Belts Mountain area and is just over a mile north of the Homestead.  The Gates of the Mountains takes its name from the distinctive cliffs along the Missouri River noted in the journals of Lewis and Clark. Much of the Big Belts are dissected by rugged limestone canyons and provide scenic enjoyment for hikers and motorists.

The Homestead sits at about 4,300 feet elevation.  Elevation on the hiking trails through the Big Belt rises to approximately 6,300 feet.

The homestead is surrounded on all four sides by Helena National Forest. The lack of camping facilities in the area makes it inconvenient for families to visit.  The Homestead is about as secluded as possible without having to pack in on a horse.  A Forest Road ensures road access but the location ensures seclusion. Camping restrictions on National Forest Land in areas where there is no designated camp sites usually means moving a camp on a daily basis, very inconvenient.

Populations of wildlife and fish species inhabit this forest including elk herds, big game animals such as deer, and moose; grizzly bears, big horn sheep, and wolverines, bald eagles and goshawks; and habitats for cutthroat and bull trout. You will be amazed when you see the bighorn sheep in their natural habitat of steep rugged terrain where only they have the ability to travel, and that with apparent ease.

My Grandmother bringing supplies from Helena across Hauser Lake on the Missouri River when she was 17 years old in 1918.  I sure hope there were horses on the other side to finish the trip.