Scapegoat Wilderness


Scapegoat Wilderness
The Chinese Wall rising above the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail
Scapegoat Wilderness

The Scapegoat Wilderness is composed of 239,936 acres of pristine mountain and forest that straddles the Continental Divide south of the Bob Marshall Wilderness. Together with "the Bob" and Great Bear Wilderness, these 3 wildernesses comprise the more than 1.5-million-acre Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex.

Among the more than 150 miles of trails in the Scapegoat Wilderness is about 50 miles of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail. The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail exits the Bob Marshall Wilderness and enters the Scapegoat Wilderness along the massive limestone cliffs that rise to the summit of Scapegoat Mountain (9,204'), on the Continental Divide and at the southern end of the "Chinese Wall." The Chinese Wall itself runs for 20 miles through the Scapegoat Wilderness. Elevations here vary from about 5,000' on the Blackfoot River to a high of 9,411' at the top of Red Mountain.

The 89 miles of pristine streams and 14 alpine lakes in the Scapegoat Wilderness contain an excellent rainbow, cutthroat and brook trout fishery. Among the heavily forested river bottoms and hillsides and the gorgeous alpine meadows you'll find wolverine, wolf, black bear, deer, elk, moose, mountain lion, lynx and grizzly bear. On the stark and rugged ridges you'll see bighorn sheep and mountain goats. In the Scapegoat Wilderness, the preferred mode of travel seems to be on horseback, with horseback riders in pack trains greatly outnumbering actual hikers. Easiest access to Scapegoat Wilderness is via trails that lead off from Forest Service Roads along US 287 and Montana Highways 83 and 200.

Scapegoat Wilderness area map
Scapegoat Wilderness area map
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Photos courtesy of the US Forest Service
Map courtesy of National Geographic Topo!