2014 Prime Time Tracer
2014 Prime Time Tracer
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Big Hole National Battlefield is a historical monument near the town of Gibbonsville. The site recognizes a conflict that occurred between Native Americans and U.S. troops in 1877. The battlefield site is open year-round during daylight hours; in the winter, the roads aren't cleared, but you can still access the battlefield by snowshoe or cross-country skis. The monument's visitors center is open during regular business hours during the summer; in the winter, opening hours may be reduced.
The Nez Perce National Historical Park preserves a grouping of several important sites that includes Big Hole National Battlefield, Bear Paw Battlefield, and others. Nez Perce is spread across several states, specifically in select areas that were the ancestral home of the Nez Perce peoples, but Big Hole National Battlefield is a good place to start. Big Hole has three trails you can hike while you explore the area; the trails range from perfectly flat to slightly elevated and can be completed in an hour or less. RV camping near Big Hole National Battlefield is how your vacation will begin; after that, the vast Montana sky is the limit.
Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness is an undisturbed outdoor recreation area located within the much larger Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest. There are a few roads within the park; the Magruder Corridor is a primitive one-lane road that is steep and rough. It is suitable for mountain bikes, off-road motorcycles, and trucks, otherwise, visitors should be prepared to travel through the park on foot. The park is ideal for hiking, nature and wildlife observation, and photography, with a pristine terrain that nature enthusiasts will relish.
Lolo National Forest has a lot to offer, making it a perfect day or overnight trip. The forest is open year-round for outdoor activities such as hiking and camping in the spring, summer, and fall, and snowshoeing and other winter sports when the snow has fallen. The forest is a short distance from the town of Missoula, and it has visitor centers where you can gather information and learn more about the nature preserve.
Tweedy Mountain is another day or overnight trip that is a popular place to visit. The mountain has several lakes where you can enjoy tent camping or spend some time fishing; there is a river that flows nearby, which also offers an opportunity to get some fishing in. The mountain can be accessed from several routes; one of them is a rough road suitable to a truck or off-road motorcycle, while the other two are trails that can be hiked. One of the trails offers the chance to go cross-country skiing from the trailhead to the mountain base. In summer, the mountain provides opportunities for rock climbers.
Camping at Big Hole National Battlefield isn't an option, but there is a good selection of RV campgrounds near Wisdom to choose from. Steel Creek Campground is a rustic RV campground perfectly suited to those who want to immerse themselves in the great outdoors. The campground has restrooms with vault toilets, picnic tables, and access to drinking water. The sites have fire rings and can accommodate small to mid-size campers and RV rentals. It's a good destination for picnicking and nature and wildlife viewing.
May Creek Campground is another RV campground near Big Hole National Battlefield. Stay here, and you can fish in May Creek, which runs along the campground's western boundary. You'll also have a chance to hike the many trails that are a short distance away; most of these are of moderate length, making excellent day hikes. You can picnic in the campground or on the trails, and add nature and wildlife viewing to your to-do list while hiking or picnicking.
At some point, you might want to visit some of the area's urban attractions. Consider a stop in Dillon, a mid-size town that began as a gold mining community in 1880. Today Dillon is a charming tourist spot with a museum and plenty of outlets for shopping. You can use the town as a base for exploring nearby outdoor attractions or indulge yourself in its nightlife. One of its landmark attractions is a former Civilian Conservation Corps encampment, and it has a golf course in case you need to squeeze in a few rounds. Dillon's restaurant industry is filled with locally owned and operated venues where you'll find great food, good service, and reasonable prices.
Salmon is an interesting mid-size town just across the Montana – Idaho state border. One of the town's claims to fame is its connection to the Lewis and Clark Expedition, which followed the Salmon River through the area where the town now sits. Salmon has several museums, and one of them is a park and educational center that focuses on Sacagawea, the Native American guide who led Lewis and Clark on their expedition. Additionally, there is a hot spring you can visit during your stay. The town has a varied selection of restaurants to choose from, including bistros, pizzerias, and breakfast venues.