Fishing the Montana Mountains
Anaconda-Pintlar Wilderness

The Anaconda-Pintlar Wilderness

Anaconda-Pintlar Wilderness Area
Photo Use Guidelines

The Anaconda Pintlar Wilderness Area has extensive backcountry hiking and fishing. The wilderness area is more than 150,000 acres in size. Adjacent roadless areas to the wilderness area combine to create a very wild and remote wilderness setting for any traveler to this region.

The Anaconda-Pintlar Wilderness Area has numerous high alpine lakes, many of which provide excellent fishing for cutthroat trout and brook trout. Additionally, all the high alpine lakes are popular spots for hikers. While the use of the Anaconda-Pintlar Wilderness Area is much less than other wild land areas in Montana, the area is receiving more and more use from backpackers interested in exploring a wild area away from the bulk of the crowds.

The mountains in the Anaconda-Pintlar Wilderness Area receive lots of snow. The tall mountains that go well above timberline and the cold temperatures of the region combine with the high snowfall to create a very short hiking and fishing season in the upper elevations.

Hiking in the Anaconda-Pintlar Wilderness Area is not the easiest. The mountains have a significant vertical above the surrounding valley floors and the access roads to reach the mountains generally end at the base of the mountains. As a result, most hikes in the wilderness area require significant gains in vertical elevation. Numerous trail options in the wilderness area allow for loop hikes and extended backpacking trips. Just be prepared for a wild variety in the weather. Much of the hiking is well above tree line and in open, exposed country. Sudden and drastic changes in the weather occur frequently and snow during the summer is not uncommon in the highest elevations.

Anaconda-Pintlar Wilderness Area
Photo Use Guidelines

Access to the Anaconda-Pintlar Wilderness Area is good. Many roads, some of which are seldom maintained, provide many places to access the many trails that lead into the wilderness area and adjacent roadless areas.

Camping is permitted throughout the wilderness area, although regulations from time to time may limit camping around popular day hiking destinations. Additional camping is found at several designated campgrounds on the east and west sides of the mountains. Abundant informal campsites also exist all around the wilderness area.

The wilderness area is located west of Butte, north of the small town of Wisdom and south of Phillipsburg. As it is located quite a distance from the nearest large town, it is recommended that any hikers bring everything they need. Forgetting something means a long drive back to Butte or Missoula, depending on which side of the mountains you are on.

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