Top Place: Southwestern Crown

Autumn on the Blackfoot River in Montana
Flikr: USFWS Mountain Prairie
Montana's Southwestern Crown wildland is a rich tapestry of lower elevation forests and communities in the Blackfoot, Clearwater and Swan river valleys.

Experience the Southwestern Crown of the Continent

In Montana’s Southwestern Crown of the Continent, the Blackfoot and Clearwater rivers join to create the Blackfoot-Clearwater region. The region’s many forests, rivers and other wildlands offer recreation of all kinds.

The Blackfoot-Clearwater region is an alpine valley that contains the Blackfoot River. The Blackfoot River was made famous by the 1993 film “A River Runs Through It.” The film, directed by Robert Redford and starring Brad Pitt, won an Oscar for best cinematography — in part, for its beautiful portrayal of the scenic Blackfoot River.

What are some of the best things about the Southwestern Crown?

Iconic Montana.

Visitors who come for outdoor recreation in the region’s forests and rivers also get to experience the real Montana. They often pass horses, cows and giant hay bales on the way to river put-ins and trailheads.

What’s one activity the Southwestern Crown is known for?

Fly-fishing in the Blackfoot-Clearwater region.

Part ritual and part sport, fly-fishing is the king of outdoor recreation in the Blackfoot-Clearwater region.

You can access fly-fishing easily at Mineral Hill, where the Blackfoot River crosses Montana Highway 141. Anglers also can visit Lolo National Forest and hike wilderness trails up to Monture Creek for an incredible urban escape.

Want to more ideas for an urban escape? Get insider tips.

What’s one way The Wilderness Society is working to protect the Southwestern Crown?

The Wilderness Society is working to secure funding for forest restoration projects in the Blackfoot-Clearwater region of the Southwestern Crown. We’re also working with ranchers, loggers and outdoor recreation groups to urge Congress to:

  • Add 87,000 acres to the Bob Marshall, Scapegoat and Mission Mountains wilderness areas
  • Promote forest stewardship and jobs

Learn more about our work in the Southwestern Crown.

Helpful links

  • Clearwater Resource Council:

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