In the heart of the state known as "The Last Best Place," Judith Basin County epitomizes the classic Montana description of "high, wide, and handsome." Judith Basin County includes 295,000 acres of the Lewis and Clark National Forest; surrounded by four mountain ranges - the beautiful Little Belt Mountains, Snowy's, Highwoods, and the Judith's - covered in a sea of grass and wheat, the farmer, the recreationalist, the rancher, and the sportsman are able to reap and enjoy the rich bounties of this intriguing Basin.
Driving secondary roads into the Lewis & Clark Forest will give you access to many different hiking, biking, fishing and camping opportunities. The roads are clearly marked on all good maps and it is easy to plot a route through the forest. Much of the camping on the Lewis and Clark Forest is done in developed campsites that are found in many areas along these roads. There is a lot of wildlife in the hills and mountains you are driving through and a careful observer will find much of interest.
In the fall you will often find hunters camped in the natural parks in the higher areas of the Little Belts. Elk and deer hunting in the Little Belts is excellent and both archery and rifle hunters are common in the fall. Be sure to be aware of hunting seasons as many hikers prefer to limit their outings when hunters are in the hills.
Motorized recreation is very popular in this area so don't be surprised to hear the sound of trail bikes and other motorized vehicles as you're hiking in the Belts. There are a lot of great mountain biking opportunities ranging from riding the many roads to more extreme mountain bike trails.
There is a lot of great exploring to be done in the Little Belt Mountains. Get a good map and learn what the various symbols and indicators are and go explore. You will find a diversity of habitat and experience that will really make you glad you visited.
Judith Ranger's District Lewis & Clark National Forest Stanford, Montana 406-566-2292