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Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest
Welcome to Montana's largest National Forest, the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest sprawling across southwest Montana in eight different counties.
Forest History: Though the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest was not always one National Forest, both the Beaverhead and the Deerlodge National Forests were created by the same man on the same day. That day was July 1, 1908 and that man was President Theodore Roosevelt. Many of the lands that make up the forest were once individual forest reserves such as the Bitter Root, Hell Gate, and Big Hole Forest Reserves which were established in the late 19th and early 20th centuries between 1897 and 1906. In 1931 the Madison National Forest became part of the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest and in 1945 and section of the Gallatin National Forest was added to this forest. In February 1996, the management of the Beaverhead and Deerlodge National Forests were merged into one unit by the U.S. Forest Service. The name Beaverhead first appeared in the Lewis and Clark Journal in 1805 when two of the expedition members spotted a rock near Dillon shaped like a swimming beaver. The name Deer Lodge came from a 40 foot high geothermal formation known as Deer Lodge Mound. With steam rising out from the top, the mound looked to the Natives like a medicine lodge and large herds of deer were attracted to the minerals.
Wildlife: Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest helps protect the home of numerous wild critters including grizzly bears, black bears, deer, mountain lions, squirrels, raccoons, bald eagles, and so many others. Please treat their home with respect.
For the lover of the outdoors this forest boasts miles of multipurpose trails, 220 lakes, the Maverick Mountain and Discovery Basin ski resorts, and so much more. Come on out and have a blast!