Densely forested and marked by a sparkling chain of lakes, the Seeley-Swan Valley offers a variety of activities for the outdoor enthusiast, with a vast network of Forest Service trails providing year-round recreational opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, fishing, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling. The Seeley Lake Ranger District, 2583 Mont. 83, Seeley Lake (tel. 406/677-2233; www.fs.fed.us/r1/lolo), will provide you with a detailed map of these trails upon request. The district office is 3 miles north of Seeley Lake near mile marker 18 of Mont. 83. One of the most popular summer activities is the Clearwater River Canoe Trail, a 3 1/2-mile leisurely run down the river to the north end of Seeley Lake. The put-in is at the end of Forest Service Road 17597 and ends at the canoe landing at the ranger station.
The Forest Service publishes a brochure that outlines a number of hikes in the national forest and wilderness areas. You can pick up a copy at the Lolo National Forest ranger district office, located at 3583 Mont. 83 just north of the town of Seeley Lake, or request one by phone (tel. 406/677-2233). For a fairly short and interesting family hike, try the Morrell Falls Trail, a 2.5-mile hike from the trail head to a series of cascades, the largest of which drops 90 feet. From Clearwater Junction, travel north on Mont. 83 for 15 miles. Turn east on Cottonwood Lakes Road 477 and go 1 1/4 miles. Turn north on West Morrell Road 4353, then go 6 miles. Turn east on Pyramid Pass Road 4364 and go a quarter-mile. Turn north on Morrell Falls Road 4364 and go a mile to the trail head.
Outfitters & Guides -- Swan Valley is home to several experienced guides who know parts of this vast territory like the toughened backs of their leathery hands. Guided pack trips on horseback usually run from $175 to $250 per person per day, with a normal trip into the Bob Marshall Wilderness usually lasting a week. Buck Creek Guide Service (tel. 406/754-2471; www.buckcreekguideservice.com) offers trips that focus on natural history and local culture, as well as big-game-hunting expeditions. JM Bar Outfitters (tel. 406/825-3230; www.jmbaroutfitters.com) offers trail rides and fishing trips in the summer and hunting trips in the fall and winter. Call for prices. In Clearwater, Monture Crick Outfitters (tel. 888/420-5768 or 406/244-5763; www.montanaoutfitter.com) offers summer backpacking trips, hunting, and fishing in the Bob Marshall Wilderness.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.