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The Yaak

Remote and wild to say the least, the Yaak Valley is nestled in far northwestern Montana on Mont. 308 and is home to the only rainforests in the state. It's devastatingly beautiful in some places and devastated by clear-cut logging in others. And as a tourist destination, it's certainly not for everyone. I can't recommend any of the few lodging or eating/drinking establishments in the valley -- unless you're desperate for a beer or an earful from a gun-toting, anti-government survivalist -- but I can recommend some of its campgrounds and hiking trails. I like both the tranquil, two-site Caribou Campground, just northwest of the town of Yaak on Mont. 308 (no fee), and the Vinal-Mt. Henry-Boulder National Recreational Trail, just west of the campground. Take caution, however: Not only is this wolf and grizzly country, but many of the trails are favored by armed drug smugglers and would-be terrorists entering the U.S. from Canada. Contact the Kootenai National Forest, 31374 U.S. 2, Libby, MT 59923 (tel. 406/293-6211; www.fs.fed.us/r1/kootenai), for more information. And stock up on groceries and other supplies in Whitefish or Kalispell before you go -- the shopping in these parts leaves something to be desired.

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.