High Trails

Dil­lon, Mon­tana

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WHEN THE BLM SOLD off 1,100 acres to a pri­vate buyer in the 1980s, res­i­dents of Dil­lon, Mon­tana (pop­u­la­tion 4,257), lost ac­cess to their lo­cal hik­ing, bik­ing, and eques­trian trails— which sub­se­quently re­quired a half-hour com­mute to reach the goods. The Beaver­head Trails Coali­tion ne­go­ti­ated with the new owner, who agreed to sell—if the BTC could come up with the money. So far, the BTC has raised more than $430,000 in do­na­tions to pur­chase 781 acres, which elim­i­nates the car time. Con­struc­tion on new trails has al­ready be­gun, but the group needs $130,000 more for the fi­nal 327-acre par­cel, which of­fers an even re­moter feel along the trail sys­tem’s west­ern edge. Donate and then visit to show your sup­port—and help re­move the KEEP OUT signs still posted there.

The High Trails net­work cur­rently con­sists of 3 to­tal miles of hik­ing paths that climb the 300and 400-foot bluffs along the broad Beaver­head River and roller coaster across tree­less prairie. From the park­ing area on 10 Mile Road, fol­low the Dil­lon Town Over­look Trail for .8 mile, gain­ing 400 feet on the ap­proach to the hill­side’s land­mark “M,” an homage to lo­cal Univer­sity of Mon­tana West­ern. Then con­tinue north on marked trails nearly a mile farther, rolling across the grassy ridge­line to sa­vor views west to the Pi­o­neer Moun­tains bor­der­ing Idaho. Head south to com­plete the 3.5-mile loop.

TRAILHEAD Dil­lon Town Over­look (45.2179, -112.6751) SEA­SON Year-round PER­MIT None CON­TACT beaver­head­trails.org

From the “M,” scan south­west to see the Pi­o­neer Moun­tains.

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