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.