The Big Hole Valley has been known by the Flathead Indians as La-im-tse-la-lik, "place of the ground squirrel," by trappers as a "hole," "the big hole basin," "the land of big snows," and through the ranching community as "the land of 10,000 haystacks." The valley was visited by the Lewis and Clark Expedition on July 7, 1806. Captain Clark's return leg of the expedition stopped for lunch at a "Boiling Springs" here in Jackson.
Enjoy a great day of fishing on the beautiful Big Hole River. Try your hand at catching one of the trophy-sized brown trout, brook trout, rainbow trout, or grayling. For more information on fishing access areas, please contact the Wisdom Ranger District (see links below).
Other outdoor activities include bird-watching, wildlife-viewing, hunting, snowshoeing, photography opportunities, hiking, snow activities, boating, and sightseeing. The options are endless!
Enjoy a busy day of digging for quartz crystals at Crystal Park Recreational Mineral Collection Area! There, you'll find crystals ranging in color from clear or cloudy to white, gray or purple.
Located in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest on the Pioneer Scenic Byway, the facilities are open to the public, with digging permitted on approximately 30 acres of national forest land. Crystal Park is open from May 15th to October 15th, depending on road and weather conditions. A recreational use fee of $5.00 per vehicle helps maintain the facilities.
Take a day trip to this historic site to learn about the Nez Perce (Nee-Me-Poo) War of 1877 and the August 9th siege of the Battle of the Big Hole. This was the last Indian War in the United States.
The visitor center is open daily, offering a video program, museum, photographs and personal items belonging to some of the battle's participants. Hike the trails that lead to the points of interest, such as the Nez Perce campsite and National Historic Trail, siege area, and Howitzer Capture Site.
Pack a picnic lunch and bring a fishing pole as fishing is permitted in the Battlefield. Take the opportunity to explore all the amazing history that the Battlefield has to offer!
Make a day trip to one of our many local alpine lakes, including Miner, Van Houten, Mussigbrod, and Twin Lakes to enjoy fishing, hiking and breathtaking scenery. Take your snowmobile out during the winter months! Although not all are easily accessible, the Big Hole proudly offers upwards of 45 mountain lakes.
For more information on lake locations, fishing access, hiking trails and campgrounds please
contact Wisdom Ranger Station at (406) 689-3243 and/or see links below.
Enjoy a fabulous day of skiing at either Lost Trail Powder Mountain or Maverick Mountain Ski Areas. Both are only about 45 minutes from Jackson--go enjoy a day on the slopes!
For groomed and marked cross-country trails, try Chief Joseph Ski Touring Trails. To find other locations for snowmobile and cross-country trails and areas, please contact Dillon or Wisdom Ranger Districts.
Bannack State Park is one of America's best preserved ghost towns. Come and walk the deserted
streets of Montana's first territorial capital, by way of a major gold discovery in Grasshopper Creek on July 1862. Explore all the firsts in Montana's history that happened at Bannack. Learn about Sheriff Henry Plummer's alleged gang of thieves and watch them come alive during Bannack Days, a two day celebration of life on the Montana frontier. Bannack Days occurs on the third weekend in July and is just under 30 miles from Jackson.
Take a beautiful ride over the Pioneer Mountains Scenic Byway to visit the Coolidge Mine Site.
Founded around 1919, Coolidge was one of Montana's largest, and the final, silver developments.
Coolidge is about 51 miles from Jackson, MT.
Bannack State Park (406) 834-3413 - www.bannack.org
Beartooth Plateau Outfitters (800) 253-8545
Big Hole National Battlefield (406) 689-3155 - www.nps.gov/biho
Big Hole River RV Park (406) 689-3102 - www.bigholeriverrvpark.com
Crystal Park, Hiking, Cross-Country Skiing, Snowmobiling - Dillon Ranger District (406) 683-3900
Fishing Licenses - Hook & Horn (406) 689-3272 - www.montanahookandhorn.com
Hiking, Cross Country Skiing, Snowmobiling - Wisdom Ranger Station (406) 689-3243
Lapham Outfitters (406) 834-3134 - www.laphamoutfitters.com
Lost Trail Powder Mountain (406) 821-3211 - www.losttrail.com
Maverick Mountain Ski Area (406) 834-3454 - www.skimaverick.com
Pioneer Mountain Scenic Byway, Coolidge Mine - Wise River Ranger District (406) 832-3178
Tourism - www.bigholevalley.com
Wisdom Ranger District - https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/bdnf/recarea/?recid=11593
The Big Hole River.
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