Montana’s Tobacco Root Mountains offer unforgettable backpacking adventure

An iconic Montana adventure weekend centers on Pony, Montana and the wild Tobacco Root Mountains in Southwest Montana. Many backcountry weekend-length trips beckon in the rugged, multi-use Tobacco Roots about 45 miles west of Bozeman, but perhaps the most famous and stunning is the climb to the summit of 10,600-foot Hollowtop Mountain. Excellent camping lies at Hollowtop Lake; be sure to pack your fly rod for some steller alpine lake fishing. The climb is a moderate one-day ascent…but plan a few extra hours for side trips and summit-squatting. The views are amazing.

Afterward, rest your blistered feet at the notorious Pony Bar for some Wild West revelry. The bar (and much of the town of Pony) is an historic landmark and offers a taste of a real cowboy bar—a former mainstay that is now waning in a world of metro wine bars and microbreweries. Additionally, a night’s stay at the Pony Cabin is worth an extra evening away from home. The cabin was the original homestead of the DeFrance family and conjures back a life without smartphones, iPads or freeway traffic.


Southwest Montana, formerly known as Gold West Country, is a large swath of mountains, valleys, rivers, lakes and hearty communities smack dab in between Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks.  Southwest Montana offers a sampling of all of Montana’s lightly-tread amenities, including mega-mountains, lunker trout, budding melting pots for art and culture in Butte and Helena, remote yet luxurious escapes, and a slice of the Wild West through the numerous and well-preserved ghost towns in its mineral-rich hills.

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