Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness

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Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness
IUCN category Ib (wilderness area)
Map showing the location of Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness
Map showing the location of Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness
Location Montana, USA
Nearest city Missoula, MT
Coordinates 45°57′N 113°28′W / 45.950°N 113.467°W / 45.950; -113.467Coordinates: 45°57′N 113°28′W / 45.950°N 113.467°W / 45.950; -113.467
Area 158,615 acres
(642 km2)
Established 1964 (1964)
Governing body U.S. Forest Service

The Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness is located in southwestern Montana, in the northwestern United States. It runs for 40 miles (65 km) along both sides of the crest of the Anaconda Range, covering almost 250 square miles (640 km2). To the north are the Sapphire Mountains, and to the south is the Big Hole Valley. Elevations range from about 5000 feet (1525 m) up to 10,793 feet (3290 m) at West Goat Peak. West Pintler Peak, located in a more commonly visited area, rises to 9894 feet (2895 m). Visitors can most easily access this area via trailheads at Pintler Lake to the south, and at Lutz Creek and Moose Lake to the north. The wilderness lies in parts of Deer Lodge, Granite, Ravalli, and Beaverhead counties.

Oreamnos Lake and West Pintler Peak, looking west from the ridge near East Pintler Peak

This segment of mountains was designated as a Primitive Area in 1937, and reclassified as a Wilderness Area in 1964. It is administered jointly by the Beaverhead-Deerlodge and Bitterroot National Forests. The name is derived from the town and its copper mining company and from Charles and Katie Pintler, homesteaders who in 1885 settled along Pintler Creek between the Big Hole National Battlefield and
Wisdom.[1] The forest north of Pintler Pass, including Johnson Lake, was heavily burnt by the Mussigbrod and other fires of 2000.

Recreational opportunities abound. The mountains of this wilderness area and the excellent trail system make it a prime destination for peak baggers. West and East Goat Peaks, Warren Peak, Mount Evans, and Fish Peak are just a few of the 10,000 feet (3,000 m) plus peaks that can be scrambled with no technical equipment. Many lakes in this wilderness area are well-stocked with trout and are popular fishing destinations. Popular lakes include Upper Seymour, Edith, Ivanhoe and Johnson Lakes. Wildlife watchers can see mountain goats, Rocky Mountain big horn sheep, and pika.


  1. ^ Aarstad, Rich, Ellie Arguimbau, Ellen Baumler, Charlene Porsild, and Brian Shovers. Montana Place Names from Alzada to Zortman. Montana Historical Society Press.

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