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7 Lazy P Outfitting offers a trip where you will cross the Continental Divide two times as you move into the north country of the Bob Marshall Wilderness. Experience some amazing places including Gateway Gorge and Big River Meadows. The North Continental Divide trip is great for those who are looking for extra horseback riding. This area of the Bob Marshall Wilderness doesn’t see a lot of people and particularly, late August is a nice time of year to be in the backcountry. Soak up your surroundings on this quiet trip through astounding scenery!
The night before your trip leaves, you will spend the night at the historic 7 Lazy P guest ranch in a quaint cabin. It has five guest cabins of various configurations to accommodate singles, couples, families, or small groups of friends. Settle in, relax, and meet the stock! Your evening will include a homestyle meal in the lodge while getting to know the crew.
Following dinner, discussions about the final details of your trip will take place in the lodge. This is the time to ask last minute questions as you retire to your cabin to finish preparing your gear and for a good night’s rest. In the morning, the packers will be readying the stock and gear.
After breakfast, you will meet your horse, be fitted to a saddle, the crew will finish packing and loading the mules and then you’re on the trail to magnificent destinations! The reverse will happen the night you come out from your trip; unpacking, showers, dinner, visiting, a good night’s rest, all of these are included in the price of your trip.
The camp will consist of a large kitchen fly with a complete kitchen to prepare incredible meals. Guests are provided with high-quality tents that comfortably sleep two adults. Single guests may be issued slightly smaller tents.
Once instructed on proper tent set-up, guests are encouraged to select their own location and set up their own tents. This is a good activity for guests while the crew is busy setting up the kitchen, getting wood and water, and tending to the stock. If anyone needs assistance crew members are always there to help. There will be camp stools available. A latrine tent is set up at each campsite and the opportunity for a shower is available on layover days.
Setting up and taking down the camp and putting the whole thing on the backs of mules is an incredible task that is handled efficiently by the experienced crew. It is important for guests to be ready on moving days so as not to delay the process. Layover days are for relaxing and having a leisurely breakfast.
On moving days breakfast will be from 7 until 7:30 a.m. There is a lot to do and it is always good to have extra time at the end of the day rather than to be late and run into trouble. Cooperation is expected and required on these days.
The Bob Marshall Wilderness area is referred simply as “The Bob” by locals. The preserved wilderness complex covers over one million acres in Central Montana. Did you know that it’s the most completely preserved mountainous ecosystem in the lower 48 states? The U.S. Forest Service manages and protects the Bob Marshall Wilderness area.
The Bob Marshall Wilderness area lies within the Flathead National Forest and Lewis and Clark National Forest. The roadless and motorless backcountry follows the Continental Divide for 60 miles with elevations ranging from 4,000 to 9,000 feet.
These wilderness areas and heights can only be accessed by foot or horseback. However, once inside, you are surrounded by pristine old-growth forests, river valleys, rugged peaks, alpine lakes, waterfalls, and grassy meadows. The Bob is home to large grizzly bears, moose, elk, black bears, mountain goats, wolves, and bighorn sheep. You will be in awe of bald eagle, osprey, pelican, grouse, ptarmigan, and trumpeter swan sightings.
Be ready to unplug as your senses come alive and connect with the vast array of nature’s pure awesomeness. Summer is the best time to explore the Bob Marshall Wilderness area. Professional and experienced outfitters offer multi-day pack trips from July through September that can take you along the trails and off the beaten path.
The Chinese Wall is the most popular and recognized destination in the Bob Marshall Wilderness area. The striking wall formation stretches for 22 miles through the wilderness on the western boundary of the Sun River Game Preserve. This is a definite bucket list pack trip for any backcountry horseback riding, hiking, fishing, or nature enthusiasts.
You can easily access the Chinese Wall from the South Fork, along with the well-traveled Holland Lake-Benchmark Trail. Make sure to plan your trip accordingly, since camping is strictly prohibited along the fragile Cliff and Salt mountains. During your journey, be sure to enjoy the sights and sounds along the Salmon Lake.
Towering peaks stand tall and run at great lengths through the Bob. In particular, on the western boundary, Holland Peak is a spectacular 9,356-foot giant that can be reached during a short day hike. Then, to the northern Great Northern Mountain summit towers at 8,705 feet and can be achieved by an off-trail 8-mile round trip hike. Finally, to the south Scapegoat Mountain is the most prominent jewel of the southern complex area.
Bob Marshall was a forester and conservationist. His vision was to protect parts of the Central Montana area as a wilderness designation. Not too long after his death in 1940, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture designated 950,000 acres as wilderness. The Wilderness Act was passed in 1964 by the U.S. Congress, in which the Bob Marshall Wilderness area received wilderness protection. Today, the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex includes the Scapegoat Wilderness, Great Bear Wilderness, and the Bob Marshall Wilderness. Thanks Bob!
Arrive at the 7 Lazy P Guest Ranch, spend the night there and be ready for the trip commencement on the next day.
Depart 7 Lazy P Guest Ranch as you ride up the Middle Fork of the Teton and over 7,200-foot Route Creek Pass into the North Fork Sun River drainage. You'll descend down into the valley to the camp on Wrangle Creek.
Enjoy the nearby Sun River or take a hike. There is a hike for any level from short and easy to more challenging, like a climb up Wapati Ridge or an all-day hike to the top of the Wrong Ridge. The views are incredible! Crew members are always available to accompany guests to the river or on any of the hikes. Guests are also free to go on their own if they choose.
You will pack up and leave the Wrong Creek camp moving a short distance to the Sun River, where you cross at the mouth of Lick Creek and then ascend up this drainage to the base of the North Chinese Wall. You will turn north and traverse the wall across the South Fork of Open Creek before dropping into the campsite beneath the high cliffs at Lake Levale. This beautiful aqua blue alpine lake sits at 7156'. Don't be surprised to see mountain goats on the cliffs. You will only camp here one night.
Moving off again you start the day with a magnificent ride up Switchback Pass over the Continental Divide. You climb over 1000' in less than 1.5 miles. The view from the top will cover the entire wilderness complex, the Swan and Mission ranges, as well as the peaks of Glacier National Park, can all be seen from this vantage point. You'll know you are in truly wild country here. Now you are riding along the Trilobite Range as we pass Dean Lake, the rocky face of Mt. Pentagon, and then to the campsite at the Trilobite Lakes directly below Trilobite P
After a leisurely breakfast, guests may choose to go on a hike with some of the crew. Climbing Tilobite Peak is popular and can be achieved by most folks in reasonable condition. Shorter hikes or just relaxing is great, too.
You move down off the high bench into the Clack Creek drainage, and then the Middle Fork of the Flathead River. The confluence of these two streams occurs at Gooseberry Park, where sits a historic Forest Service guard cabin built in 1928. You head upstream across Strawberry Creek to Bowl Creek, which you follow through Grizzly Parks and the last camp at Basin Creek. Much of the country you will ride through has burned recently and
The Basin camp sits in a comfortable grassy park. This is a good day to relax or take a short hike. There is some nice fishing for native West Slope Cutthroat in Bowl Creek, but it will require a couple of miles of walking to and from.
On the last riding day you leave the Basin Creek camp, and continue up Bowl Creek to Teton Pass on the Continental Divide and then down into the West Fork of the Teton to our corrals at the end of the road where we will be met by the crew from the guest ranch. The hardworking stock will be turned out here to graze and take a well-deserved break. Guests will take a short 8-mile vehicle ride back to the 7 Lazy P guest ranch for showers and dinner.
Depart 7 Lazy P Guest Ranch mid-morning.
All dates given on trip itineraries are for the actual trip departure and return dates. You will need to arrive at the 7 Lazy P Guest Ranch no later than the afternoon prior to the date of your trip departure. Guests should plan to leave the lodge mid-morning the day after your trip. In other words, an 8-day pack trip will require a 10-day time commitment so you will need to make your travel arrangements accordingly.
The trips can take a maximum of 10 guests. Each trip typically has a five-person crew: two packers with the mule strings, a wilderness chef, the trip leader who rides with the guests, and a “5th wheel” who will often ride with the guests and help out wherever needed in camp and on the trail. 7 Lazy P may reduce the size of the crew on trips with very few guests.
On moving days, 7 Lazy P often have the riders traveling independently of the pack strings to reduce congestion on the trail and allow that portion of the crew to reach a campsite ahead of the guests to begin set up. They try and get on the trail by 9:30 to 10 a.m. You will stop for a short break prior to lunch and then stop for about a 30-minute lunch break, then usually one more quick stop in the afternoon prior to reaching the campsite.
It is always good to get into a campsite by about 3:30 p.m., so depending on the mileage and time required, your guide will manage travel accordingly. When you arrive at a campsite, the crew will assist guests in securing their horse. They will have you remove any clothing and the horn bags from your saddle. Guests may need to be patient as the crew works to transform neatly packed mule loads into an accommodating camp. This is a good time to just relax for a minute, everything will be ready shortly.
7 Lazy P's exceptional string of mules carries all the gear for your trip. Your crew will almost magically assemble a complete camp from piles of gear. You will find quality tents, camp chairs, a custom kitchen, and good equipment. 7 Lazy P takes pride in every aspect of their operation and feels that the details are what make a successful trip, whether caring for the guests, the stock, or the equipment.
7 Lazy P Outfitting is a premier guest ranch near Choteau, Montana. It's located about 27 miles west of town and in the heart of the Bob Marshall Wilderness. 7 Lazy P is unique because it is the only pack station in the Bob Marshall Complex located directly on a trailhead. You can find it along the beautiful Teton River in the Lewis and Clark National Forest. The premier guest ranch near Choteau has been in continuous operation since 1931. It's the only guest ranch in Montana located right on a trailhead; it's in the heart of the Rocky Mountain Front.
All meals are included in this trip. You can expect delightful, western cuisine for your backcountry fare. The cooks turn out fresh, homemade meals, featuring 7 Lazy P's very own grass-fed beef. Bring your own wine, beer, or liquor for an added evening refreshment. You will have plenty of time for conversation and relaxing around an evening campfire. Most of the trip itineraries spend two nights in each camp so there is a layover day to enjoy hiking or just reading a book and taking a nap.
Great Falls International Airport
The closest air service is Great Falls International Airport (GTF) which is about 80 miles from the guest ranch. 7 Lazy P provides a complimentary airport shuttle. They may ask guests to be patient and flexible as often times there is more than one person or group arriving at different times throughout the day and it helps if they can make just one airport pick-up.
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