The Cabinet Mountains Wilderness is a 94,272-acre parcel of far northwest Montana designated in 1964 and managed by the Kootenai National Forest.

The wilderness, just 4 percent of the encompassing national forest, has long been a target of advocates aiming to expand the designation. For just as long, mining companies have sought approval to tunnel adjacent to and beneath the wilderness for copper and silver. So far, mining has been blocked.

The Cabinets are wetter than most of Montana, with a Pacific Coast climate responsible for the Western Red Cedars found in the range's lower valleys. The jagged terrain climbs as high as 8,738-foot Snowshoe Peak.

A few grizzlies still roam the Cabinet Range, elk are predominant, and deer, moose, mountain goats, black bears and mountain lions are resident. Trout-stocked lakes and alpine meadows full of violets, lupine, trillium, buttercups, columbine, clematis, phlox, and Indian paintbrush are accessible via 20 hiking trials.


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