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The Elkhorn Mountains

Located just south of Helena, near Toston, the Elkhorn Mountains consists of a 300,000-acre area that is managed by a number of individuals and government organizations together, including the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Forest Service, and some private property owners.  There is an area for ATVs, motorcycles, and UTVs to ride and some beautiful areas to hike.  There is also a small campground at Crow Creek that is managed by BLM.


Its home to over 2000+ herd of elk, among a variety of other wildlife.   And if you’re a bird lover, according to the MontanaDiscoveryFoundation.org website, here is some of the species of birds you’ll find in the area.

  • American Robin
  • Brown-headed Cowbird
  • Chipping Sparrow
  • Clark’s Nutcracker
  • Common Raven
  • Dark-eyed Junco
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Dusky Flycatcher
  • Dusky Grouse
  • Green-tailed Towhee
  • Hammond’s Flycatcher
  • Hermit Thrush
  • House Wren
  • Long-billed Curlew
  • MacGillivray’s Warbler
  • Mountain Bluebird
  • Mountain Chickadee
  • Northern Flicker
  • Olive-sided Flycatcher
  • Red Crossbill
  • Red-naped Sapsucker
  • Ruby-crown Kinglet
  • Song Sparrow
  • Three-toed Woodpecker
  • Townsend’s Solitaire
  • Vesper Sparrow
  • Warbling Vireo
  • Western Tanager
  • Western Wood-pewee
  • White-crowned Sparrow

In the past the land was used for mining of gold and silver, and was logged and grazed extensively.  These uses significantly impacted the land and in the more recent past there has been several conservation and wildlife management plans have been put into place in order to reintroduce different wildlife, such as big horn sheep.

Its two highest peaks are Crow Peak at 9,414 feet (2,869 m) and  Elkhorn Peak, 9,381 feet (2,859 m) and is higher in elevation than the Continental Divide. The range is surrounded by Helena, Montana City, Townsend, Whitehall, and Boulder.  Its part of the Helena National Forest.

There is an abundance of beautiful wildflowers in the area and it is famous for its elk hunting.  Many people, both locals and out-of-staters, put in for permits each year just dreaming of being lucky enough to draw a tag and finding a big beauty to take home.  There is so much to see and do in the area and its beauty captivates all those who venture in.  So take a ride, take a walk, go camping, and enjoy.

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