Skalkaho Pass and Wildlife Area Drive
- Scenic Drives, Wildlife Viewing
- General info
Highway 38 just a few miles south of Hamilton is also known as the Skalkaho Highway. This drive into the mineral-rich Sapphire Mountains takes you on some of Montana’s least traveled mountain roads. The highway was once a heavily used trail for Indians. A road was built over the route in 1924 to link the mining areas in the mountains with the agricultural communities of the Bitterroot Valley. This is a gentle winding drive that offers some excellent views and takes you past Skalkaho Falls. You can turn around at the falls, or continue on the Pintlar Scenic Highway near Philipsburg. If you’re adventurous, take a side trip to the Skalkaho Basin. This was once a wildlife preserve and still offers excellent opportunities to view a wide range of wildlife. In the fall, you can find large herds of elk here and hear them bugling, especially east of Kneaves and Fool Hen lakes. There is also the possibility you may see moose, mule deer, wolverines, badgers, coyotes, and black bears. When you reach the pass, about 27 miles from Hwy. 93, turn north on FR 1352, and drive approximately 5 miles to the basin.
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