USA // The Rockies //

Gates of the Mountains


One of the region’s more worthwhile excursions is on a two-hour boat tour through the stunning Gates of the Mountains, 25 miles north of Helena off Hwy-287 (June–Sept hours vary, generally hourly Mon–Fri 11am–2pm or 3pm, Sat & Sun 10am–4pm; $14; t 406/458-5241, w This dramatic stretch of the Missouri River, which enters a gorge between sheer 1200ft-tall limestone cliffs that rise abruptly from the northern shores of a tranquil lake, was named by explorer Meriwether Lewis. The area offers unmatched scenic splendour and plenty of excellent hiking and backpacking opportunities, not to mention an eye-opening array of wildlife, including black bears, eagles, bighorn sheep, beavers and mountain lions.