The Bears Paw
Mountains in north central Montana are one of the more
intriguing ranges of mountains in the state. The Bears Paw
Mountains are considered prairie island mountains and were
formed by active volcanic activity about 50 million years ago.
The original names are from native Cree and Blackfeet people who
referred to them as “The Mountains of the Bear.”
cover about 40 miles east to west and about 20 miles in distance
from north to south. The park lies within the boundaries of Hill
County, Blaine County and the Rocky Boys Indian Reservation.
Paws are essentially divided into two distinct areas – east and
west. The western half of the mountains is where the tallest
peaks are located, with the tallest, Baldy Mountain, rising to
an elevation of 6916 feet. The western Bear Paws are
characterized by moderately tall mountains that are also
moderately wooded, both on the mountains themselves as well as
down in the valleys below.
contrast, the eastern Bear Paws are characterized by a mix of
rolling, grassy hills with moderately tall mountains and/or
buttes rising from the valley floors. Additionally, since the
eastern half of the Bear Paw’s receives less moisture than the
western half, trees are generally confined to the peaks
themselves, while the valleys below are open expanses of grass.
Located 10 miles
south of Havre on highway 234,
the Bears Paw Mountains are an
excellent place to visit if you like to explore. You won’t find
any “must see” tourist attractions here. Instead, you’ll find a
mountain area that has changed very little over the past years.
For anyone who enjoys seeing big spaces and exploring new
places, by all means, make time to spend a day in the Bears Paw
Beaver Creek Park,
claimed as the largest county managed park, is found in the
Bears Paw Mountains. Beaver Creek runs through the park as it
flows out of the Bears Paw Mountains and eventually to the Milk
River. Two manmade lakes,
Bear Paw Lake and
Lower Beaver Creek Lake
are within the park boundary and provide for camping and