New arrivals at Alta Meadow.

moose calf at AMR.jpg (94639 bytes)fawn at AMR.jpg (58344 bytes)

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 Alta Meadow - several hundred acres of grassland, marshes, and forests - surrounded by hundreds of miles of Montana and Idaho wilderness, is prime wildlife habitat, and both sanctuary and hunting ground for many of the wild creatures in the area.  An elk herd spends time here along with the moose and deer.  During the fall rut their ceremony and display added a certain excitement to the ranch, as do the occasional wolf call from the edge of the meadow.  Herons and Osprey fish our ponds, and for Canada Geese they are a nursery. Many migratory birds refuel here on their way over the Bitterroot Mountains, making spring and fall very busy times for bird watchers.  Also, Boreal Owls have been seen a few miles upriver in the Woods Creek area.  Beavers frequent several ranch ponds and the river, but at one particularly secluded pond a quiet observer can watch them at their work on summer evenings.  Alta Meadow has a trail network with rest stops complete with log sofas and a camouflaged observation deck.  Our trails link with wilderness trails and back country roads radiating in virtually every direction, offering easy access for hiking, observing wild life, skiing and riding (horses or mountain bikes).  Alta Meadow is a winter wonderland; cross-country skiing and snowshoeing adventures begin at your doorstep, and there is a downhill ski area nearby.

The West Fork of the Bitterroot River runs through Alta Meadow Ranch providing superb stream fishing, or you may choose to fish our ponds for their larger trout.  Also an expert fishing guide from Blackfoot River Outfitters is available for fishing trips in the area. 

A few miles downstream is Painted Rocks Lake with its beautiful golden cliff formations, home of Peregrine falcons and Rocky Mountain sheep. Westward, just over the Bitterroot crest in Idaho, are many interesting places such as Reynolds's Lake and Horse Creek Hot Springs, a natural hot tub with the most perfect water temperature. Those hardy souls who reach it in winter are in for a rare treat. Another pass leads south to the Salmon River at Shoup, Idaho, jump-off spot for great river trips.  Also, Native American petroglyphs can be seen there. A short distance to the east is Lost Trail Pass, traversed  in 1805 by Lewis & Clark on the their epic journey across the continent. It was in the Bitterroot Mountains that the Corps of Discovery met their greatest challenge and most dangerous episode. It's a little more civilized now.  On a winter holiday at Alta Meadow you can ski the "champagne powder" of Lost Trail Ski area on the slope just above their path.  

On the opposite slope, are both a pass and a prime cross country ski area named for Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce Indians. In 1877 he led his people eastward through this pass, attempting to reach Canada in defiance of the US Government. The first of several battles in this, one of the last Indian wars, took place a few miles further east in the ruggedly majestic Big Hole Valley. The battlefield has been preserved as a national historical monument.

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