Pinesdale is nestled between the Bitterroot River and the Bitterroot Mountain Range. St. Mary's Mission and Fort Owen are two of Montana's earliest settlements, to the north. Pinesdale also borders the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, which is a 1.6-million-acre wilderness that straddles the Continental Divide on Montana's western border with Idaho. Several canyons take hikers and horseback riders to high mountain lakes to see abundant wildlife.
The Bitterroot Mountains run along the western edge of this valley, the Sapphire Mountains along the eastern edge, and the Bitterroot River right through the middle. The valley opens into large plains with historic towns and working ranches. It's also the gateway to the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness and a corridor to Yellowstone National Park as you leave Glacier Country.
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