Welcome to the Big Sheep Creek Backcountry Byway Picture Tour
Are you looking for to see a part of Montana that is not well known to native Montanan’s? Located in the far southwestern corner of Montana near the Idaho border, this 55-mile scenic gravel road, administered by the Bureau of Land Management, travels between Dell, Montana on Interstate 15 and Highway 324 near Clark Canyon Reservoir. You’ll discover a gravel two lane road that’s in good condition, unless it rains. Weather permitting, the road is open from May to October.
Starting in Dell, the drive travels through the Tendoy Mountains following Big Sheep Creek. For the next ten miles, the road winds through the canyon following the course of the creek. Along the gravel road you will see caves that were used by prehistoric groups. The caves are on private land so respect the owner’s property rights. Let’s push on to the vast Medicine Lodge Valley and the Beaverhead Mountains.
Big Sheep Creek
Lower Big Sheep Creek
Medicine Lodge Valley
Medicine Lodge Valley
At mile seventeen, take the right fork that points to Cabin Creek and the incredible Medicine Lodge Valley bordered by the Beaverhead Mountains. Old abandoned cabins, a power line and and an occasional fence are the only reminders of human habitation. We will return to this magnificent valley in during the month of June so we can see what this area looks like covered with lush green grass and wildflowers from end to end. We arrived in mid-July so only hardy lupine flowers and fields soaked in spring water still remain colorful under the hot summer sun.
Beaverhead Mountain Morning
Camp – This is not a Fast Food Drive Through
How visitors can spend two hours bouncing down the Big Sheep Creek Backcountry Byway and ride off to their next “Bucket List” item is beyond our comprehension. Camping doesn’t have to be a huge production. Think no trace, pop the tent, fire up the camp stove and enjoy a Montana landscape that feels like it cam straight out of the 1880’s. If you are worried about wild animals you will have to bring your own. The night was unusually quiet. As the crescent moon rose above the Beaverhead Mountains we were surprised by the absence of familiar coyote yips, diving Nighhawks or dancing porcupines. Can’t afford to pay for the $250,000 ticket to be a passenger on the next space rocket? Then lay on your ground pad in Medicine Lodge Valley and look at the stars above.