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Welcome Creek Wilderness

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The United States Congress designated the Welcome Creek Wilderness (map) in 1978 and it now has a total of 28,248 acres. All of this wilderness is located in Montana and is managed by the Forest Service.


The Welcome Creek Wilderness is located in the Rock Creek drainage 25 miles east of Missoula, Montana. This 28,135 acre wilderness measures, approximately, nine miles by seven miles. The ridges are steep and the valleys narrow. Finding a flat tent spot can be difficult in much of the area. Most of the land is heavily timbered with pine, fir and larch (although the south-facing slopes have a few open but very steep grassy slopes) and is extremely rocky. Welcome Creek flows south and east, providing a home to native trout. Hunters and a few adventurous fishermen are the most common visitors to this wilderness. This wilderness areas has outstanding opportunities for solitude.

25 miles of steep trails provide foot and limited stock access. The main travel route is the Welcome Creek Trail, a brushy and rocky trail, which crosses the area southeast to northwest for approximately seven miles to the Sapphire Divide. No lakes are located in this wilderness.

Planning to Visit the Welcome Creek Wilderness?

Leave No Trace

How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Welcome Creek Wilderness.
  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  3. Dispose of Waste Properly
  4. Leave What You Find
  5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
  6. Respect Wildlife
  7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors
For more information on Leave No Trace, Visit the Leave No Trace, Inc. website.

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