I took a 4 day trip awhile back to one of the more remote areas of Montana. I'd heard of Centennial Valley, but not many people I talked to had ever been there. It was recently in the news regarding a hunter going after spring black bears being attacked by a grizzly.
The trip starts by getting on a freeway going south towards Idaho.
Even in the summer, peak tourist season up here, it's probable that you might go a couple minutes without seeing another vehicle. After 2 hours driving you get off the freeway and in less than a minute you're on this road.
It's potholed, bumpy, and if it rains, you need a four-wheel drive. Otherwise this might happen:
The road goes around 80 miles, up the valley for nearly 50 miles, then up over a mountain pass and down into Henry's Lake, Idaho. There is a Forest Service station about 20 miles in, and the base for Red Rocks Wildlife Refuge.
On my trip, this was the only place I saw another person. 3 days without seeing another vehicle. A hundred years ago the valley was home to several ranches, and a small community. The only thing that remains are a few wooden structures.
Near the head of the valley there are a couple unmarked dirt roads leading off to the north. Taking one, I found this lake, a fine place to camp.
I made this my base for two days, exploring and wandering down this creek:
I had thought that the Big Hole river had Montana's only population of river-dwelling grayling. This is the first fish I caught:
When they are first out of the water the colors are almost iridescent. I made sure it was only out a few seconds, long enough for a picture.
On the drive in and the two days I was there I saw a fair amount of wildlife, Elk, which I spooked getting out of the truck and only got this. I must be scary.
The antelope were less impressed with me.
I left early on the last day, as the road climbed up towards the pass into Idaho it got progressively narrower, but still no other vehicles were seen. Then as I was going down the other side of the pass, through a slowly widening valley, a movement caught my eye. I stopped, and peered, not sure of what I was seeing or had seen. Then I figured it out.
As I took one picture it moved off and disappeared. I'm pretty sure it was a boar, a big male. No way to know for sure, but I'd guess it was 600 pounds. Adrenalin kicked in, I got back in the truck and looked for several more minutes, but only got this glimpse.
An hour later I was in Henry's Fork, back in what passes for civilization up here. First cell reception in 3 days.