Big Hole River
Originating in the Beaverhead National Forest, the Big Hole River is an angler's dream come true, flowing northwest until merging with the Jefferson River near Twin Bridges, Montana.
Flowing right through the heart of the Bitterroot Valley, the Bitterroot offers great (although sometimes busy) waters for fishing and floating.
Just west of Darby, Montana, Lake Como offers boating, a lovely swimming beach, camping, and hiking trails. In the winter, there is a large network of cross country ski and snowshoe trails around the lake.
Over Lolo Pass, the Lochsa River flows through a very lush canyon. It's known for day long whitewater rafting trips and is easily accessible from Highway 12.
Painted Rocks Reservoir
At the far southern end of the Bitterroot Valley, Painted Rocks State Park offers a primitive setting for boating, fishing, and camping.
On the east side of the Sapphire Range (which sits east of the Bitterroot Valley), Rock Creek offers fantastic fishing. Access is via a dirt road and there are many campgrounds along the banks of the creek.
South of the Bitterroot Valley, the Salmon River features multi-day rafting trips, jet boating, and a number of backcountry lodges, some of which are only accessible by plane.
These beautiful falls are located in the Sapphire Mountains, just east of the Bitterroot Valley.