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AAA Editor Notes
The Gates of the Mountains Recreation Area is 20 mi. n. of Helena via I-15 exit 209 to Gates of the Mountains Landing and is reached by boat or trails. In 1805, the members of the Lewis and Clark expedition were fortunate to gaze upon the majestic natural wonder that lay before them. Limestone walls towering 1,200 feet stood like rock sentries within the canyon where the Missouri River pushes through the Big Belt Range. Named by Meriwether Lewis as “gates of the mountains,” the name stuck and today visitors continue to marvel at the splendor of the rock formations.

Wildlife that call the canyon home include bighorn sheep, mountain goats, deer, mountain lions, black bears, ospreys and falcons. The recreation area provides swimming, hiking, fishing and narrated boat trip opportunities. A dinner cruise also is available.

Recreational activities are permitted. Picnicking is permitted.

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