The Gates Of The Mountains is located about 20 miles north of Helena, Montana and the Interstate Highway 15 exit ramp is easy to spot. This destination is convenient for those who are doing a western National Parks tour, because this Rocky Mountain Range location is halfway between Yellowstone and Glacier National Park. The Missouri River runs through this region and it actually is the prime attraction for fly fishermen, while plenty of camping options can be found in the Helena National Forest. A lot of history was made in this end of Montana during the Lewis & Clark expedition long ago and the majestic Gates Of The Mountains Wilderness simply beckons to be experienced!
As can be seen in the photos, I arrived way too late in the day to explore the Gates Of The Mountains Wilderness, but all was not lost because this is nice spot to enjoy a colorful late summer sunset. A western style waterfront resort is located where the Missouri River becomes a lake near the highway and there are plenty of cozy spots to view the sunset in this area. Montana big sky sunsets are world famous and the colors continue to be revealed well after dusk, so be sure to set aside at least an hour for this spectacular event. I had just purchased a Nikon D7500 for this trip with wildlife photography in mind and the dusky sunset presented an opportunity to see how well this camera does in low light conditions. As can be seen, the 20.9 megapixel crop sensor excelled in the dark conditions, while even the faint reflections on the water were captured in a single snapshot with no high dynamic range bracketing.
The lakeside Gates Of The Mountains Resort is well worth looking into if luxury camping is your style, while the wilderness offers plenty for those who prefer to rough it. The easiest way to access the Gates Of The Mountains Wilderness is to hop in a light watercraft and head upstream from the resort marina. There are National Forest dirt roads and trails that head toward the wilderness too, but the Missouri River crossings are few in numbers, so a landlubber trip will need to be carefully planned. This is one beautiful neck of the woods to experience, so be sure to chalk the Gates Of The Mountains high on the list when touring the big National Parks in the Montana Rocky Mountains!
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