Proposed Jewel Basin Scenic Area

In addition to the 950,000-acre Bob Marshall Wilderness and the 75,000-acre Mission Mountains Primitive Area, there is another scenic, road-less area in the Flathead National Forest. Local conservation leaders have proposed that about 15,000 acres on the eastern slope of the Swan Range, in the vicinity of the headwaters of Graves Creek, be classified as a wilderness.

This area is small, but it has all the beauty and wilderness characteristics necessary to become a very popular recreation area. As it is accessible by both east and west approach roads, it would be of particular interest to hikers.

Known as the Jewel Basin Area, it contains more than thirty mountain lakes. The largest lake is 45 to 50 acres in size. Flathead National Forest officials are planning to classify the area as the Jewel Basin Scenic Area. With further study, it will be considered for eventual wilderness classification, as part of the National Wilderness Preservation System.

Blackfoot Lake on Graves Creek in Jewel Basin.