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Helena, Montana

Gates of the Mountains

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Recommended by Lewis & Clark

Meriwether Lewis of the famed Corps of Discovery expedition named the Gates of the Mountains back in 1805, dazzled by the Missouri River's passage through these thousand-foot limestone cliffs. This Rocky Mountain portal remains as sublime a sight as it was back then, with the dramatic riverway backed by the nearly 30,000 acres of the Gates of the Mountains Wilderness. Boat cruises through the Gates of the Mountains elucidate the Corps of Discovery connection as well as other historical tidbits, such as the infamous Mann Gulch Fire of 1949. Wildlife watching can be fruitful, too, with everything from river otters and bald eagles to bighorn sheep and black bears calling the canyon corridor home.

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