Discover the Rocky Mountain Front A Hiking Guide

ByTom Kotynski


Montana’s Rocky Mountain Front is an iconic landscape where the Rocky Mountains tower abruptly above the northern plains. Stretching from Rogers Pass in the south to Marias Pass on the edge of Glacier National Park, the Front includes wilderness areas, abundant wildlife, and great hiking. Former Great Falls Tribune editor and educator Tom Kotynski has been hiking in and writing about the Rocky Mountain Front for more than 40 years. This edition of his book features new and updated hikes plus detailed trip-planning information that makes it the best guide for exploring the entire Front by road and trail.


  • 32 hikes
  • 34 maps
  • 114 B&W photos
  • 16 color photos
  • Hikes rated from easy to strenuous
  • Estimated hiking times
  • Best time to go
  • What you’ll see
  • Suggested sidetrips
  • Directions to a dozen waterfalls
  • Recommendations for more than 30 peak climbs
  • Where to go cross country skiing and snowshoeing
  • Campgrounds and local lodging
  • Special wildlife areas
  • Suggestions for hiking the Front with children

Format: paperback
Trimsize: 5.5 x 8.5 inches
ISBN: 978-1-60639-085-6
Author: Tom Kotynski
Pages: 192

Tom Kotynski is a retired Great Falls Tribune editor and educator who has been hiking in the Rocky Mountain Front for more than 40 years. An active member of the Glacier Mountaineering Society, he has led climbs for that organization and hikes for the Montana Wilderness Association. He has climbed the six 10,000 foot peaks of Glacier, most of the Front’s named peaks and many peaks within the Bob Marshall Wilderness complex. His blog is

Hiking and travel guide to the Rocky Mountain Front is revised and updated

A lot has changed since former Helena resident Tom Kotynski published his hiking guide to the Rocky Mountain Front nearly a decade ago.

Forest fires have altered much of the vegetation, and late last year, the Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act was passed, expanding wilderness boundaries in one of Montana’s most iconic landscapes.

“That area’s dynamic and it’s changing all the time,” Kotynski said.

An update to his original book, which has been out of print for more than five years, is now available.

“Discover the Rocky Mountain Front: A Hiking Guide” is a “true revised second edition,” Kotynski said.

It describes 32 hikes and numerous side trips. Included are route maps, detailed directions to trailheads, and hike ratings from easy to strenuous. The book also recommends places to hike with kids, mountains for “peakbaggers,” and waterfalls to visit.

Additional sections on access roads, campgrounds, special wildlife areas, and amenities in towns along the Front make the book useful for any traveler.

“I think it’s got everything that a person could possibly want,” Kotynski said.

The book explains some access changes due to landownership changes and includes information about new wilderness boundaries for the Bob Marshall and Scapegoat wilderness areas.

“Getting into the Bob and Scapegoat is made a whole lot easier with the Heritage Act,” Kotynski said.

The book features 130 photos, including a color section. It sells for $16.95 at local bookstores and from

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