The Moccasin Mountains are an island range that has two sets of mountains – the North and South Moccasin Mountains. Neither mountain range is very large. The highest peaks in the North Moccasins are at about 5,400 ft and the mountains top out at 5,800ft. in the South Moccasins. As with the nearby Judith Mountains, there is a road to the top of the highest peak in the South Moccasins where there are various telecommunications towers. However, this is not as extensive of an array as on top of Judith Peak and the access road is not nearly as well defined.
The Judith Mountains are a small “island” mountain range that lies just northeast of Lewistown, MT. There are a number of these island ranges in Central Montana including the Big Snowy Mountains, Little Belt Mountains, Castle Mountains, Moccasin Mountains, and others. While most of the island ranges are on National Forest, the public lands in the Judith Mountains are administered by the Bureau of Land Management.
Montana is a very large state and in the late 1800’s it was a long way from Montana to any of the nation’s population centers. Before railroads reached the state regular commercial travel was problematic at best. The first rail lines brought both people and goods into the state and provided a way to send minerals and other products to distant markets. The Central Montana Railroads were critical to growth in the area.
The Castle Mountains are an island mountain range located just east of White Sulphur Springs in Central Montana. The Castle Mountains are not the steep chiseled peaks encountered in other areas of the state. Rather, they are more rounded and not as severe with the highest peaks being about 8,000 ft in elevation. However, the forested hillsides of the Castles make them a favorite destination for hikers and hunters.