Helena National Forest is located in west central Montana and surrounds the capital city of Helena. The forest contains 976,000 acres and is one of 10 national forests in the state. The Forest has a wide diversity of land types, ranging from sagebrush-type low elevation rang elands to peaks rising over 9,400 feet. The Forest is roughly divided into two portions. The westerly portion, with the Continental Divide forming the backbone, extends from the south edge of the Bob Marshall Wilderness to just east of the town of Deer Lodge. The easterly portion, lying in the Big Belt mountain range, extends from the south edge of the State of Montana Beartooth Game Range, and runs to just east of Townsend. This Forest contains the Gates of the Mountain Wilderness Area and a portion of the Scapegoat Wilderness Area.Big-game species found in the area include bear, elk, moose, big horn sheep, mule and whitetail deer and Rocky Mountain goat. Along the trails, naturalists and photographers can see a variety of songbirds, hawks, eagles and owls. In shaded groves, along quiet pools and out on the windswept range, gophers, chipmunks, beaver, porcupine, woodchucks, rabbits, squirrels and other animals can be watched and photographed.