At the core of Bitterroot Alpine Guides mission is connecting people with the natural world through active outdoor pursuits. Under the guidance of professional guides, these experiences are enriched with stories about the human and natural history of the region. Whether you are seeking the thrill of climbing to the highest summits or inspired to enjoy the healing benefits of time in the natural world, you will learn how those summits were formed and about what your senses are taking in while exploring some of the most spectacular landscapes in the Rocky Mountains. Our local knowledge of the Bitterroot mountains, rivers, lakes, canyons and waterfalls promises you a unique and inspiring experience.
Bitterroot Alpine Guides is a licensed guide service located in Hamilton, MT and the heart of the Bitterroot Valley. The million plus acres of the Bitterroot National Forest include endless miles of trails, spectacular glacier carved canyons, alpine lakes, waterfalls, crystal clear mountain streams, abundant wildlife, wildflower filled meadows and beautiful forests in the Bitterroot and Sapphire mountains. Perhaps the greatest asset of this region is the fact that there is such abundant and uncrowded public lands which provide endless opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to find solitude, adventure and to experience the benefits of learning and playing in a wild landscape.
Paul Belanger is the founder and lead guide for Bitterroot Alpine Guides. His passion in life has been centered around connecting people with the the natural world through outdoor pursuits of all kinds. He is a skilled naturalist and birder and believes deeply that getting outdoors is good for the mind, body and soul. Paul has dedicated his career to helping young and old develop their “sense of place” and connecting to the land, water and wildlife.
Paul's professional background working in the outdoors began with a couple of summers working for the United States Forest in Montana. Paul began his graduate studies in science educations with a year-long residency at the Teton Science School and then to the University of Montana. These experiences forged Paul's abilities as a naturalist and educator and led him into a career over the next two decades in conservation and education with the Nature Conservancy of Montana and the Montana Audubon Society. These transformative years introduced Paul to some of the most spectacular landscapes and people in Montana and, deepened his understanding of working landscapes that support both people and wildlife. Always looking to expand his audience and his horizons, Paul moved into the world of education and adventure travel working as a travel program specialist, education leader and professional guide to the National Parks of the west, Belize and Costa Rica.
Paul’s greatest pride and joy is his beautiful family including his wife Dulcie who is a beautiful ceramic artist and teacher and his two boys Finn and Tucker. Rounding out the family homestead are Zephyr the Lab, Whinnie the Cat and Phoenix the chicken. Paul enjoys fly-fishing, wilderness camping, skiing, subsistence hunting, traveling, mountain biking and tending to his ever expanding garden.