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Hike-in Required
No
Open Year-round
?
ADA accessible
Yes
Guided tours
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The National Bison Range is a Montana landmark; created to provide a safe place for American Bison, it is one of the oldest wildlife refuges in the United States. No matter what direction you are coming from, the National Bison Range is easy to find because it is located right in the Mission Mountains region in western Montana. The visitor center has bathrooms, historical information on bison in the United States, free maps, and an opportunity to pay for the park pass and any other volunteered donations. Just outside of the visitor center is a small loop to walk your leashed dogs before taking the 19-mile drive around the reserve, which takes about two hours total. Most of the drive is on a gravel two-lane road, and there are opportunities to pull over for pictures or to let those behind you pass. There are bison, antelope, mule deer, white-tail deer, and occasionally elk that feed off the land, so there will be ample opportunities to see native species. You will pass by two trailheads on the trip where you can stretch your legs and enjoy short nature walks to views, and both are less than a half a mile round trip. This is a great place for pictures of the grassland surrounded by evergreens and mountains, and you may also experience some close encounters with the wildlife. Since the road is a loop, it will take you back to the welcome center, or you can stay right and end up by the picnic area that eventually leads you to a store where you can stop to grab some jerky and huckleberry candy before heading out to your next destination! The National Bison Range is a great day trip for the family to learn and appreciate these enormous creatures in their native habitat.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

General Day Use Fee

Pros

Wildlife viewing. National landmark. Mountain vistas. Family day trip.

Cons

Isolated. Gravel road. Occasional crowds.

Pets allowed

Allowed with Restrictions

Features

Big vistas
ADA accessible

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

Flathead lake + Mission Range, Montana
Missoula + Bitterroot Mountains, Montana

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Flathead lake + Mission Range, Montana

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