Wildlife Refuges Glacier National Park & Western Montana

Wildlife Refuges

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Wildlife Refuges

The National Wildlife Refuge System, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is the world's premiere system of public lands and waters set aside to conserve America's fish, wildlife and plants. Since President Theodore Roosevelt designated Florida's Pelican Island as the first wildlife refuge in 1903, the System has grown to more than 96 million acres, 548 refuges and 37 wetland management districts. From one-ton bison to half-ounce warblers, the National Wildlife Refuge System contains a priceless gift-the heritage of a wild America that still exists today.


Norther Tier

Behind Flathead Valley Community College in Kalispell.

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Located southeast of Kalispell and northeast of Missoula, near Swan Lake.

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Swan River National Wildlife Refuge is 40 miles from Kalispell. Travel south from Kalispell on Highway 35. At the town of Big Fork, travel south on Highway 83. The Refuge entrance is one mile south of the town of Swan Lake.

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Three Mile Wildlife Management Area is located in Ravalli County, 9 miles east of Florence. From Florence, take the Eastside Highway (Route 203) east and then south for 6.1 miles: at Threemile Creek Road turn left (east) and proceed 3.3 miles; after passing Lone Rock School, turn left (north) and go 4.1 miles (passing Brown Valley Ranch) to where the road crosses Threemile Creek; immediately after this, take the right-hand fork of the road and follow signs to the Wildlife Management entrance.

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Access via boat.

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Located NW of Eureka, MT in the West Kootenai Community.

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Located off Burma Rd. 10 miles NE of Eureka, MT

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Located near Olney, MT. Consists of several very small islands within the lake.

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Located on Farm-to-Market Road between Kalispell and Whitefish.

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Lost Trail National Wildlife Refuge is located in the west-central portion of Flathead County in the serene and picturesque mountain drainage known as Pleasant Valley. Pleasant Valley is located 20 miles north-northwest of the small, rural town of Marion, Montana. By automobile, the Refuge is approximately 40 miles from Kalispell.

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Southern Tier

Mount Silcox Wildlife Management Area is located in Sanders County, two miles east of Thompson Falls on Montana Highway 200. Parking area and horse loading ramp are available off State Highway 200.

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  • Two miles east of Thompson Falls
  • 406-752-5501
  • fwp.mt.gov

Established in 1908, the National Bison Range is the first land Congress appropriated funds to purchase for the benefit of wildlife. The Bison Range protects one of the most important of the remaining herds of American bison or buffalo.

After the late 1800s slaughter of the majority of wild buffalo, less than 1,000 remained, with only 20 known wild bison left. Started from a few orphaned calves brought back by Walking Coyote, the largest herd (Pablo/Allard) was in the Flathead Valley, which as the valley was settled, bison were sold to Canada. There was a public outcry, resulting in the American Bison Society. Congress established three reserves from 1907-09, including NBR. The bison is no longer in danger of extinction.

Directions

From Missoula: Travel north on US Highway 93 to Ravalli, turn left(to the west) on to State Highway 200, travel approximately 5 miles to the junction of Highways 200 and 212, turn right(to the north) and travel approximately 5 miles to the entrance of the Range at Moiese.

From Kalispell: Travel south on US Highway 93 or State Highway 35 to Polson, then travel Highway 93 through Pablo and Ronan to the junction of Highway 93 and State Highway 212, travel 12 miles (through Charlo) to the entrance of the Range at Moiese.

From the west: Travel Highway 200 through Dixon to the junction of Highways 200 and 212, turn left(to the north) and travel approximately 5 miles to the entrance of the Range at Moiese.

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Ninepipe Reservoir is located in northwest Montana near Ronan. From Ronan (45 miles north of Missoula), go south on US Highway 93 for 4 miles and watch for refuge, Waterfowl Production Area, and Wildlife Management Area signs. The area lies on both sides of Highways 93 and 212, and is criss-crossed by several county roads. Signed parking areas are located along many of the roads.

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Blackfoot-Clearwater Wildlife Management Area is located in Missoula and Powell counties, about 40 miles east-northeast of Missoula on State Highway 200. There is road access from Highway 83 and 200 from May 15 to mid-November, and developed campgrounds at Clearwater Junction. Wildlife viewing area and information kiosk three-tenths of a mile north of Clearwater Junction.

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Calf Creek Wildlife Management Area is located in Ravalli County, 8 miles east of Hamilton. From Hamilton take Fairgrounds Road east about 1 mile to Eastside Highway (Route 269); proceed northeasterly on Route 269 about 1.5 miles to Hamilton Heights Road; continue east about 5 miles to the Wildlife Management Area entrance. The area may be accessed by two-wheel drive vehicles whenever roads are dry between May 15 and December 1. Vehicular access is limited at Calf Creek between September 1 and December 1 to provide walk-in hunting opportunities.

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Established in 1963 as the Ravalli National Wildlife Refuge, the land was purchased to provide habitat for migratory birds. In 1978, the refuge was renamed to honor late Senator Lee Metcalf to recognize his life-long commitment to conservation. Metcalf was instrumental in establishing the refuge. Today, residents of the refuge include 235 species of birds-including Great Blue Heron, bald eagles, osprey, waterfowl and neo-tropical birds-37 species of mammals and 17 species of reptiles and amphibians. Since 1990, permanent residents have included a pair of bald eagles that nest here. With a wide array of species of various sizes, the refuge provides an outstanding opportunity for wildlife viewing and photo opportunities.

The refuge is located 25 miles south of Missoula and two miles north of Stevensville. From I-90, take US 93 south about 30 miles to Stevensville. At Road 269, turn left toward Stevensville and travel one mile to the Eastside Highway (203). Turn left and travel .25 miles to Wildfowl Lane and take a left. Travel two miles down the lane to the refuge's south entrance.

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Mount Jumbo, Rattlesnake Creek, Missoula - The main access point is at the end of Lincoln Hills Drive, which is off Rattlesnake Drive in Missoula.

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Between Troy and Noxon along the Bull River highway.

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Bird Woman Falls

An icon in Glacier National Park, Bird Woman Falls is a glistening 492-foot-high waterfall that cascades down the side of Mt. Oberlin. From West Glacier, travel the Going-to-the-Sun Road to Bird Woman Falls Overlook, located on the west side of the Continental Divide.

Trail of the Cedars

This short boardwalk trail (ADA accessible) takes visitors through an old growth cedar forest. It’s also the beginning of the Avalanche Lake Trail (just over two miles long) that leads to Avalanche Lake—one of the most popular day hikes in Glacier National Park. Trail of the Cedars is located about five and a half miles north of Lake McDonald Lodge.

Drive the Going-to-the-Sun Road

If your time in Glacier National Park is limited, one must-see attraction is the Going-to-the-Sun Road. This 50-mile long road takes travelers between St. Mary and West Glacier through the heart of the park, crossing the Continental Divide at Logan Pass. There are numerous pullouts along the road, ideal for taking photographs and enjoying the scenery.

See a Glacier

As you’re traveling the Going-to-the-Sun Road, pull over at Jackson Glacier Overlook (located east of Logan Pass). The overlook offers the best opportunity to see a glacier from the road.

Many Glacier Valley

Home to incredible mountains, active glaciers, abundant wildlife and miles of hiking trails, Many Glacier is located in the northwest section of Glacier National Park. Trails leave from this valley in numerous directions, with popular hiking destinations including Iceberg Lake, Grinnell Lake and Ptarmigan Tunnel.