things to do in the spring
In Moiese, Montana, in the heart of the Flathead Indian Reservation you’ll find the National Bison Range. This gorgeous, 18,500-acre wildlife conservation area is managed by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and open to the public. It’s the perfect place for a day trip complete with a rich history, breathtaking Mission Mountain views and excellent wildlife photography opportunities.
Theodore Roosevelt established the National Bison Range in 1908 to provide “…for a permanent national bison range for the herd of bison….” Today the range is a diverse ecosystem of grasslands, Douglas fir and ponderosa pine forests, riparian areas and ponds, all home to roughly 350 – 500 bison, as well as elk, deer, pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, mountain lions, bears, and more than 200 species of birds.
The Crown Jewel of America's Rails to Trails, enjoy 15 downhill miles through 10 tunnels and over 7 high trestles. Shuttle and rental bikes available.
The National Bison Range is open daily from dawn to dusk, year-round. You’ll find a nature trail as well as three wildlife drives in the range: West Loop and Prairie Drive are short year-round drives, and Red Sleep Mountain Drive travels through the heart of the reserve and is open mid-May to Mid-October.
Plan your visit for any season, depending on your interests. Spring brings baby calves, singing birds and emerging wildflowers. Summer is the time for an early morning or early evening visit when the temperatures are a little cooler; it’s perfect for deer and elk calf sightings; bighorn sheep rams are out and about more in summer, too, and bears are out scavenging for wild berries. Winter is the time for bald-eagle and great-horned owl sightings, and fall on the range brings golden autumn backdrops and bugling and sparring elk.
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