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Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge


  • Wildlife Refuge
Those seeking wild game in its natural habitat will be rewarded at the second largest refuge in the continental U.S., Missouri River Country's Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge. It's 1,100,000 acres! Bugling elk, herds of mule deer, red fox and coyotes call this place home. That doesn't mean the bird watchers will feel left out! Songbirds like the mountain bluebird and blackcapped chickadee are here in abundance. The easiest access to the area is through the Pines Recreation Area, located 30 miles southwest of Fort Peck, Montana. Here, ponderosa pines lend their branches to plentiful avian dwellers, and osprey, spotted sandpipers and white pelicans can be found along the reservoir's boundaries. Sage grouse may be spotted here, and the rare lucky visitor is privy to their springtime mating ritual.

Fort Peck is your starting point to reach the Pines. Follow Montana Highway 24 out for approximately five miles until reaching the marked turnoff. Then follow the signs for about 26 miles on a good gravel road. For more information call, 538-8706.

North James Kipp Park lends itself to an auto tour and access routes. Numerous access points surround the lake. Accessibility is dependent upon weather and road conditions. Check out the regulations here:

Other attractions administered by this National Wildlife Refuge are Hailstone, Halfbreed Lake, Lake Mason, Nichols Coulee, Warhorse and UL Bend.
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Mailing Address
PO Box 110
Lewistown, MT 59457
Special direction map

Special Directions

Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge extends 125 miles along the Missouri River. There is an exceptional 20-mile auto tour (which takes approximately 2 hours) with views of the scenic Missouri River and abundant wildlife. The tour begins and ends on Highway 191, making it an easy side trip for anyone with the time.