Skip to main content
TRAVEL ALERT: Stay informed about the latest travel updates in Montana, including the reopening of some entrances to Yellowstone National Park.
Learn More
Wildlife Refuge Crown Butte Preserve
Overview Service & Activities
Overview Service & Activities
About If you've admired the flat-topped buttes you can see from Great Falls on the western horizon in front of the mountains, you can see one up close in a day trip to Crown Butte Preserve. This is a fall or spring trip since rattlesnakes abound in the summer. Nature Conservancy bought the butte in 1982 in order to preserve the natural grassland ecosystem located on top of the butte. Except for an occasional hiker, the ecosystem sits undisturbed about 900 feet above the surrounding northern great plains. Crown Butte is one of four buttes located in the area west of Great Falls. All four are laccoliths that were formed during a period of volcanic activity 50 million years ago. Some of the magma worked its way laterally through vertical fractures in surrounding sedimentary rock layers. In places, the magma's upward movement was halted by a durable layer of sandstone which domed upward as the magma pooled below. Eventually the magma hardened, creating a network of dikes and laccoliths beneath the surface. Erosion has worn away the overlying sedimentary rock, leaving remnants of the more resistant igneous formations. Although the most striking features of Crown Butte are the rising columns of rock and the wild grasses, the preserve also provides a rich habitat for wildlife. Mule deer are often seen browsing on the summit or along the north slopes of the butte. The loud chants and trills of the rock wren can be heard from every outcrop on the butte. American kestrels, Cooper's hawks, great horned owls, and prairie falcons hunt the butte, as do golden eagles.
Contact
MAILING ADDRESS 32 South Ewing, Suite 215
Helena, MT 59601
CONTACT 406-443-0303
FAX 406-443-8311
Details
SPECIAL DIRECTIONS Crown Butte Preserve is reached by taking the county road between Simms and Cascade. It is about the same distance either way, about 45 miles, but it may be easier to go through Simms because there is less gravel that way. As you approach the butte, you'll see green-and-white Naure Conservancy signs and arrows pointing the way, clearly marked Crown Butte.
SERVICES
ACTIVITIES Bird Watching Hiking Nature Wildlife Viewing

See what's nearby

Filter:
Show All
Where To Stay
Things To Do
Food And Drink
Grid View
List View

2K's Kafe

Cafe
Great Falls, MT

3-D International Restaurant and Lounge

Fine Dining
Black Eagle, MT

5th Street Diner

Family Restaurant
Great Falls, MT

909 Apartment

Vacation Home
Great Falls, MT

Airway Motel

Hotel/Motel
Great Falls, MT

Alamo/National Car Rental

Car Rental
Great Falls, MT

Alberta Motel & Annex

Hotel/Motel
Great Falls, MT

Apothecary Drug Store

Specialty Store
Great Falls, MT

Aspen Campground

National Forest Campground
Neihart