Retrace the path of Lewis and Clark along the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers. See ancient dinosaur bones. Discover Fort Peck Lake.
RETRACE THE PATH of Lewis and Clark, and parallel two mighty rivers—the Missouri and the Yellowstone—on a five-day loop around the state’s northeastern badlands and spacious plains. This route-less-traveled crosses the Fort Peck Indian Reservation and passes through lands where dinosaurs once roamed.
The Route: Glasgow > U.S. 2 > Culbertson > MT-16 > Glendive > U.S. 94 > Wibaux > U.S. 94 > Terry > MT 253 > MT-200 > MT-24 > Glasgow
Total Distance: approximately 450 miles
Gateway Airport: Glasgow International, Glasgow
Head east from Glasgow to Wolf Point, home of July’s annual Wild Horse Stampede. Detour up MT-13 for a back-in-time visit to Scobey, home of the Daniels County Museum and Pioneer Town. Or, head north on MT-16 to look for white pelicans at the Medicine Lake National Wildlife Refuge. Spend the night in Sidney.
View Western art and pioneer artifacts at The MonDak Heritage Center in Sidney (closed Sundays and Mondays). From here, take a side trip to the Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site, once the fur-trading hub of the Upper Missouri. The site straddles the Montana-North Dakota border. Head to Glendive to spend the night.
In Glendive, pre-book a fossil hunt with Baisch’s Dinosaur Digs (April to October). See a Triceratops horridus skull and hike through the badlands at Makoshika State Park, one of two Glendive stops (Frontier Gateway Museum is the other) on the Montana Dinosaur Trail. Spend another night in Glendive.
Head west to hook up with the Big Sky Byway, a 105-mile scenic route following a section of the historic Regina-Yellowstone (R-Y) Trail. Stop at the Byway kiosk in Terry to learn more about the drive. At the northern end of the route, the Fort Peck Interpretive Center and Museum to see one of the world’s most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeletons named Peck’s Rex™. Stay in Fort Peck.
Before driving back to Glasgow, explore any of the six recreation areas surrounding Fort Peck Lake. See Fort Peck Dam and take a free tour of the Fort Peck Power Plant Museum (Memorial Day to Labor Day). Downstream from the dam, hike the Beaver Creek Nature Trail and look for elk and bison on the Leo B. Coleman Wildlife Exhibit driving route. Spend your last night in Glasgow.
This route was published in National Geographic Traveler magazine. To see more about this route—including interactive maps and additional photos—visit nationalgeographic.com/montana/roadtrips.