Touring The Byway
105 Miles | 3 Days / 2 Nights | Gateway City: Glasgow, Montana
We recommend beginning your trip in Glasgow, where you can visit the Valley County Pioneer Museum and enjoy a sip of authentic root beer or cream soda. Then it’s off to the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge, the second largest refuge in the United States. The Fort Peck Recreation Area and the Pines Recreation Area are the only two areas of the refuge that can be reached by car. The remainder is only reached by boat or on foot. Because the Refuge is so big, you should be prepared for a variety of conditions. Many of the roads are “primitive” requiring a high clearance vehicle and/or four-wheel drive. During wet weather, most are impassable. Temperatures can reach 100ºF in the summer so carry plenty of water with you. Cell phone service is sporadic. Even so, it is well worth the trip to view this beautiful place.
Leaving the Refuge, it’s on to the Fort Peck Wildlife Station, the Fort Peck Dam, and the Fort Peck Interpretive Center. Be sure to check out the weekend afternoon productions at the Fort Peck Summer Theater. Catch some lunch in Fort Peck before moving on to Wolf Point, where you can tour the Wolf Point Area Museum, located on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, and the Wolf Point Historical Society.
View the Detailed Itinerary below to see the full route, which is complete with dining, shopping, and lodging recommendations!
The name Makoshika (Ma-ko’-shi-ka) is Lakota for ‘bad land’ or ‘bad earth’. Here, Montana’s largest state park features badlands that look like they fell from outer space, along with fossil remains of Tyrannosaurus Rex, Triceratops, and other prehistoric life. The Visitor Center has exhibits for all ages.
Stand in awe of more than 24 full-size dinosaurs, complemented with numerous fossils, the story of the origin of the geologic column, the fossil record, the age of the earth, and more.
The nearly 1 million acres of the Charles M. Russell Wildlife Refuge honors the colorful Montana favorite son who painted the refuge’s expansive badlands, cottonwood river bottoms, forested coulees, sagebrush steppes, and mixed-grass prairies, and espoused a conservation ethic way ahead of his time. The area has changed little since Lewis and Clark passed through. Elk, mule deer, pronghorn and bighorn sheep, sage and sharp-tailed grouse, and bald eagles can be seen within the native prairie, forested coulees, river bottoms, and “breaks” badlands.
The Terry Badlands feature colorful banded cliffs and rolling prairie punctuated with sandstone bridges, spires, tabletops, buttes, and deep gullies formed by thousands of years of wind and water. Expect to see mule and whitetail deer, pronghorn sheep, elk, badgers, raptors, and reptiles.
Montana’s largest lake was created in 1933 by the 3.8-mile dam built across the Missouri River, now the largest embankment dam in the United States. The 5th largest man-made reservoir in the world has more shoreline than California. A scenic overlook just east of the dam offers views of Fort Peck Lake and interpretation of Lewis and Clark’s visit here.