Bucket-List Trips in Missouri River Country

Mountains and Wildlife Route

92 miles | Recommended Travel Time: 2-4 Days

Photo credit: Rich and Susie Graetz

The Lewis and Clark expedition ran along the Missouri River, where your journey begins. Highlights along this route include gold panning in Zortman, lovely views of the Little Rocky Mountains, exploring the charming small communities of Landusty, Zortman, and Malta, and the historic Fred Robinson Bridge. Opportunities for camping, wildlife viewing, and fishing lie along this route also. For more information, click here.

Fort Peck Lake Route

45 Miles | Recommended Travel Time: 3-5 hours

Fort Peck Lake is the largest body of water in Montana with more than 1,600 miles of shoreline (more than the California coast)! Explore the charming towns of Glasgow and Fort Peck, and learn about the history of the area from the days of pioneers to prehistoric paleontology at the museums in the area. This route would be a fun day trip, though it can easily be broken up further by spending a day in each town. For more information, click here.

Ranching Country and Milk River Route

104 Miles | Recommended Travel Time: 6-8 hours

This lovely drive will take you through beautiful river bottoms, canyons. Along the way, you will pass access points to Sleeping Buffalo Hot Springs, Nelson Reservoir, and both Hewitt Lake and Bowdoin national wildlife refuges. Parts of this route are wonderfully remote, meaning you will have a better chance to see antelope and deer than other people! In Saco, be sure to stop by the historic one-room school house. For more information, click here.

Outlaws, Old Trails, and the Sioux and Assiniboine Route

247 Miles | Recommended Travel Time: 1-2 Days

This route starts and ends in Wolf Point on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, home to the Dakota-Lakota-Nakota Sioux and Naokta Assiniboins nations. As you pass through Poplar, be sure to stop at the cultural center and museum. On this route, you will climb to 360 degree views of the prairie and agricultural fields, which make for stunning views and opportunities to see wildlife as well as summer thunderstorms rolling through. Shop for antiques in Flaxville. Stay overnight in Scobey and spend some time at Pioneer Town, a recreated 1900s homestead. The town of Plentywood sits in the historic spot where Sitting Bull and the Sioux surrendered to the U.S. Army. Plentyville has a charming downtown district and museums. For more information, click here.

Meeting of the Waters: The Missouri and Yellowstone Route

141 Miles | Recommended Travel Time: 6-8 hours or 2-3 days

Both the Yellowstone and Missouri rivers run through Northeast Montana, making for a beautiful drive with historic landmarks along the way. This trip is based out of Sidney, Northeast Montana's largest town, where you can find the MonDak Heritage Center and a charming downtown area and the award-winning Meadowlark Brewing. From Sidney, three driving options await. These can be done in one day or split up, depending on travel plans. First, head south down back roads to get beautiful views of the Yellowstone River. Be aware that parts of this trip travels through private property! Next, make your way to the historic Fort Union Trading Post on the North Dakota/Montana line, where the Missouri and Yellowstone meet. You will drive over the Snowden/Nohly Bridge, once used by the Union Pacific Railroad. Another trip option is to travel to Fox Lake Wildlife Management Area. For more information, click here.

Four Buttes, Popular River and Rock Creek Badlands Route

282 Miles | Recommended Travel Time: 2 Days

Glasgow will serve as your start and end point for this adventure through prairie and badland formations. Departing from Glasgow. you will pass four small towns on your way to Opheim: Glentana, Richland, Peerless, and Four Buttes. Stop for the night in Scobey and check out Pioneer Town. You will pass through Wolf Point, located in the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, on your way back to Glasgow. From there, head towards Hinsdale along the Milk River for a look at the seldom-visited badlands in Montana. Rock Creek Road offers beautiful views, though 8-hours and a 4-wheel drive vehicle are recommended to traverse the entire route. For more information, click here.

Jordan Country, Circle Range and CMR Wildlife Refuge Route

277 Miles | Recommended Travel Time: 2-3 Days

Photo credit: Kelly Wicks

This trip takes you through cowboy country with plenty of Old West flavor mixed in. You will see red and yellow covered Buttes in the stretch between Jordan and Circle (this place is also a hot bed for palentological activities including fossil finds!) as well as views of the Big Sheep Mountains, Fort Peck Lake, the Missouri River Breaks, and C.M. Russel National Wildlife Refuge. At CMR, species like deer, antelope, elk, turkey, grouse, and waterfowl can be seen. This trip winds through beautiful country with views of deep river canons, badlands, and prairie wilderness. For more information, click here.


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