Refuge Road Closures and Status
The Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge experienced a heavy rain event during August 22, 23, 24th the resulted in major flooding along all tributaries that lead to the Missouri River. Some areas of the refuge received as much as 10 inches of rain while eastern parts of the refuge received varying reports of 4-5 inches. Many of the Refuge roads have been impacted and could prevent vehicular access into many areas on the Refuge. We are working as quickly as possible to reopen impacted roads however, some roads received extreme damage and it is undetermined as to when they will reopen. Damage to Refuge roads is described as follows; culverts washing out, drainage and stream crossing washouts, bridges damaged by heavy debris flows and channel washouts where bridges join roads, large trees and brush blocking access to many areas. Camping may be difficult in low lying areas and along the river bottom but there are many opportunities for camping on higher ridges near accessible roads. Please exercise caution when accessing roads anywhere on the refuge as we are continuing to assess the full brunt of damage incurred by this storm. Not all roads have been assessed. Report any damage to the refuge. Plan your travels and hunting trip accordingly and remember to comply with all refuge rules and regulations especially pertaining to the use of off-road vehicles such as ATV’s and UTV’s. Consult with our new guide map available at the Lewistown office and all field stations to inform yourself on the best route of travel to reach your destination.
The list below may not include all hazardous areas. Consider all roads minimally maintained. Travelers are advised to use caution and be prepared for slow travel over rough, uneven terrain. Report dangerous conditions to the Refuge. With any precipitation, conditions can change rapidly and refuge roads may be impassable. Check the weather forecast before travelling onto the Refuge.
101 Road (Auto Tour Route) is open for travel201 Road - Not currently a though route, details below. Most of this road is accessible through alternative routes following ridge roads from the north (203 Road, 204 Road, 205 Road, & 206 Road). 201 Road is severely washed out and closed in the following locations: From Wilder Coulee to 207 Road Junction, at Nichols Coulee Crossing, and at Fourchette Creek Bridge (which is near the 858 road). Under no circumstances should vehicles or UTV/ATV’s attempt to cross these areas as the road is completely gone in many places. Use alternative open roads.
The road east of Sevenmile is very wet and trailers would not be advised on the 201 Road between Sevenmile crossing & the 201/204 Road junction.The following crossings on the 201 Road are not currently passable to trucks due to wet road conditions and creek water levels, these may be passable with drier weather, use caution in approaching: CK Creek and Beauchamp Creek.203 Road – Due to the impassable state of other routes, the 203 Road is currently open. 318 Road & 420 Road - Roads open but damaged. Not recommended for trailers, use caution on Hawley Creek Crossing.219 Road – Washed out and closed at Hawley Creek Crossing. 320 Road – Closed due to washout.416 Road - Partial road washout at Mickey Coulee, use extreme caution.844 Road – Washed out and impassable at Kill Women Creek Crossing.
858 Road - Open part way, but not passable to the end.210 Road (Sand Creek Trail) – No trailers or low profile vehicles recommended across Sand Creek crossing, road may have small washouts & ruts, use caution when traveling. 211 Road (Rocky Point) – Lower end of route has marked washouts, no trailers advised, use caution. 220 Road – Road is not a through route currently, saturated un-passable conditions for vehicles exist directly east & west of Turkey Joe (jct with 882 road). It is possible to use a combination of Wilder, Musselshell, and Skyline trail to access the western portions of 220.307 Road- Not passable at Lower Two Calf. 317 Road - Vehicles can reach the refuge boundary & start of 317 from the south, but it is not passable due to wet conditions.Currently, the following roads that are commonly used to access the refuge are closed at their junction with Hwy 191: Ridge Road and Wilder Trail. These are currently signed at Hwy 191 junctions, upon arrival check status locally. Horse Camp Trail & Alex Camp also have impassable crossings at Crooked Creek at this time.
Jordan Station (South). Call 406-557-6145 for more information:
The Musselshell bottom road at the junction of 343 and 605 will be closed temporarily but could be reopened in the next couple of weeks after it fully dries. The 356 Road is impassable to everything except ATV or UTV only. Fort Peck Station (east). Call 406-526-3464 for more information:
Road 208 is impassable due to a washout approximately 1/2 mile in from the refuge boundary.
All other roads within the Fort Peck Station Management Area, from east of Timber Creek on the North side of Fort Peck Lake to Nelson Creek area in McCone County are passable. Remain cautious about drainage crossings as some are passable but in rough condition.
CLOSURES AROUND FORT PECK DAM SPILLWAY:
Beginning May 17, 2013, the following numbered roads within the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge road system will be CLOSED for the duration of the spillway construction work at the Fort Peck Dam. Road 341 will be completely closed.Road 340 will be closed at its intersection with road 341 near the bottom of the spillway channel.Road 361 will be closed east of its intersection with Road 528.
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The refuge was named in recognition of this colorful western artist who often portrayed the refuge’s landscape in his paintings and whose conservation ethic was years ahead of his time.