Charles M. Russell NWR is located in north-central Montana. The headquarters for the Refuge Complex is located in Lewistown. From Great Falls, follow U.S. Highway 87 east for 100 miles to Lewistown. Turn right onto Airport Road. From Billings, follow U.S. Highway 87 north to Grass Range and then west to Lewistown for 130 miles. Turn left onto Airport Road. The Refuge headquarters is located about 1 mile up the road to the left. Office hours are 7 am to 4 pm, closed weekends and holidays.
Three staffed field stations are located around the Refuge. Sand Creek Wildlife Station is located 2 miles south of the Missouri River on the east side of U.S. Highway 191. Jordan Wildlife Station is located south of Montana Highway 200 in the town of Jordan. Fort Peck Wildlife Station is located east of Montana Highway 24 in the town of Fort Peck. Office hours for all field stations are 7 am to 4 pm and they are closed weekends and holidays.
See a map showing locations of the refuge field stations.
Due to the Refuge's immense size and remote location, visitors should be prepared for a variety of conditions. Temperatures can range from 100ºF in the summer to -20ºF in the winter. While the Refuge has many miles of vehicle trails open for travel, many of these trails are "primitive" and require a high centered vehicle and/or four-wheel drive. During wet weather, most trails are impassable. Plan to carry water with you as it is extremely limited on the Refuge and drinking water is generally unavailable. Cell phone service is sporadic.
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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.