The Refuge is home to many species of wildlife. Sixty species of mammals and more than 235 species of birds have been observed on the Refuge. Bird watching provides opportunities to see many northern prairie grassland species such as western meadowlarks, mountain plovers, chestnut-collared longspurs, and prairie falcons. A refuge Bird List is available. Large ungulates such as elk, mule deer, pronghorn, and bighorn sheep are common, while native predators like coyote, bobcat, and mountain lion are secretive and not commonly seen.
Auto Tour Route
A self-guided auto tour route, which may be accessed from two points along Highway 191 on the west side of the Refuge, provides visitors the chance to see the Refuge close-up and gain a better understanding of Refuge resources. The tour route follows an all-weather gravel road that parallels the Missouri River before climbing out onto upland prairie and rolling rangeland. Interpretive stops along the route provide information on the wildlife, geology, and history of this unique landscape. This auto tour route is 19 miles long and takes 2-3 hours to complete.
Slippery Ann Elk Viewing Area
The very popular elk viewing area is located on the west end of the Refuge along the Auto Tour Route. During the elk breeding season (September and October), large numbers of elk congregate at the Slippery Ann Elk Viewing Area. Peak numbers of bull elk in the rut can be viewed around the second and third weeks of September.
Hiking is allowed anywhere on the Refuge but there are also established trails scattered around the Refuge with varying levels of development and accessibility. On the east side of the Refuge there are several paved, accessible walking trails near the Fort Peck Dam Interpretive Center and Museum. Two hiking trails originate in Hell Creek State Park on the south side and there is an accessible trail near the headquarters building in Lewistown which features native plants.