Frequently Asked Questions

Group of bison on hillside in evening light.  Photo by Ryan Hagerty, USFWS

Here are some of the more frequent questions we get from the public.  There are lots of things to see and do and know about the National Bison Range.  Do not hesitate to contact us if you have a specific question or concern.

Where are the bison?

Where bison are located depends on the time of year. In the winter, they typically are found on the open slopes in the south of the Refuge, visible at times from Ravalli Hill on Hwy 93. During the summer, they are usually located somewhere along the scenic drives. Check at the Visitor Center for up-to-date sightings.

Can I bring my pet?

We welcome your pets to the Refuge but all pets must be on a leash and under control at all times when outside of vehicles. The Range allows leashed pets to be taken on designated trails but they should be kept to the trails. Be considerate and clean up after your pet.

Are there hiking opportunities?

The Bison Range has a few very short trails, two of which are not accessible during the winter season as they are located along Red Sleep Mountain Drive. Two may be accessed year-round. Access is mainly with vehicles.  Details are under Visitor Activities.

Is fishing allowed at the Bison Range?

Fishing is permitted along designated portions of Mission Creek. There is also Refuge access along Highway 200 for fishing on the Jocko River.  Details are under Visitor Activities.
In accordance with State law and the Joint State/Tribal Agreement, anglers must possess a joint Flathead Reservation Use and Conservation Permit and Fishing Stamp. For limits, seasons and other regulations, refer to the Flathead Indian Reservation Fishing Regulations.

Is hunting allowed at the Bison Range?

The National Bison Range does not have hunting within the boundaries of the Refuge. There is hunting allowed on other units of Bison Range Complex including Lost Trail National Wildlife Refuge and Northwest Montana Wetland Management District.


Are there fees for the Bison Range?

The Bison Range charges fees to take the scenic drives during the summer season (mid-May to early October. Fees are not charged in the winter. Link to current fees and pass options.

What hours/days of the week is the Bison Range open?

The Bison Range is open daily buy closes at night to all public use with opening/closing times varying depending on the time of year. Currently, the Front Gate opens at 6:30 a.m. and closes at 9:00 p.m. The Visitor Center is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  These hours should be in place throughout the summer (at least until Labor Day, September 2, 2013).

When does Red Sleep Mountain Drive open/close?

Red Sleep Mountain Drive opened for the summer season on Saturday, May 11, 2013.  We typically close the drive in early October with the date depending much on staff availability and weather. We will post the date as soon as we know.