Plan Your Visit

View of Bison cows with new calves, with visitors in vehicles on scenic drive.  Photo by Pat Jamieson, NBR/USFWS

Visitors are welcome year-round to the National Bison Range. Recreation is geared toward wildlife-oriented activities and the Bison Range is well-known for its incredible wildlife viewing and photographic opportunities. The primary means of access is by vehicle with some limited walking trails. Most areas are closed to public access to minimize disturbance to plants and animals.

Click here to open the National Bison Range brochure (November 2019)

The Refuge is open daily, although the Range and scenic roads can close at any time due to extreme weather and hazardous road conditions. There are Scenic Drives, Nature Walks, Fishing Access and a Day Use Area open daily year-round from dawn to dusk. The Refuge closes to all public use at night and the refuge gates closes automatically. Check hours posted under Operating Hours and at the Front Gate and the Visitor Center. Please plan your visit accordingly to be off Refuge by the time the Front Gate closes for the evening. 

For your information: Red Sleep Mountain Drive is closed for the season.

In general, the longer and steeper Red Sleep Mountain Drive is open from mid-May to early October with the shorter Winter Drive open the remainder of the season. The Visitor Center, with displays and restrooms, is typically open daily from mid-May to early October but has limited hours during the winter season. You will find specific dates, opening and closing times, and descriptions of the scenic drives, including length and estimated times of travel, under Visitor Activities. 

Special Restrictions to Traveling Scenic Drives:

Due to the steepness of roads and tightness of switchbacks, no vehicles over 30 feet in length are allowed on Red Sleep Mountain Drive. They may access the paved roads to the Day Use Area and Visitor Center as well as the shorter West Loop. They will no longer be allowed on the Prairie Drive.  No trailers of any kind may travel Red Sleep Mountain Drive. These trailers may be left at the Visitor Center Parking Lot. And to protect the health of Range wildlife, no livestock trailers are allowed on the Refuge. Also, for safety reasons, motorcycles, ATVs, UTVs, and bicycles are not allowed to travel on the graveled scenic drives. They may access the Visitor Center and Day Use areas along paved roads.

  Red Sleep Mountain Drive switchbacks, looking down towards east.  Photo by BOW