Many wildlife-oriented recreational opportunities are available at Lost Trail National Wildlife Refuge, including hunting, photography, wildlife observation, and hiking.
Visitors are allowed to observe or photograph wildlife, hike, cross-country ski, or snowshoe throughout the Refuge, except in the seasonally Closed Area from September 1 through December 10.
Other Facilities in the Complex
Lost Trail National Wildlife Refuge is managed by the Northwest Montana Wetland Management District- Lake County as part of the Western Montana National Wildlife Refuge Complex. A Complex is an administrative grouping of two or more refuges, wildlife management areas, or other refuge conservation areas that are managed from a central location. Refuges are grouped into complexes because they occur in a similar ecological region, such as a watershed or specific habitat type, and have a related purpose and management needs.
For the Western Montana National Wildlife Refuge Complex, the project leader is stationed at Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge and oversees general management of the Complex. Refuge managers oversee the operations at specific refuges. Supporting staff, composed of administrative, law enforcement, refuge manager, biological, fire, visitor services, and maintenance professionals support all refuges within the complex.
The Complex headquarters is located at Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge, 922 Bootlegger Trail, Great Falls MT 59404.
The refuges in the Western Montana National Wildlife Refuge Complex include:
Rules and Policies
There are a lot of fun, interesting, and educational things you can do on the refuge. Keep in mind, if an activity is not wildlife related and does not help in the protection or understanding of wildlife or their habitat, there are probably refuge rules governing this activity. Please check with the refuge before participating in an activity that could harm the environment or yourself. There are plenty of activities on Lost Trail National Wildlife Refuge for you to enjoy. Be safe and have fun!
When in doubt about any regulation or for further information, contact Refuge staff or the Refuge Manager.
Lost Trail National Wildlife Refuge is located along Pleasant Valley within the Salish Mountains in north-west Montana. The refuge lies in the west-central portion of Flathead County, approximately 25 air miles west of Kalispell.
Please be aware that GPS navigation devices may not guide you correctly to the Refuge.
The Refuge can be reached by driving west from Kalispell via Highway 2 approximately 20 miles to Marion. Turn right at Marion onto Pleasant Valley Road. After approximately 1.3 miles, the blacktop road will fork - stay right. The blacktop road eventually turns to gravel. Continue on the main gravel road approximately 13 miles. The refuge headquarters will be on the right approximately 4 miles from the east entrance.
Road conditions will vary with the changing seasons. Travel to the refuge may be hazardous when roads are snow covered or muddy. The County road through the refuge is graveled and visitors must follow the posted speed limit of 35 mph. Secondary roads open to the public are lightly graveled with recommended speeds of 25 mph or less. Parking is allowed in designated parking areas only. Cell phone service is sporadic throughout this area. Due to the Refuge’s remote location and lack of emergency services, visitors should be personally prepared for a variety of conditions. Please keep in mind that the nearest gas station is in Marion.