U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
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Benton Lake
National Wildlife Refuge

Purple clouds fill the sky as numerous bolts of lightning illuminate the prairie landscape.
922 Bootlegger Trail
Great Falls, MT   59404
E-mail: bentonlake@fws.gov
Phone Number: 406-727-7400
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
A summer lightning storm rolls across the prairie at Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge.
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  Recreation and Education Opportunities

Environmental Education
The Refuge offers joint-sponsored outdoor education with the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. These courses include the "Youth Waterfowl Safety Classes and Hunt," and the "Becoming an Outdoor Woman" series.

The pumphouse unit of the Refuge is open for fishing. Contact Refuge staff for specific regulations.

Waterfowl and upland game bird hunting is permitted during the fall in designated hunting areas. The Refuge complies with state hunting regulations and enforces several Refuge specific hunting regulations.

Ten numbered signs along the Prairie Marsh Wildlife Drive correspond to a map provided at the information kiosk at the beginning of the drive. These points offer an opportunity to reflect on the species, habitat, history, and management of Benton Lake NWR.

Wildlife Observation
Come visit the Prairie Marsh Wildlife Drive, a winding, 9-mile long gravel road that will bring you in close contact with wildlife and their habitats. Success in seeing wildlife depends on observation skills, timing, the season, and just plain luck. The timing of your visit makes a difference; wildlife is most active in early morning or late afternoon. If you visit during the spring and fall months, you will enjoy watching thousands of ducks, geese, swans, and shorebirds that stop here during their migration.

During the winter, ice skate through the quiet cattails and retrace the paths of the waterfowl that have recently flown to warmer weather. Plan on primitive conditions as there is no rest room nearby, and plan to "pack it in, pack it out." In a good winter, enough snow falls to provide cross-country skiers a paradise of natural terrain to ski to their hearts' content.

Refuge office hours are from 7:30 am to 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday, except on Federal holidays. The Prairie Marsh Wildlife Drive is open daily, dawn to dusk, year-round (may be closed by snow in winter).

Entrance Fees
The Refuge does not charge an entrance fee.

Use Fees
The Refuge does not charge user fees (i.e., hunt fees, camping fees, boat launch, meeting rooms rental fees, auto tour fees, guided tour fees, etc.).
- Refuge Profile Page -