On our drive from Missoula, Montana to eastern Washington we took a small detour to the National Bison Range, near Charlo, Montana. Thanks to Don Brown for making us aware of this place!
Theodore Roosevelt established the National Bison Range in 1908 to provide “…for a permanent national bison range for the herd of bison….” The refuge is also home for a host of other mammals, birds, plants and many living creatures. The diverse habitats found here provide for the specific needs of many different animals. Today the Bison range is home to 300-400 bison. In addition to herds of bison, it supports populations of Rocky Mountain elk, mule deer, white-tailed deer, pronghorn, and bighorn sheep as well as coyotes, mountain lions, bears, bobcat and over 200 species of birds.
The Red Sleep Mountain Drive is a 19-mile, one-way loop road through the range. The road gains 2,000 feet and there are many switchbacks and 10% grades along the drive. We enjoyed our drive along the route, spotting a number of bison, osprey, antelope and other critters.
This is another example of the off-the-beaten-path places that we visited. It is was an excellent and scenic way to spend a relaxing morning before moving on west.
PHOTO GALLERY UPDATE:
For those looking to see even more photos from our trip, I just added a gallery to my Adobe Portfolio page. Click here for 2020 Pacific Northwest Road Trip Part 1. I hope you enjoy the photos!