Encompassing about 1,100,000 acres, the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) provides a unique opportunity to experience wild land and wildlife in a natural setting. Visitors can experience wildlife and scenic grandeur in nearly the same surroundings as encountered by the Lewis and Clark expedition 200 years ago.
Extending approximately 125 miles east/west and including the 245,000 acre Fort Peck Reservoir, the Refuge includes native prairies, forested coulees, river bottoms and badlands so often portrayed in the paintings of Charlie Russell, the colorful western artist for whom the Refuge is named.
The Refuge is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with the fundamental mission of wildlife conservation. Consistent with the conservation objective, there are abundant opportunities within the Refuge for wildlife-oriented recreational activities including hunting, fishing, photography, wildlife observation, and hiking.
One of the main access points to the Refuge is a little over an hour north of Lewistown on Highway 191. The Refuge Complex and the Wetland Management District headquarters is located at Airport Road, Lewistown, MT 59457.
Some of the most popular activities include:
-Elk viewing during the fall rut at the Slippery Ann viewing area
-Archery Mule Deer and Elk hunts
-The 20-mile self-guided auto tour
-Birding (235 species identified)
Be sure to carefully review maps and regulations before planning your trip. The Fish and Wildlife Service has gone to great lengths to manage the Refuge for the interests of wildlife and at the same time allow for safe and enjoyable recreational opportunities.
Visiting the CMR Wildlife Refuge is a once in a lifetime opportunity- don’t miss it!!!