National Bison Range in Montana

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National Bison Range

The National Bison Range, Montana is worth a trip when visiting the Glacier National Park region, to witness large herds of our American Bison or Buffalo in their natural habitat.

  • Witness large herds of our American Bison or Buffalo at the National Bison Range
  • This amazing park is not far from St. Ignatius, Montana
  • Start at the Visitor Center to see displays about the bison
  • Enjoy a self-guided drive
  • Get in plenty of wildlife watching at the National Bison Range


The National Bison Range provides needed protection to one of our wonderful remaining herds of bison. About 300 to 500 shaggy buffalo roam almost 19,000 acres of grasslands and timber in western Montana.


This National Bison Refuge is not far from the town of St. Ignatius, Montana, and can be reached from US Highway 93. If traveling south on 93, turn onto Montana Highway 212 to Moiese, Montana. If coming north on 93, take the railroad overpass at Ravalli and then go west on MT 200 to Dixon then north on Montana Highway 212 to Moiese.


The National Bison Range MT is open all year.

From May 9th to mid-October, you can visit the Visitor Center weekdays from 8 am to 6 pm and weekends from 9 am to 6 pm. From mid-October to mid-May, hours are weekdays from 8 am to 4 pm and closed weekends and holidays.


Beginning at the Visitor Center, you should take the opportunity to see the many displays about the bison and its history. Orientation videos are always fascinating, and the kids love the interpretive displays. There’s even an exhibit that shows a three-dimensional map indicating where you can see bison that day.

Take a self-guided drive on Red Sleep Mountain Road (two hours) or a shorter version on the Buffalo Prairie Drive (a half hour).

Wildlife watching is wonderful in this area. Besides bison, you’ll see Rocky Mountain goats, elk, pronghorn antelope and bighorn sheep.

Picnic at one of the picnic sites or hike a nature trail.

Additional Info

The National Bison Range in Montana was established in 1908, through the efforts of the Smithsonian Institution and President Theodore Roosevelt, to protect American bison.

Remember that bison can be unpredictable and dangerous. Although they may seem to be docile and slow moving, they can run as fast as a horse. Check out their tail to determine their mood. If it is extending straight out and drooping at the end, they are becoming agitated. If the tail is sticking straight up, they are getting ready to charge. Don’t be in a position where they can reach you. Running will only make it worse.