Fall and Winter Great Time to Visit the National Bison Range

The fall and winter months are a great time to visit The National Bison Range in Moise.

Although the preferred Red Sleep Road is closed for winter, the Range still offers a 10-mile round-trip gravel road for wildlife viewing.

Cooler weather often means animals are more active during the daytime. Thus wildlife viewing opportunities abound.

Because I said in another post that I hunt with my camera, I’ve decided today’s post will be a pictorial of the National Bison Range.

Please note that these photos are from various times of the year.

Bison Calves

Bison calves are born in the spring, generally around April or May. They are born with a reddish-brown coat, and are often called “cinnamons”. They stand immediately and begin nursing within 10 to 30 minutes. The calves start eating grass within a week. For more interesting facts, visit Bison Bellows.


Bison Calf


Arrowleaf Balsamroot

Arrowleaf balsamroot is a stunningly beautiful flowering perennial common to western Montana. It grows abundantly in low-elevation grasslands and ponderosa pine woodlands. Its display of yellow flowers blankets the landscape each spring and summer at the National Bison Range. I’d say, we love seeing the arrowleaf balsamroot almost as much as the bison. We refer to their tufted displays as the flower of the National Bison Range.


Bison Range


The Bitterroot Trail

The Bitterroot Trail is one of the only trails in the park where you are allowed to roam with the buffalo. The pull-out is easy to see. It provides a great opportunity to get out of your car and stretch your legs as you traverse the Red Sleep Drive. It’s an easy walk – about .5 miles out and back. Take a few minutes to enjoy the scenery and look for wildlife such as bighorn sheep and bears. This part of the National Bison Range is generally open until late October.

Hike on Bitterroot Trail



Pronghorn, also called American Antelope is often seen on the slopes of the National Bison Range. Pronghorns are built for speed, not jumping. It’s the fastest land mammal in the Western Hemisphere. Wikipedia has more details on the swift-footed Pronghorn.


Pronghorn - National Bison Range


Kid Friendly

The National Bison Range offers families the opportunity to get outdoors and explore. People of all ages find amuzement in the sweeping hillsides and extraordinary wildlife viewing.


E sitting on hillside



Elk, also known as the Wapiti is one of the largest species in the deer family. They can be elusive at the National Bison Range. But if you go later in the day, you may find them wading in Mission Creek.


Elk - Mission Creek - National Bison Range


Photo Opportunities

Spectacular scenery awaits you at the National Bison Range.  There’s a photo opportunity around every curve. This photo was taken at the summit of the High Point Trail. Accessed from the Red Sleep Drive, the trail has an elevation gain of about 230 ft. It’s a short, easy hike that rewards the shutter buy with stunning vistas.


Mission Mountains


Relaxation at the National Bison Range

Slow down and let nature revive you. Relax on the side of a trail. Bring a picnic lunch or dinner. Stop and take it all in. We’ve seen far too many people take the driving tour too quickly. And in doing so, have missed the wildlife. Tell the kids to take a break from their phones and appreciate the outdoors.


M National Bison Range -RMKK Companion


Montana Landscape

From rolling hills to jagged mountain peaks, the landscape of the National Bison Range does not disappoint.


Brown Hills National Bison Range


Regardless of when you visit the National Bison Range, you’re sure to find something special and make memories as well.

Till next time,


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