CHARLES M. RUSSELL NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
1.100.000 acres. Located in northeast Montana, this National Wildlife Refuge is dominated by enormous Fort Peck Reservoir, administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, along with a stretch of the dammed-up Missouri River.
It’s a mostly arid area with some badlands and prairie grasslands. There’s one designated wilderness area, the 20,000-acre Bend Wilderness. Wildlife includes elk, antelope, mule and white-tailed deer, bighorn sheep, coyote, and golden eagle.
Activities: Backpacking, hiking, and horseback riding are allowed throughout the refuge, but there are no developed trails other than rough primitive roads for vehicles. Canoeing and fishing are possible on the river and reservoir. Hunting is permitted in season.
Camping Regulations: There’s one established primitive camping area here. Camping is also allowed almost anywhere else, as are campfires. No permits are required. Summer visits are not recommended due to the heat.
For Further Information: Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge, P.O. Box 110, Lewistown, MT 59457; (406)538-8707.