Public Access

The Big Picture

We believe that everyone should be able to enjoy the natural wonder of American Prairie Reserve (APR) through activities such as hiking, bird watching, horseback riding, camping, bicycling and hunting.  APR will never be “locked up” from public use. Instead, both the public and private lands that comprise APR will be thoughtfully managed to provide a quality outdoor experience for the general public, with the intent that APR will one day become a world-class destination for visitors and outdoor enthusiasts.

Progress to Date

Camping on the prairie (Photo: Dave M. Shumway)

Camping
Much of American Prairie Reserve is already open to visitors, and campers are welcome to stay at our public campground, Buffalo Camp. With spaces for tents and RVs, Buffalo Camp is an ideal starting point for a memorable outdoor experience. Campground fees are $10/per night and availability is on a first come, first served basis year-round.  Detailed information about Buffalo Camp is available on our Where To Stay page.

Hunting
American Prairie Reserve participates in the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks’ Block Management Program, which is a cooperative program that creates public access on private lands by opening them up to hunting.  We have enrolled more than 28,000 acres of our property in the Block Management Program and intend to increase the acreage enrolled over time. On average we provide more than 1,200 hunter days of recreation each year. Our properties are listed in the Region 6 FWP Block Management Book.

Photo: Dave M. Shumway

Hiking & Bicycling
In June of 2011, volunteers with the Mars Ambassador Program built our first multi-use hiking trail near Grouse Camp. The following year, Mars volunteers also constructed a 1-mile out-and-back trail adjacent to Buffalo Camp. Additional trail work is planned in future years.

Other Activities
Please see our Visit page to learn more about what you can see and do on and around the Reserve.

Next Steps

We will continue to study which types of visitor activities are compatible with an area managed for prairie wildlife. We are also developing relationships with local vendors that may benefit from operating on the Reserve by providing quality services to visitors.  We have begun installing our first interpretive and science education signs on the Reserve, which will improve visitors’ experiences by providing information on topics such as wildlife and regional history. APR will continue to work with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on ways to improve visitor access to BLM public lands leased to APR.