Please see the links below for critical information about visiting American Prairie Reserve. As you plan your trip, also be sure to visit our In the Area page to learn about other local attractions. We highly encourage traveling on the Reserve with our free visitor map.
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Great Falls (GTF) – 4-hour drive to Reserve
Bozeman (BZN) – 5.5-hour drive to Reserve
*Lewistown (LWT) – 2-hour drive to Reserve
*Limited flights, often through Billings.
• Warm jacket
• Raincoat or waterproof windbreaker
• Warm sweater or fleece
• Long underwear top and bottom
• Long pants
• Hiking boots
• Socks, one pair wool
• Sun hat or baseball cap
• Warm hat
• CompassIt’s a good idea to bring some emergency equipment any season of the year if you’re planning on driving around the prairie. While we hope you won’t need it, the following equipment would be a smart safety precaution:
• Sleeping bag
• Stove and pot (to heat water or melt snow)
• First Aid Kit
• Jan 11°F
• Feb 14°F
• Mar 27°F
• Apr 44°F
• May 55°F
• Jun 63°F
• Jul 71°F
• Aug 68°F
• Sep 57°F
• Oct 46°F
• Nov 30°F
• Dec 17°F
Wet, unpaved roads in Phillips and Valley Counties can become impassable. The region is famous for its “gumbo.”"‘What is ‘gumbo’? …The sediments of this [area] have a great deal of expandable clay in them, especially the shale – this particular type is called Bearpaw shale. All shales hold water and get very sticky and greasy when wet. It doesn’t take much precipitation to create literally impassable situations on roads not covered with pavement, a heavy dose of gravel, or clinker.”Traction is impossible as vehicles slide in whatever direction the wet mess decides to take them, get bogged down in ever-deepening ruts, or the gumbo buildup on the tires halts all motion. Walking isn’t any easier. If you are wearing boots with lug soles, you will gain height rapidly, all the while slipping and sliding.”The cure for a bad case of gumbo is good old sunshine and a dry wind. Just make certain you have a good book, food and water to keep you company if you get caught out in ‘gumbo topography’ when it begins to rain.”– Rick and Susie Graetz
Malta: North of the Reserve and along the Milk River, Malta is home to attractions like the Great Plains Dinosaur and Phillips Country Museums and nearby Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge. With lodging, restaurants, shops, groceries and gas, Malta offers visitors a chance to stock up on supplies and enjoy small town Montana hospitality. Malta is a perfect stop for travelers continuing on to Yellowstone or Glacier National Parks due to its location at the intersection of Highways 2 and 191. Learn more: www.maltachamber.com.
Zortman: With a population of less than 100, enjoy this quiet, shaded retreat at the base of the Little Rockies. A variety of outdoor pursuits await you, from fishing and hiking to panning for gold! Zortman offers camping, lodging, a restaurant, gas and sundries. Don’t forget your camera – dramatic topography and historic structures are interesting photo opportunities. Learn more: visitmt.com.