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Road and Weather Conditions
Public Facilities Notice

In support of efforts to slow the spread of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) and following guidance from local and state health authorities, American Prairie is taking a phased approach to open visitor facilities under modified operations. Learn more.

The northeastern plains of Montana are one of the most remote parts of the lower 48 states. 

Much of the travel to and across the Reserve takes place on gravel or unimproved dirt roads. Travel across these roads requires preparation and planning. 

Current Road Status*

Dry Fork Road USE CAUTION  
Ranch Road USE CAUTION  
Midale Road USE CAUTION  
Regina Road USE CAUTION  

Road Status Legend

  OPEN: Road is generally in good condition but could still be difficult to travel or impassible when wet.
  USE CAUTION: Persistent wet and variable conditions are making sections of the road difficult to travel or impassible. Monitor the local forecast before traveling.
  TRAVEL NOT RECOMMENDED: Road should not be traveled due to severe weather and degraded road conditions.

* The table is updated with seasonal closures and during extreme weather events that make travel difficult or impossible. Local conditions can vary greatly.


Though you are on a road and in a vehicle, you should consider yourself in the backcountry; in most cases you are several hours away from emergency response or advanced medical care. We only recommend leaving pavement in a 4x4 or AWD vehicle with at least 6" of clearance, with a full fuel tank, and enough drinking water for several days. In the winter roads may drift in, and during the warmer months travel can be impossible when the roads become saturated with rain or snowmelt.

The Reserve is in a region called the Glaciated Plains, and the soil contains the fine clay sediments deposited by retreating glaciers. This clay makes an extremely slippery driving surface when wet, and hardens almost like concrete as it dries. This requires keeping a close eye on the weather during your trip, and planning for extra time if it does rain. Travel over wet roads can be impossible, and local tow services will only retrieve stuck vehicles when conditions have improved.

This page includes resources to help you plan your trip. The Twitter updates cover only the areas general to the PN and Sun Prairie units and are updated as conditions change significantly. Conditions may vary widely within a few miles due to local precipitation. The webcams are located on the PN and Sun Prairie units. We recommend reading the NOAA forecasts for the area you are traveling to which are linked from this page.




Weather Forecasts