Montana's Missouri River Country

On April 25,1805, the Corps of Discovery canoes and pirogues reached the confluence of the Yellowstone River with the Missouri River. Captain Meriwether Lewis observed, “I had a most pleasing view of the country, particularly the wide and fertile vallies”. By the last week in May, 1805,  the expedition passed through the Missouri Breaks, a 160-mile stretch of land from today’s Fort Peck Lake to today’s Fort Benton.

See the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail landmarks and Northeast Montana’s great attractions and lodging on this self-guided auto tour. It includes Fort Union National Historic Site, Scobey and the Daniels County Museum and Pioneer Town, Wolf Point with its famous annual Wild Horse Stampede, Fort Peck, the Montana Dinosaur Trail, the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge, Lewistown, Glendive, and Makoshika State Park and Dinosaur Museum, Miles City with its historic Main Street, and Medicine Rock State Park.

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Location

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Latitude: 48.133412 Longitude: -104.052673 Elevation: 2139 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Jeff Smith

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Sample Itinerary of Experience

Montana’s Missouri River Country: Gateway to history and adventure. You can download the PDF map to see the route below. 

1. Fort Union National Historic Site
Located South of US 2, this brings alive the days of the fur trade, near the confluence of the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers.

2. Fairview
On MT 201, this features the Fairview Walking Bridge over historic Yellowstone River, and the Cartwright Railroad Tunnel.

3. Sidney
On MT 16, this includes the MonDak Heritage Center and Museum.

4. Culbertson
On US 2, this includes the Culbertson Museum. The Lewis and Clark Interpretive Site is nearby on MT 16.

5. Plentywood
North of Culbertson on MT 16 is where the Sioux chief Sitting Bull surrendered to the US Army. The Sheridan County Museum is also located here.

6. Scobey
West of Plentywood on MT 5 is the Daniels County Museum, and Pioneer Town featuring 35 buildings depicting turn-of-the-19th-century businesses and homes.

7. Wolf Point
South of Scobey on US 2 (within the Fort Peck Indian Reservation), includes the Wolf Point Area Museum, and the Wild Horse Stampede, one of the West’s most colorful rodeos.

8. Fort Peck Indian Reservation
On and north of US 2 is home to the Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes. They host five annual celebrations between June and September. A herd of over 200 bison is located at the Turtle Mound Buffalo Ranch located 25 miles northeast of Poplar.

9. Fort Peck
South of US 2 at Nashua on Hwy 117, Fort Peck includes the Fort Peck Dam and Lake, Fort Peck Interpretive Center (a Montana Dinosaur Trail Member), a Lewis and Clark Outlook, and Milk River Observation Point. The Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge surrounds the huge Missouri River Reservoir that is 135 miles in length, includes 1,520 miles of shoreline, and covers over one million acres. The Montana Dinosaur Trail at Fort Peck, Malta, Jordan, and Glendive includes fossil rich formations, parks, museums, and interpretive centers.

10. Glasgow
On US 2 is a regional shopping and trading hub offering the Valley County Pioneer Museum and the Children’s Museum of Northeast Montana.

11. Malta
On US 2, Malta features the Great Plains Dinosaur Museum and the Phillips County Museum, both part of the Montana Dinosaur Trail. The Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge is east of town.

12. Zortman
South of Malta on US 191, Zortman is a gold rush town where visitors can pan for gold. The Little Rocky Mountains and the UL Bend National Wildlife Refuge are nearby.

13. Fort Belknap Indian Reservation
Home of the Gros Ventre and Assiniboine Tribes, the agency headquarters are west of Malta on US 2. The reservation includes the Little Rocky Mountains.

14. Lewistown
South of Malta on US 191, then east of Grass Range on US 87, is Lewistown. Lewistown features the Charlie Russell Chew Choo Dinner Train, and nearby ghost towns of Maiden, Giltedge, and Kendall. The Snowy and Judith Mountain ranges frame the area.

15. Jordan
East of Lewistown on MT 200 and north of Miles City on MT 59 is Jordan. The Garfield County Museum highlights the area’s pioneer history and prehistoric fossils and is on the Montana Dinosaur Trail.

16. Circle
East of Jordan on MT 200 is Circle, home to the McCone County Museum.

17. Glendive
On I-94 you will find Makoshika State Park, Montana’s largest state park. Visitors can also enjoy the Makoshika Dinosaur Museum, a Montana Dinosaur Trail member, and the Glendive Dinosaur and Fossil Museum.

18. Wibaux
East of Glendive, on I-94, is home of St. Peters Catholic Church built in 1895 and the Pierre Wibaux Museum Complex.

19. Terry
On I-94, Terry features the Prairie County Museum and the Evelyn Cameron Gallery of Photos.

20. Miles City
South of Jordan on MT 59 and I-94, Miles City features an 1890’s-era Main Street, the Range Riders Museum, a 1900’s era saloon, and the annual Bucking Horse Sale and Rodeo, plus art galleries and activities celebrating Montana’s Cowboy Heritage.

21. Medicine Rock State Park
East of Miles City via US 12 and MT 7, Medicine Rock was a place where Native American hunting parties sought guidance during their buffalo hunts. The Swiss-cheese look of the sandstone rock formations provides today’s visitors with unique views.

For more information: MissouriRiver.VisitMT.com and StateParks.MT.gov

Costs and Fees

This self-guided auto tour includes the communities, historic sites, and state parks in the trail region. Costs and fees vary.

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