National Parks Around Missoula

Big Hole

National Battlefield

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On August 9, 1877 gun shots shattered a chilly dawn on a sleeping camp of Nez Perce. By the time the smoke cleared on August 10, almost 90 Nez Perce were dead along with 31 soldiers and volunteers. Big Hole National Battlefield was created to honor all who were there.

Multiple tepee poles and a river are silhouetted against a dawn sky.

Weather

This climatic region is typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot (and often humid) summers and cold (sometimes severely cold) winters. Wisdom has a humid continental climate.

Driving Directions

Big Hole National Battlefield is located on Highway 43 ten miles west of the town of Wisdom in southwestern Montana. Bear Paw Battlefield is located on Route 240 sixteen miles south of the town of Chinook in north-central Montana. More directions to Big Hole.

Operating Hours

The battlefield is open from sunrise to sunset 7 days per week year round during which time you may walk or snowshoe, depending on the time of year, to the Nez Perce Camp, the Siege Area, or the Howitzer Site. However, the visitor center is only open 9am - 5pm in the summers and 10am - 5pm in the winters. The Visitor Center is also closed on federal holidays October through February.

Monday: Sunrise to Sunset
Tuesday: Sunrise to Sunset
Wednesday: Sunrise to Sunset
Thursday: Sunrise to Sunset
Friday: Sunrise to Sunset
Saturday: Sunrise to Sunset
Sunday: Sunrise to Sunset

Entrance Fees

Entrance Fees: Big Hole is fee free! We do sell the Lifetime Senior Pass, the Annual Senior Pass, and the America the Beautiful Annual Pass, and issue the Access Pass to those that qualify.

Contact

Physical Address:
16425 Highway 43 West
Wisdom, MT 59761

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 237
Wisdom, MT 59761

Phone Number: 4066893155

Bighorn Canyon

National Recreation Area

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The vast, wild landscape of Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area offers visitors unparalleled opportunities to immerse themselves in the natural world, and experience the wonders of this extraordinary place. With over 120,000 acres, one can find an astounding diversity in ecosystems, wildlife, and more than 10,000 years of human history to explore. ..

Summer view of the Yellowtail Dam from the Ok-A-Beh road.

Weather

North District: Semi-arid, receiving 18 to 20 inches of rain annually. South District: High-desert, receiving 6 to 10 inches of rain annually. Summer temperatures: Highs in the 80s (F) and 90s (F), lows in the 50s (F) and 60s (F). Summer temperatures can peak over 100 degrees. Winter temperatures: Range in the 20s and 30s with low temperatures averaging the 10s (F) and 20s (F). During the winter the thermometer can drop below 0 (F) with extreme wind chill factors.

Driving Directions

Bighorn Canyon has two districts that are separated by a three hour drive. To get to the North District at Fort Smith, MT from Billings,take Interstate 90 south to Hardin, MT. Turn at exit 495 onto State Highway 313 to St. Xavier and then to Fort Smith, Montana. To get to the South District at Lovell, WY from Billings, MT, take Interstate 90 west. Turn at exit 434 at Laurel, MT. Turn onto US 310 East/US 212 South. Turn at US 310 East to Lovell. The visitor center is on the east side of Lovell. More directions to Bighorn Canyon.

Operating Hours

The park is open every day. Some park facilities may be closed for federal holidays.

Monday: All Day
Tuesday: All Day
Wednesday: All Day
Thursday: All Day
Friday: All Day
Saturday: All Day
Sunday: All Day

Entrance Fees

Bighorn Canyon Entrance Daily Pass: $5 per 24 hours for each privately owned vehicle or individual on a bicycle. Cost: $5

Bighorn Canyon Annual Pass: The Bighorn Canyon Annual Pass is good for one full year from the month of purchase. An Annual Pass may be purchased at the visitor center in Lovell, WY, the Afterbay Contact Station or Park Headquarters or at the Yellowtail Dam Visitor Center in the summer. Cost: $30

Commercial Vehicle Pass 1-6: A 24 hour commercial vehicle pass for a vehicle that will be transporting 1-6 passengers in the park may be purchased at the Visitor Center in Lovell, WY, the Afterbay Contact Station or Park Headquarters or at the Yellowtail Dam Visitor Center in the summer. Cost: $25

Commercial Vehicle pass 7-25: A 24 hour commercial vehicle pass for a vehicle that will be transporting 7-25 passengers in the park may be purchased at the Visitor Center in Lovell, WY, the Afterbay Contact Station or Park Headquarters or at the Yellowtail Dam Visitor Center in the summer. Cost: $40

Commercial Vehicle Pass 25+: A 24 hour commercial vehicle pass for a vehicle that will be transporting 25+ passengers in the park may be purchased at the Visitor Center in Lovell, WY, the Afterbay Contact Station or Park Headquarters or at the Yellowtail Dam Visitor Center in the summer. Cost: $100

Contact

Mailing Address:
Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area Headquarters Office
Fort Smith, MT 59035

Physical Address:
Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area Headquarters Office
Fort Smith, MT 59035

Phone Number: 3075485406

Fort Union Trading Post

National Historic Site

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Between 1828 and 1867, Fort Union was the most important fur trade post on the Upper Missouri River. Here, the Assiniboine and six other Northern Plains Indian Tribes exchanged buffalo robes and smaller furs for goods from around the world, including cloth, guns, blankets, and beads. A bastion of peaceful coexistence, the post annually traded over 25,000 buffalo robes and $100,000 in merchandise.

Trade House with fire in hearth and plates/foodstuffs set up on buffalo robe.

Weather

Weather in western North Dakota can be harsh, with extremes in temperature and sudden, violent storms. Be prepared for rapidly changing conditions. Summers are warm with average high temperatures in the 80s-90s May through September. Winters are cold with average lows in the single digits December through February. Wind is considerable year-round. Conditions can change quickly. Travelers should be aware of the potential for violent thunderstorms in the summer and the possibility of blizzards.

Driving Directions

Located on North Dakota 1804, the park is 25 miles southwest of Williston, ND, and 24 miles northeast of Sidney, MT. More directions to Fort Union Trading Post.

Operating Hours

Memorial Day until Labor Day, 8:00am to 6:30 pm CST daily

Monday: 8:00AM - 6:30PM
Tuesday: 8:00AM - 6:30PM
Wednesday: 8:00AM - 6:30PM
Thursday: 8:00AM - 6:30PM
Friday: 8:00AM - 6:30PM
Saturday: 8:00AM - 6:30PM
Sunday: 8:00AM - 6:30PM

Entrance Fees

Free Entrance to Fort Union Trading Post NHS: There is no fee to enter Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site - Enjoy your visit!

Contact

Mailing Address:
15550 Highway 1804
Williston, ND 58801

Physical Address:
15550 Highway 1804
Williston, ND 58801

Phone Number: 7015729083

Glacier

National Park

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As the Crown of the Continent, Glacier is the headwaters for streams that flow to the Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and to Hudson's Bay. What happens here affects waters in a huge section of North America. Due to a detection of invasive mussel populations in central Montana, Glacier has closed all park waters to motorized and trailered watercraft until further notice.

View of Logan Pass and the Continental Divide from the summit of Mt. Oberlin

Weather

Glacier's weather is highly variable and can be extreme. Expect warm sunny summer days and in the winter the temperatures can fall well below freezing. Glacier's geography, straddling the Continental Divide, sets the stage for clashes of two very different climates. Warm, wet Pacific air moves in from the west, and cold dry Arctic air from the northeast. They meet at the Divide.

Driving Directions

Glacier National Park is located in the northwest corner of Montana along the spine of the Rocky Mountains. By Car you can access Glacier via Highway 2, which runs along the southern boundary of the park. You can reach the east side of the park via Highway 89. The nearest airports are in Kalispell and Great Falls, Montana More directions to Glacier.

Operating Hours

Glacier National Park is open 24 hours a day 365 days of the year. An entrance fee is required, even when the entrance stations are not staffed. Instructions are available at each entrance for self-payment.

Monday: All Day
Tuesday: All Day
Wednesday: All Day
Thursday: All Day
Friday: All Day
Saturday: All Day
Sunday: All Day

Entrance Fees

Entrance Fee by car - 7 day permit: This is a entrance fee for all persons traveling in a single, private, non-commercial vehicle (car/truck/van). The permit is non-transferable. Visitors can enter the park at any time, if the entrance station is not staffed, a self-registration area is available for purchasing a 7-day park permit. Winter Rate - $20 November 1 - April 30 Cost: $30

Entrance Fee by single entry: This is a per person entrance fee for a visitor traveling on foot, bicycle, or for individuals traveling together in a vehicle as a non-commercial, organized group. The permit is non-transferable. Winter Rate - $10 November 1 - April 30 Cost: $15

Entrance Fee by motorcycle: This is a per motorcycle entrance fee. The permit is non-transferable. Winter Rate - $15 November 1 - April 30 Cost: $25

Contact

Mailing Address:
PO Box 128
West Glacier, MT 59936

Physical Address:
64 Grinnell Drive
West Glacier, MT 59936

Phone Number: 4068887800

Grant-Kohrs Ranch

National Historic Site

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Wide open spaces, the hard-working cowboy, his spirited cow pony, and vast herds of cattle are among the strongest symbols of the American West. Once the headquarters of a 10 million acre cattle empire, Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site preserves these symbols and commemorates the role of cattlemen in American history.

A view of the rear of the ranch house.

Weather

Spring: Temperatures can fluctuate greatly. Sub-freezing temperatures in the morning can give way to mild days. Snow in early spring, rain in late season. Summer: Temperatures can average 70-80 F, but can reach highs of 100 F. Rain rare. Dry and hot. Fall: Temperatures can fluctuate greatly. Sub-freezing mornings can give way to mild days. Rain in early fall likely. Winter: Temperature can fall to -30 F, with highs of 10-20 F. Snow is possible. Cold weather gear is highly recommended.

Driving Directions

Arriving from the east: Take Interstate 90, exit 187. Drive through town, approximately 2.5 miles. Park entrance will be on the left. Arriving from the west: Take Interstate 90, exit 184. Turn right. Drive approximately 3/4 of a mile. Park entrance will be on the right. More directions to Grant-Kohrs Ranch.

Operating Hours

Hours for Grant-Kohrs Ranch.

Monday: 9:00AM - 4:30PM
Tuesday: 9:00AM - 4:30PM
Wednesday: 9:00AM - 4:30PM
Thursday: 9:00AM - 4:30PM
Friday: 9:00AM - 4:30PM
Saturday: 9:00AM - 4:30PM
Sunday: 9:00AM - 4:30PM

Entrance Fees

Entrance Fees: Grant-Kohrs Ranch is a fee-free site.

Contact

Physical Address:
266 Warren Lane
Deer Lodge, MT 59722

Mailing Address:
266 Warren Lane
Deer Lodge, MT 59722

Phone Number: 4068462070

Ice Age Floods

National Geologic Trail

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"At the end of the last Ice Age, some 12,000 to 17,000 years ago, a series of cataclysmic floods occurred in what is now the northwest region of the United States, leaving a lasting mark of dramatic and distinguishing features on the landscape of parts of the States of Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon." Public Law 111-11, March 30, 2009

Dry Lake lake bed and falls blanked with snow.

Weather

Because the National Geologic Trail is a collection of sites, the weather patterns will vary from site to site. Please check the weather for your local region, or the region you'll be visiting, through their respective sites.

Driving Directions

From Spokane Take I-90 West At Exit 277, merge onto US-2 toward Davenport/Fairchild AFB/Spokane Airport Just past Wilbur, turn right onto WA-21 Stay left onto Highway 174 Turn right onto WA-155 Stay on WA-155 past Grand Coulee Dam and into the town of Coulee Dam Cross the Columbia River and continue on WA-155 Turn right onto Crest Drive and follow up the hill. The HQ Office is located on the left More directions to Ice Age Floods.

Operating Hours

Because the Geologic Trail it is a collection of sites, not under management of a single organization, the hours of operation and season will vary from site to site. Please check each respective site for more details and information.

Monday: All Day
Tuesday: All Day
Wednesday: All Day
Thursday: All Day
Friday: All Day
Saturday: All Day
Sunday: All Day

Entrance Fees

Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail: Because the Geologic Trail it is a collection of sites, not under management of a single organization, the hours of operation and season will vary from site to site. Please check each respective site for more details and information.

Contact

Physical Address:
1008 Crest Drive
Coulee Dam, WA 99116

Mailing Address:
Superintendent
Coulee Dam, WA 99116

Phone Number: (509) 754-7800

Lewis & Clark

National Historic Trail

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Between May 1804 and September 1806, 31 men, one woman, and a baby traveled from the plains of the Midwest to the shores of the Pacific Ocean. They called themselves the Corps of Discovery. In their search for a water route to the Pacific Ocean, they opened a window into the west for the young United States.

MWRO office building with arrowhead logo.

Weather

In winter, watch for ice on trails and sidewalks. In summer, make sure to drink plenty of water and wear sunscreen on hot days. Keep in mind the Trail covers 11 states, use www.weather.gov to look up the specific area you plan to visit.

Driving Directions

Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail Visitor Center is located inside the National Park Service Mid-West Regional Office. We are right on the Missouri River next to the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge in downtown Omaha, NE. More directions to Lewis & Clark.

Operating Hours

During the summer the visitor center is open every day including holidays. May 6, 2017 - November 12, 2017

Monday: 8:00AM - 5:00PM
Tuesday: 8:00AM - 5:00PM
Wednesday: 8:00AM - 5:00PM
Thursday: 8:00AM - 5:00PM
Friday: 8:00AM - 5:00PM
Saturday: 9:30AM - 5:00PM
Sunday: 9:30AM - 5:00PM

Entrance Fees

No Entrance Fee: Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail Visitor Center does not charge an entrance fee, but some of our park partners do. Be sure to check with each visitor and interpretative center to find out their fees.

Contact

Physical Address:
601 Riverfront Dr.
Omaha, NE 68102

Mailing Address:
601 Riverfront Dr.
Omaha, NE 68102

Phone Number: 4026611804

Little Bighorn Battlefield

National Monument

This area memorializes the U.S. Army's 7th Cavalry and the Sioux and Cheyenne in one of the Indian's last armed efforts to preserve their way of life. Here on June 25 and 26 of 1876, 263 soldiers, including Lt. Col. George A. Custer and attached personnel of the U.S. Army, died fighting several thousand Lakota, and Cheyenne warriors.

A rising hunter's moon peaks above the horizon. Stars fill the night sky.

Weather

Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument weather: Spring: 50-60 (F) degree days/ 30+/- (F) degree nights Summer: 70-100 (F) degree days/ 45-60+ (F) degree nights Fall: 50 degree (F) days/ 25+/- (F) degree nights Winter: 20 degree (F) days/ 0+/- (F) degree nights

Driving Directions

Take Interstate I-90 and get off at Crow Agency Exit 510 at Jct 212. To reach Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, take Battlefield Tour Road 756 More directions to Little Bighorn Battlefield.

Operating Hours

Spring hours are from April 1 through May 29.

Monday: 8:00AM - 6:00PM
Tuesday: 8:00AM - 6:00PM
Wednesday: 8:00AM - 6:00PM
Thursday: 8:00AM - 6:00PM
Friday: 8:00AM - 6:00PM
Saturday: 8:00AM - 6:00PM
Sunday: 8:00AM - 6:00PM

Entrance Fees

Individual Entrance Fee: For individuals on foot or riding a motorcycle or bicycling into the battlefield. Cost: $10

Private Vehicle Entrance Fee: This fee applies to each private vehicle entering Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument. Cost: $20

Commercial Sedan Entrance Fee: This fee applies to a commercial sedan that seats 1-6 people. Cost: $25

Commercial Van of Mini-Bus Entrance Fee: This fee applies to a commercial van or mini-bus that seats 7-15 people. Cost: $40

Commercial Bus Entrance Fee: This fee applies to a commercial bus that seats more than 15 people. Cost: $100

Contact

Physical Address:
756 Battlefield Tour Road
Crow Agency, MT 59022

Mailing Address:
Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument
Crow Agency, MT 59022-0039

Phone Number: 4066382621

Nez Perce

National Historical Park

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For thousands of years the valleys, prairies, mountains, and plateaus of the inland northwest have been home to the Nimiipuu or Nez Perce people. Extremely resilient they have adapted and survived the settling of the United States. Explore these places. Learn their stories.

Birds in flight across a grassy field.

Weather

Elevations in the Park range from 700 feet above sea level to over 8,000, providing a wide range of climatic conditions, that follow the four seasons. Be prepared for very warm weather in the summer months, in particular in the river valleys. The spring and fall are moderate and comfortable. Winter conditions can be severe in the higher elevations, with snow and ice making travel difficult and dangerous. Please visit the National Weather Service for comprehensive weather information.

Driving Directions

Driving south bound on U.S. Highway 95 you will find the Visitor Center 10 miles from Lewiston, ID. Roughly one mile after crossing the Clearwater River you will find the park entrance on your left. When driving north on U.S. Highway 95 the Visitor Center will be 3 miles north of Lapwai, ID. The park entrance will be on your right. More directions to Nez Perce.

Operating Hours

Winter Hours: From Labor Day to the day before Memorial Day the Visitor Center will be open from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm. The park will be closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's days.

Monday: 8:30AM - 4:00PM
Tuesday: 8:30AM - 4:00PM
Wednesday: 8:30AM - 4:00PM
Thursday: 8:30AM - 4:00PM
Friday: 8:30AM - 4:00PM
Saturday: 8:30AM - 4:00PM
Sunday: 8:30AM - 4:00PM

Entrance Fees

Entrance Fee: There are no fees to visit any of the sites of Nez Perce National Historical Park. Also, as of 2007 Big Hole National Battlefield stopped collecting entrance fees. Entrance to the battlefield is now free!

Contact

Mailing Address:
Nez Perce National Historical Park
Lapwai, ID 83540-9715

Physical Address:
Nez Perce National Historical Park
Lapwai, ID 83540-9715

Phone Number: 2088437009

Yellowstone

National Park

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Visit Yellowstone and experience the world's first national park. Marvel at a volcano’s hidden power rising up in colorful hot springs, mudpots, and geysers. Explore mountains, forests, and lakes to watch wildlife and witness the drama of the natural world unfold. Discover the history that led to the conservation of our national treasures “for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.”

Crowd watching Aurum Geyser erupt

Weather

Yellowstone's weather can vary quite a bit, even in a single day. In the summer, daytime highs can exceed 70F (25C), only to drop 20 or more degrees when a thunderstorm rolls through. It can snow during any month of the year, and winter lows frequently drop below zero, especially at night. Bring a range of clothing options, including a warm jacket and rain gear, even in the summer.

Driving Directions

Yellowstone National Park covers nearly 3,500 square miles in the northwest corner of Wyoming (3% of the park is in Montana and 1% is in Idaho). Yellowstone has five entrance stations, and several are closed to regular vehicles during winter. It takes many hours to drive between these entrances, so be sure to check the status of roads at the entrance you intend to use while planning your trip and before you arrive. More directions to Yellowstone.

Operating Hours

Yellowstone is open daily, year-round, although activities and services are limited at night and certain times of year. The park has five entrance stations, but not all entrance stations are open year-round. Make sure to carefully read about access at each station at different times of year. And remember, all dates are weather dependent! Please note that camping is possible only in designated campgrounds.

Monday: All Day
Tuesday: All Day
Wednesday: All Day
Thursday: All Day
Friday: All Day
Saturday: All Day
Sunday: All Day

Entrance Fees

Yellowstone (private, non-commercial vehicle): 7-day pass for Yellowstone National Park Cost: $30

Yellowstone (motorcycle or snowmobile): 7-day pass for Yellowstone National Park. Snowmobile entry limited to guided tours or permit holders. Cost: $25

Yellowstone (individual): 7-day pass for Yellowstone National Park (per-person, 16 and older) Cost: $15

Yellowstone (non-commercial vehicle with capacity of 16+ people): 7-day pass for Yellowstone National Park (per-person, 16 and older). Examples of non-commercial groups include church groups and scouts. Cost: $15

Yellowstone & Grand Teton (private, non-commercial vehicle): 7-day pass for Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks Cost: $50

Yellowstone & Grand Teton (motorcycle): 7-day pass for Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks Cost: $40

Yellowstone & Grand Teton (individual): 7-day pass for Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks (per-person, 16 and older) Cost: $20

Yellowstone & Grand Teton (non-commercial vehicle with capacity of 16+ people): 7-day pass for Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks (per-person, 16 and older). Examples of non-commercial groups include church groups and scouts. Cost: $20

Contact

Physical Address:
2 Officers Row
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168

Phone Number: 3073447381