I’ve been wanting to go to this range for years, every time we’ve passed through the area. I didn’t know much about until we went there, which is often the case, but I knew it was a must when I read reviews where people saw of course bison, but also bear, bull elk, mountain lions, bighorn sheep, pronghorn and numerous other wildlife. It sounded a lot like Yellowstone – a small piece of Yellowstone in the Mission Valley of Montana and a must stop for anyone who passes by.
The view of the Mission Range and a challenging, steep drive around the loop that circles the 18,000 acres of land are a major bonus. There’s absolutely no beating a view of the Mission Range with bison in the foreground. It’s rare to see such a sight even at Yellowstone. It takes 2 hours to do the loop they say, but it took us nearly 4 with all the stops and short hiking trails that lead to the top of the highest peaks.
President Theodore Roosevelt established the National Bison Range on May 23, 1908 when he signed legislation authorizing funds to purchase suitable land for the conservation of bison. It was the first time that Congress appropriated tax dollars to buy land specifically to conserve wildlife. The overall mission of the National Bison Range is to maintain a representative herd of bison, under reasonably natural conditions, to ensure the preservation of the species. (link)
In the visitor center and along the park roads you can also learn about Glacial Lake Missoula, A lake so big, that formed over such a long time of melting glaciers in the area, that when it broke, it completely changed the landscape of Idaho and Eastern Washington along it’s path. More fresh water was in that one lake than is in all the US’s lakes and rivers right now. I intend to read a book once I get caught up.
Here are some of our photos from today! We saw a lots of bison, a rabbit, about a million grasshoppers and a young bear!