CSKT National Bison Range in Montana

Missoula Montana
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CSKT Bison Range

Over a hundred years old and located in western Montana, a trip to the CSKT (Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes) Bison Range is sure to excite with picturesque views of bison herds roaming the prairie.

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  • Just an hour north of Missoula!
  • The CSKT Bison Range is home to approximately 350 to 500 American bison.
  • Also home to mammals including elk, coyotes, pronghorn antelope and over 200 species of birds.
  • Scenic drives provide fantastic views of the wildlife and the Mission Mountains.


The CKST Bison Range, found in western Montana, is home to roughly 350-500 bison. Established over a hundred years ago in 1908, the bison range covers 18,500 acres of protected land. It was transferred to the full ownership and management of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) as of January 2021.

Your visit to the CKST Bison Range won't leave you only musing over the bison. Over the years other species have discovered this open prairie and now live side by side with the bison. Don't be surprised to see elk, bighorn sheep, mule deer and some of the 200 bird species.

Because of the open grassland of the CSKT Bison Refuge, bird watching and photo opportunities are abundant. If the skies are clear, don't miss the amazing views of the Mission Mountains.


Only an hour north of Missoula, the CKST Bison Refuge is the perfect day excursion.

From Missoula, take US Hwy 93 north to Ravalli, head west on Hwy 200 until you meet the junction with Hwy 212. Turn right, west, and travel the 5 miles to the entrance.

58355 Bison Range RoadMoiese, MT 59824Phone: 406-644-2211




The CKST Bison Range is open year round.

Summer (May – Oct)

Visitor Center is open daily 7am-7pm.

The Front Gate is open 8am – 8pm

Winter (Nov – April)

Visitor Center is open 8am – 5pm

The Front Gate is open 8am – 6pm

Red Sleep Drive is closed during winter.


  • $20.00 per regular vehicle, $35 per commercial van (10-15 seats)
  • $60.00 for an annual National Bison Range pass
  • $45.00 per bus (15+ seats)

As the CSKT Bison Range is no longer federally funded, they no longer accept any federal park passes such as the Golden Age Pass or the America the Beautiful Pass.


A stop by the Visitor Center is a must upon arrival. Learn about the historical relationship between the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) and the American bison, the ecology of the range, and talk to one of the enthusiastic staff. The Visitor Center also has a gift shop with tribal made art, jewelry, and Bison Range souvenirs.

Two self-guided drives take you through the range for up close views of the bison. The Red Sleep Drive is two hours one way or for a shorter option try the Buffalo Prairie Drive, it's only an hour. Follow the rules and stay in your car. Picnic areas and hiking trails are great places to stretch your legs after your scenic drive.

For safety concerns, they do not allow vehicles over 30ft, trailers, or motorcycles on the drives.

Fun Facts

The bison may look like old, shaggy beasts lumbering along in search of the perfect blade of grass, but when provoked they can run up to 35 miles an hour. Their tail is a great mood indicator. If it is straight up, they are mad and about to charge. Don't run, they will beat you. Just stay in your car like you were told to do in the first place.

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