Prairie Dog Towns and Buffalo Jumps in Montana
If you love cute animals, you will love prairie dogs! They have absolutely adorable barks! Montana has two easily-accessible prairie dog towns.
Greycliff Prairie Dog Town is one of Montana's state parks that is near Bigfork, which is between Bozeman and Billings.
You can stand around listening to the prairie dogs as they bark, and see them go about their day to day lives.
The gate is closed during the winter, but you can still walk in and visit the park. There are picnic tables down the road if you walk. No bathrooms.
Prairie dogs are worth seeing since they used to be prolific in the West, but over the years their range has shrunk by 95%, sadly.
Tip: I don't have a DSLR. If you have one, bring it for better photos of these cute critters since they won't let you get super close!
While you are near Bigfork, consider visiting Natural Bridge Falls Picnic Area for a scenic walk, restrooms, and picnic tables. Bring bear spray!
Outside of Bozeman, visit Madison Buffalo Jump State Park near Three Forks.
The last two miles or so of the drive has a lot of washboarding, so it is a bumpy drive and you will need to drive slow.
The Shoshone people drove the bison off the cliff to kill the bison, giving the Native people food and supplies to survive the harsh winter.
If you are up for a hike, there is a mile long trail to go to the top of the cliff. Watch out for rattlesnakes.
Otherwise, you can hike 1/4 of a mile to an interpretive center and still enjoy breathtaking views.
This is the view from the interpretive center. The interpretive center also has informational plaques.
If you aren't near Bozeman during your trip, then see if you are close to First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park, between Great Falls and Helena.
First Peoples Buffalo Jump might be the largest buffalo jump in North America. You can drive OR hike to the cliff area! Be alert for snakes.
The other prairie dog town to see is between the cliff and the upper parking lot at First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park.
The Native people used this buffalo jump for a long time--over a thousand years--before Lewis and Clark ever saw it.
There is an indoor education center at the park where you can learn more, see exhibits, and use a clean restroom or buy souvenirs.
Since you are very close to Great Falls, check out Great Falls for more nature or museums, or check out other things between Helena and Great Falls!
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