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.
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.
On MT 201, this features the Fairview Walking Bridge over historic Yellowstone River, and the Cartwright Railroad Tunnel.
On MT 16, this includes the MonDak Heritage Center and Museum.
On US 2, this includes the Culbertson Museum. The Lewis and Clark Interpretive Site is nearby on MT 16.
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.
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.
On US 2 is a regional shopping and trading hub offering the Valley County Pioneer Museum and the Children’s Museum of Northeast Montana.
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.
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.
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.
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.
East of Jordan on MT 200 is Circle, home to the McCone County Museum.
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.
East of Glendive, on I-94, is home of St. Peters Catholic Church built in 1895 and the Pierre Wibaux Museum Complex.
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: http://missouririvermt.com/ and https://fwp.mt.gov/stateparks/
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…
The Frontier Gateway Museum is the official museum of Dawson County, Montana, offering a wide variety of historical items and interpretive displays chronicling the human and natural history of Eastern Montana. The museum interior and…
The MonDak Heritage Center is Eastern Montana’s premier museum, with a mission to engage, educate, and inspire our community by preserving and contributing to the area’s arts, culture, and heritage. Featuring: history and art exhibits…
Intake Fishing Access Site, located 15 miles north of Glendive on the Yellowstone River at the Intake Diversion Dam, is the premier spot in Montana, perhaps the nation, for catching the unique paddlefish, leading to…
The Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation, also known as the Three Affiliated Tribes, is located on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in central North Dakota. The reservation stretches across 988,000 acres of wide-open plains and…
The city of Glendive, located along the Yellowstone River, is home to just over 5,000 people and is known as the Gateway to Makoshika. Originally founded in 1881 by the Northern Pacific Railway, Glendive acted…
The Missouri-Yellowstone Confluence Interpretive Center is located near Williston, North Dakota, less than half a mile from the Fort Buford State Historic Site. The center offers exhibits related to the prehistoric, natural, tribal, and pioneer history of the…
Williston, the economic center of northwest North Dakota, has recently seen a population boon and consequential investment in its social and public infrastructure, thus making it a perfect stop on your journey along the Lewis…
On April 25, 1805, Lewis, “accompanyed by four men”, proceeded overland in advance of Clark and the main group in order to explore the area surrounding the confluence of the Yellowstone River, which he knew…
The Medicine Lake is a captivating place, often described as a “prairie oasis” where you can feel and experience the nature’s beauty, whilst getting to see species you would not be able to spot anywhere…
This museum provides its’ visitors the opportunity to experience how farmers and settlers lived back in the 19th and early 20th centuries. It also serves the purpose of preserving the history of the community and…
Want to get away from the mighty Missouri River for a while and enjoy some scenic views? Then head to the River Bend Overlook which is situated in the northern unit of the Theodore Roosevelt…