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Intro to Bozeman

Experience the Prairie of Northeast Montana

by Liz Nitz

How to Experience the Prairie of Northeast Montana

It’s usually western mountain towns like Bozeman, Missoula and Kalispell that get all the attention. But if you’re interested in seeing another side of Big Sky country, then head north to experience the prairie of northeast Montana. A driving tour is best so you can take in the endless fields, blue skies, and all the small towns along the way that feel as if time stood still. Here are some things to do on your adventure:


Stop For a Relaxing Soak

The pool at Sleeping Buffalo Hot Springs

The pool at Sleeping Buffalo Hot Springs

Buffalo Hot Springs is the only natural hot springs in Montana’s northeastern tier. This hot spring has a storied history in the area and is well loved by the locals. The new owners have restored the beauty of its original stone and wood structure. The site now includes multiple pools, a sauna, guest cabins and RV hookups.


Grab a Drink in the Middle of Nowhere

You can officially say that you’ve visited the “middle of nowhere” once you enter Glasgow, Montana. While you’re there, grab a drink at either (or both!) the Busted Knuckle Brewery or The Loaded Toad coffee shop. The Busted Knuckle was voted one of the best breweries in Montana by It’s a fun place with a great story that serves 12 hand-crafted beers, wine, kombucha and homemade root beer and cream soda. The Loaded Toad is for serious coffee drinkers who love handcrafted coffee and homemade pastries. Be sure to enjoy your brew in the cool art gallery next door. You might walk out with a one-of-a-kind photo of the area by owner/photographer Sean R. Heavey. 


Experience the American Prairie Reserve

The American Prairie Reserve is a Bozeman-based nonprofit that has been working tirelessly to preserve the largest prairie ecosystem in North America and they’d love for you to experience it. Winter especially is a great time to take in the vast beauty of the Montana prairie. The white backdrop of snow really highlights the wildlife in the area like deer, bighorn sheep and raptors like Snowy Owls and Rough-Legged Hawks. Get the full experience and reserve one of the amazing yurts that the APR has nestled in various spots along the prairie.


Ice Fish at Fort Peck Lake

Fort Peck Lake offers some of the best ice fishing in the country. There are more than 50 kinds of fish and they say you’ll catch something if you wait long enough at the same hole. Since the area is so remote, you also don’t have to worry about big crowds.  The lake is surrounded by the Charles M. Russell Wildlife Refuge where you might get a glimpse of coyotes, prairie dogs, hawks, bison and other prairie wildlife.

Sourdough Trail

Visiting northeast Montana is much different in the winter. Be sure to check driving conditions at before hitting the road. Also check the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service site for what’s open and what’s not. If you have any questions about your visit to Montana, feel free to contact me at


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