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Hunting: The Missouri River Ranch is smack in the middle of prime habitat for elk, deer, upland birds, and waterfowl. Come make us the base for your hunting trip.
Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center: The interpretive center, which opened in July of 1998, provides the only comprehensive, interactive overview of their journey. The center is located in Great Falls, just 45 minutes from the Ranch.
Float the River: If you are looking to relax on the river, you can rent a raft and float down the rather serene river.
Mountain Biking: If you bring your bike, Missouri River Ranch will point you in the direction of wonderful day bike trips.
The Gates of the Mountains Tour Cruise: This 120-minute cruise starts in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains between Helena and Great Falls, Montana.
Great towering walls of limestone still stand guard over the river. Bighorn sheep and Mountain Goats scamper in the rocks high above the water. Ospreys, eagles (bald and golden), vultures and falcons (peregrine and prairie) still soar on the updrafts. The canyon is also home to otters, deer, squirrels, ermine, beaver, mountain lions, black bears, and other wild creatures. The life list for bird species is over 120 right now.
From the picnic area you can hike to Mann Gulch, the site of the raging forest fire that killed 13 smokejumpers 50 years ago. This tragedy was the main subject matter of Norman Maclean's book Young Men and Fire. The story of Mann Gulch is one of the more interesting stories told by the guide and pilot.The tour's main attraction, though, is the inexhaustible scenery- wooded slopes, rugged rock formations, and the placid beauty of the timeless Missouri. The Gates of the Mountain tour is just 20 minutes from the Ranch.
Day Hikes: Missouri River Ranch's proximity to the Gates of the Mountain Recreation Area and Bob Marshall Wilderness means endless possibilities for day hikes.
Holter Lake is located just 5 miles from the Ranch. This 24-mile long lake is surrounded by sparsely wooded hills. The Lake provides great opportunities for boating, riding, swimming, wildlife observation, hiking, and fishing for Rainbow Trout, Kokanee Salmon, Walleye, and Perch. There is a prairie dog town just down the road from the boat launch.
The Smith River is an excellent river for both Brown Trout and Rainbow Trout. While the Smith River does not hold significant amounts of large fish, the river does hold lots of trout between 13-16 inches. What the Smith River lacks in very large trout, however, it makes up in relative ease of catching trout. Unlike many other popular Montana rivers, fly fishing the Smith River does not require precise fly imitations, light leaders, and perfect presentation- although all of the above certainly will increase both your catch and the size of the fish caught! The Smith River is just about an hour's drive from the Ranch.
Sun River below Gibson Dam: Although the river is no longer in a wilderness complex, the Sun River is just as difficult to access in this stretch as further upstream. The river initially flows through Sun River Canyon. In this stretch, fishing from a boat will be very difficult, as the river is in a state of seemingly constant whitewater with very fast current. Unfortunately, access is also difficult by trail, requiring some hikes along the river on steep, slippery, rocky trails. Fishing pressure is very low, although some whitewater enthusiasts make the trip down the canyon in kayaks and high quality rafts. While the canyon is difficult to access, it can provide some excellent fishing. Rainbow, Cutthroat, and Brown Trout are all found here in solid numbers. While the trout in general are not like their Missouri River cousins, averaging in the 10-12 inch ranges, larger fish can be found. The Sun River in the canyon stretch has beautiful pools. Fly fishing dry flies work well on this stretch, but the larger fish and most consistent fishing will be done using streamers in the deep pools and along the banks. Attractor nymphs also work well. As the current is fast, sinking lines with weighted flies will be needed to reach the depths of the holes. The Sun River Canyon is about 90 minutes from the Ranch, but the views and the fishing are not to be matched.
The Big Blackfoot River has timeless cliff walls and ponderosa pines that tower over deep, clear runs and boulder strewn riffles- the Big Blackfoot is trout water. Affording both wading and floating angler opportunity for nearly sixty miles, the Big Blackfoot River is as diverse as the Montana landscape it shapes. Harboring good populations of Montana's only two 'native' fish Cutthroat and Bull Trout, the Big Blackfoot is also abundant with Rainbow, Cutbows, Browns, and Mountain Whitefish throughout its length. The head of the Big Blackfoot is just 75 miles from the Ranch.
Montana Historical Society and Last Chance Gulch: Helena, the State capital, is a city rich in history. The Historical Society is a must for history buffs and art lovers, and it has several spectacular Russell paintings. Enjoy a stroll down Last Chance Gulch, where there are a number of art galleries, shops, and restaurants.
First Peoples Buffalo Jump: Just 30 minutes from the Ranch is a pishkun, or buffalo jump, where Native Americans drove buffalo over a hill. It is truly an awesome site, and is currently under excavation by a team of archaeologists. This is one of the largest prehistoric bison kill sites in the United States. A visitor center and interpretive trails tell the story of the people, the animals, and the landscape of the buffalo culture. For over six hundred years, Indians stampeded buffalo over the mile-long cliff. Now, the top of the jump provides expansive panoramic views of the Rocky Mountain Front, the Missouri River valley, and the buttes and grasslands that characterize this High Plains setting. Plan at least a two-hour stop in this day-use-only park.
Charles Russell Museum: The Russell Museum is quite spectacular and holds the largest collection of Russell paintings in the world, as well as many sketches, letters, and photographs which family and friends have compiled over the years. As Russell was a native of Great Falls, many of his paintings are of the area, another reason the museum is a must see.
Choteau Dinosaur Museum: Observe remnants of the dinosaurs found in the Choteau area, and pet a dinosaur egg! If you're lucky, you may catch the rodeo.
Augusta, Montana: Enjoy a gorgeous 45 minute drive to the small town of Augusta which nests at the foot of the Rocky Mountain Front. You will enjoy an overwhelming view of the Rockies on a clear day. Augusta is a wonderful mix of new and old—visit the mercantile, or enjoy a cappuccino. The rodeo is the last week in June.
Glacier Park: Landscapes so big and open and rugged that they stretch your soul. Craggy peaks jutting into the sky and the resident mountain goats to match. A gravity defying two-lane road named, appropriately enough, the Going-to-the-Sun Road. With wildflowers, alpine vistas and waterfalls along the way, this will be an experience that you won’t forget. Pull over when you can and take it all in.
Helicopter Travel & Tours: Arrive by helicopter! We can arrange shuttle service to and from the Ranch, sightseeing trips, and/or transportation to your next destination.
For the Non-Angler, or those looking for a little variety, you may enjoy some of the other popular pursuits found here at Missouri River Ranch.
Set among 160 acres, this active farm/ranch provides you with big open landscapes, along with boasting over a mile of private year-round fly fishing access, the Missouri River Ranch offers couples, friends, families and small corporate groups the opportunity to 'get away from it all' without sacrificing comfort or amenities. Chip and Sue Anderson continue to improve on the lodge experience while providing warm hospitality and attentive personal service in a setting that's classic Montana. The Missouri River Ranch has 10 private rooms with baths spread over 2 conveniently located buildings including a restaurant, fully stocked bar, and glass enclosed four season dining deck. Welcome to the Missouri River Ranch.