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Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge

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Address: 922 Bootlegger Trail, Great Falls, MT 59404
Phone Number: 406-727-7400
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Sunday
Closed
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Hours:
Mon - Fri 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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Excellent Birding, even when almost dry

With a morning to spare before joining up with the rest of our tour group, we rented a car and drove out to this wildlife refuge hoping for some interesting birding. We didn't... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed July 19, 2015
The Other Jim H
,
Oakland, California
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11 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Oakland, California
Level Contributor
117 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2015

With a morning to spare before joining up with the rest of our tour group, we rented a car and drove out to this wildlife refuge hoping for some interesting birding. We didn't expect much when we started the 9-mile loop drive as the lake was mostly dry. However, once we turned to follow the canal we found where all... More 

Helpful?
2 Thank The Other Jim H
Colorado
Level Contributor
151 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2015

I probably should have called first (but then likely would have come anyway) because by early July the water levels were low enough that pretty much only one small area of water remains. We did see several shore birds: willet, avocet, sandpipers, and gulls, and a few of the more typical grassland birds like horned lark and sparrows. I was... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank okaugust
Frisco, Texas
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2015 via mobile

Scaring up a pheasant as we were driving up was a surprising start. Good variety of water birds. American Avocets were the most plentiful with a few spotted sitting on nests. Highly recommend.

Helpful?
2 Thank masfw
Great Falls, Montana
Level Contributor
19 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2015

If you are interested in birds this is a must. I have seen numerous birds that I didn't even know existed. There are several walk ways to get closer to some of the birds. Usually see some other wildlife, such as antelope, coyotes and deer

Helpful?
1 Thank Jean M
Alexandria, Virginia
Level Contributor
50 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2014

This was so good, we happily went twice during our visit to Great Falls. An easy drive north of town takes you to this wildlife reserve.the large wetlands supports a large number of waterfowl, waders, peeps and etc. the prairie around contained great grassland species - like chestnut collared long spur.

Helpful?
1 Thank Richard_Milsom
Takoma Park, Maryland
Level Contributor
50 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2014

We visited Benton Lake to see the birds. In the middle of the plains outside of Great Falls, Montana, we were the only visitors our entire stay. And the birds didn't like it. One greeted us at the entrance, another swooped the car and stood in the middle of road as if to tell us not to come here. But... More 

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1 Thank smallino7416
Great Falls, Montana
Level Contributor
99 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2014

I will be there again this weekend, the wetlandsvrefuge just a few miles out of Great Falls, full of grasses, birds and life. Think about Ryan's Dam too.

Helpful?
1 Thank algologist
Cheyenne, Wyoming
Level Contributor
300 reviews
82 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 146 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2012

This is truly an oasis -- most of the surrounding country is in dry land farming. Even in August, there was enough water present to provide a good variety of bird life, primarily wading birds with some waterfowl and some grassland birds. Portions of the "lake" were mostly dry at this time, since the refuge is managed for waterfowl migration;... More 

Helpful?
3 Thank WYbirdwatcher
Spring, Texas
Level Contributor
153 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2012

If you like birds, be sure to stop here for some good grassland birds and waterfowl. I went in early July and got to see marbled godwit, willet, long-billed curlew, grebes and lots of mallards with ducklings in tow!

Helpful?
3 Thank Anne T
Montana
Level Contributor
29 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2012

quiet and serene and different birds all the time. nice spot any time of year.

Helpful?
2 Thank 123happytraveler

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