Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Great Falls, Montana 59401

Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge Professional Review and Guide

"Benton Lake is an amazing wetland surrounded by gentle hills of shortgrass prairie, and acts as a magnet for birdlife. Because the marsh is a natural prairie pothole, water levels are dependent on meltwater from the winter snowpack. During most years, additional water is pumped to this area by way of the Greenfields Irrigation Project. Drought years can have a significant effect on bird populations here.

Benton Lake and Fort Benton were named in honor of Senator Thomas Benton of Missouri. The senator was instrumental in promoting western expansion and development during the late 1800s. In the 1860s, Lt. John Mullan established the first wagon road in the region. The Mullan Road stretched from Fort Benton on the Missouri River in Montana to Walla Walla on the Columbia River in Washington. The Mullan Road once passed through the Benton Lake area. This eTrail provides detailed information on birding strategies for this specific location, the specialty birds and other key birds you might see, directions to each birding spot, and helpful general information."

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Trail Information

Great Falls
Nearby City
Several options
Trail Type
1 day
Best spring, summer; May, June, September
Best Times
Montana Highway Map
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018