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Montana > Montana Scenic Byways > Missouri Breaks Back Country Byway
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Missouri Breaks Back Country Byway

Missouri Breaks Back Country Byway
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Quick Facts
Designation: BLM Back Country Byway
Fees: There are no fees along the byway proper.
Length, One-Way: 80 Miles (133.33 Kilometers)
Time: 2-3 hours

General Information

Description - The Missouri Breaks National Back Country Byway traverses one of the most geologically unique and historically significant areas in Montana. Nature worked overtime here to fashion a ruggedly spectacular landscape that was first described by Lewis and Clark as "the Deserts of America." Fur traders would later refer to this section of the Missouri River as Mauvaises Terres, the "Bad Lands." The Byway leads the visitor to scenes overlooking the Upper Missouri National Wild & Scenic River. It was designated in 1976 to preserve the very values that are so abundant along the Byway. The Wild & Scenic River from Fort Benton down river to the James Kipp Recreation area is the foremost component of the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail. The Byway northeast from Winifred to Deweese Ridge closely follows the Nez Perce National Historic Trail.

Attractions - The Missouri Breaks Back Country Byway is known for it's Historical, Natural, Recreational and Scenic Attractions.

Location -

Directions from : The Byway begins at the community of Winifred which is located 38 miles north of Lewistown on Montana Secondary 236. Twelve miles east on the Knox Ridge Road is the junction of the Lower Two Calf Road to the north with the Knox Ridge Road which continues east. The Lower Two Calf Road and Knox Ridge Road reconnect within the C.M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge. It is 34 miles from the junction via the Lower Two Calf Road to the Wildlife Refuge, and 23 miles via the Knox Ridge Road. The Back Country Byway involves these two road systems, making a circular trip possible. Several side trips off of the Lower Two Calf Road offer additional opportunities to enjoy the Breaks and the recreational opportunities they provide. The 10-mile long Woodhawk Trail (14 miles northeast of the junction or 20 miles west of the Wildlife Refuge junction) takes you to Sunshine and Deweeses Ridges. Two miles further east, the 5-mile long Woodhawk Bottom Road takes the traveler down to the river, the historic Gus Nelson homestead, and a small BLM recreation site. Three miles east of the Woodhawk Bottom Road is the 2-mile long Power Plant Ferry Road. Until the Fred Robinson Bridge was completed in 1959, the Power Plant Ferry served north/south traffic through here. Five miles further east from the Power Plant Ferry Road is the 2-mile long Heller Bottom Road (36 miles east of Winifred or 14 miles west of Hwy. 191). The bottom itself is farmed for produce, but the drive down has some beautiful scnery and spectacular geology.

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Scenic Driving Missouri Breaks Back Country Byway
ICON Viewing Scenery Missouri Breaks Back Country Byway

More Information

Additional Information:
Montana Scenic Byways - The byways listed here for Montana include four National Forest byways and three Bureau of Land Management (BLM) backcountry byways. Several of these byways are not paved and inaccessible during adverse driving conditions.

Scenic Byways Homepage - National Scenic Byways official web site with detailed info on all national and state byways.


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