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Old 07-01-2020, 05:14 PM   #1
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Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge

Some images from our trip to Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge in SW Montana about a month ago. Considerations:
1. The area is quite remote, so fill your tank sometime before leaving the pavement.
2. Cell phone reception is spotty at best.
3. The roads are fine, but they do get muddy after rain and snow melt. Some sections can be inundated in spring. The north end of the valley has a coarse sandy track that drains much better than the road on the south side.
4. It is high elevation (about 7,000 ft), so weather can turn any time of the year.
5. If it is not freezing, there are lots of mosquitoes!
6. The landscape and wildlife are phenomenal. Birding is spectacular. Note that there are both black bears and grizzly bears in this area, so leave no food or trash out that is accessible to them.
Bird species in the images: trumpeter swans and white-faced ibis.
Attached Thumbnails
_DSC2614 Camper van in Centennial Valley, Montana, USA-2.jpg   _DSC2728 Camper van in snow, Centennial Valley, Montana, USA-2.jpg   _DSC2531 Trumpeter swans (Cygnus buccinator), Centennial Valley, Montana, USA-2.jpg   _DSC2950 Camper van in Centennial Valley, Montana, USA-2.jpg   _DSC2203 Mountain slope and water in Centennial Valley, Montana, USA-2.jpg  

_DSC2226 White-faced ibis (Plegadis chihi)  Centennial Valley, Montana, USA-2.jpg  
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Old 07-01-2020, 05:23 PM   #2
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Sounds like you managed some peace & relaxation, Great pics!
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Old 07-01-2020, 09:25 PM   #3
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Yep, I love this area. Very few people! ��
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Old 07-01-2020, 11:17 PM   #4
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Very nice looking scenery. I'd love to do a trail like that. Were there camps along the way or do you just boon dock?

BTW nice job on the photos. Anymore?
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Old 07-02-2020, 06:20 AM   #5
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Awesome. I'm making a note so next time I'm out that way I can check it out.

I do know about MT muddy dirt roads after rain. Not fun.
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Old 07-02-2020, 10:19 AM   #6
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There are 2 campgrounds on the refuge that have an outhouse:
1. at Lower lake: open area, grassland, sage, view of lake.
2. at Upper lake: more trees, secluded, no view of the lake (but you can walk to the shore), potable water from spring.
North of the refuge there are BLM sections to boondock. Also, further north there are Forest Service lands.

Stay off private land.... Get a navigation app/GPS that tells you if it is public land or not. Much of the valley is ranch land.

Here are some more images. On some of the images you can see the coarse sandy soil that drains well. This is on the north side of the valley. The other roads can get muddy, and there are inundated sections sometimes. Don't slide off the road in the ditch (which you cannot see because it is all under water). Just loosely hold the steering wheel and let the tires do their job in finding the ruts... the ruts keep you on the road and out of the ditch. Fortunately these soils are not too bad, nothing like the clay (gumbo) of central and eastern Montana... once those get wet you cannot really drive and you just have to wait till they dry out sufficiently.
Attached Thumbnails
_DSC2659 Sunset Upper Red Rock Lake, Centennial Valley, Montana, USA-2.jpg   _DSC2906 Centennial Mountains and Centennial Valley, Montana, USA-2.jpg   _DSC2265 Sunrise in Centennial Valley, Montana, USA-2.jpg   _DSC2770 Camper van in Centennial Valley, Montana, USA-2.jpg   _DSC2966 Camper van in Centennial Valley, Montana, USA-2.jpg  

_DSC3579 Old shed and mountains,  Centennial Valley, Montana, USA-2.jpg  
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