Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge in Montana

West Yellowstone Montana
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Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge

Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge is an ideal stop on your West Yellowstone getaway, bringing you a look into a fascinating mountain refuge for Mother Nature’s wild creatures. Read More

  • Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge is a mountain refuge for wildlife
  • Witness the wildlife in their natural habitat
  • See moose, bears, wolves and badgers; view hawks, falcons and eagles
  • Hiking the game trails is a unique experience
  • Take some photos of the surrounding mountains and marshlands


Red Rocks Lakes Montana is a high-mountain wetland area where the lakes and marshes provide a natural habitat for many wildlife animals and birds.


To get to Red Rock Lakes from West Yellowstone, take US Highway 20 west for 12 miles, go northwest on Montana 87 for 5 miles and turn south at the Sawtell historical marker. You will get onto Red Rock Pass Road that will take you west to the Refuge entrance.


The Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge is open all year round but closed on Federal holidays. Hours are Monday through Friday from 7:30 am to 4 pm. The best time to visit is from May through September. Snow frequently blocks the roads in the winter.


Wildlife and bird watching are the top most popular pastimes in the refuge, of course. You’ll see all sorts of wildlife here, from moose, bears, wolves and badgers to the many hawks, falcons and eagles. The wetlands give a secluded habitat for the trumpeter swan and the white-faced ibis.

There are many opportunities to hike in the area, among the variety of wildflowers abloom. There isn’t a designated trail system, but there are two old roads that make great hiking paths. Game trails provide a wonderful experience so you can see the landscape just like those animals did who made those paths. You can fish and take some amazing photos.

Additional Info

This Wildlife Refuge was established in 1935 in order to protect the trumpeter swan. The refuge is a National Natural Landmark, bordered on the south by the beautiful Centennial Mountains from which the winter snows replenish the lakes and marshes.

In the Spotlight

Other Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge Resources

Elk Refuge

Visit the National Elk Refuge in Jackson Hole Wyoming.

Bison Range

Visit the National Bison Range in northwest Montana.