Lost Trail National Wildlife Refuge

Quick Facts

Lost Trail National Wildlife Refuge


(406) 858-2286

Map Directions

Things To Do



Lost Trail National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is located in the west-central portion of Flathead County in the serene and picturesque mountain drainage known as Pleasant Valley. Because the Refuge is relatively new, many public use activities are limited at this time. Refuge policy and regulations require the development of various public use plans before an activity can be allowed. These plans will receive public input during the administrative planning process. Public use activities that are currently allowed include hunting, wildlife observation, wildlife photography, and environmental education. Wetland habitats consist of sub-irrigated wet meadows composed primarily of reed canary grass. The Refuge encompasses the 160-acre Dahl Lake, a partially drained, shallow wetland system. Surrounding wooded slopes are composed of aspen, ponderosa pine, and douglas fir. Upland areas are a mosaic of prairie grasslands dominated by a variety of cool season native and non-native grasses. The habitat diversity of the Refuge supports a wide variety of wildlife species. At least 14 species of migratory and breeding waterfowl use wetland areas. Various species of marsh and shorebirds are present during the summer months, including sandhill cranes, bitterns, and black terns. Both golden and bald eagles nest on the Refuge. Resident mammal species include white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, moose, and black bear. The threatened grizzly bear and the endangered gray wolf are occasionally spotted in the Pleasant Valley Area.

Map of Lost Trail NWR

Latitude, Longitude: 48.185202, -114.915791



  • Auto/Motorcycle

    Explore the Refuge on gravel and paved roads throughout the area.

  • Historic Sites

    Prior to acquisition, Refuge lands were privately owned and managed as the cattle and horse ranch known as Lost Trail Ranch. The ranch's long and diverse history of cattle ranching dates back to the late 1800's.

  • Hunting

    Hunting is permitted in accordance with Montana state hunting regulations.



Lost Trail NWR can be reached via Highway 2 by traveling west from Kalispell approximately 20 miles to Marion. Turn north at Marion onto Pleasant Valley Road. After approximately 1.3 miles, take the right fork and continue on the blacktop until reaching the graveled road; continue on the gravel road for approximately 13 miles. The Refuge Headquarters is located north of the county road.

Phone Numbers


(406) 858-2286