Montana Range Tour: What You Need to Know

Montana’s vast landscapes hold more than just breathtaking views; they are a vital part of the state’s ecosystem. If you’re looking to not only explore Montana but also contribute to its sustainable future, the Montana Range Tour is an annual event you won’t want to miss.

We’ll explore the purpose of the Montana Range Tour, specifically designed for those who are passionate about the state’s rangelands and the important role they play. The tour focuses on building relationships among diverse groups to ensure the health and sustainability of Montana’s rangelands.

Are you curious about how you can be part of this important initiative? Whether you’re a local Montanan or a visitor with a love for the outdoors, the Montana Range Tour offers a unique opportunity to learn and engage.

Let’s explore how this event can not only educate but also inspire a deeper connection to the land and a commitment to its preservation.

7 Key Takeaways on the Montana Range Tour

  1. The Montana Range Tour is a comprehensive exploration of Montana’s landscapes, highlighting the state’s natural beauty and the importance of its rangelands.
  2. These tours are not just about sightseeing but also aim to educate and raise awareness about the significance of Montana’s rangelands, covering 70% of the state.
  3. The Rangeland Resources Program (RRP) plays a central role in organizing these tours, fostering collaboration among various stakeholders to ensure the sustainable management of rangelands.
  4. The Montana Range Tour is designed to be a non-political platform for open discussions, welcoming all who are interested in the future of Montana’s landscapes.
  5. Registration for the Montana Range Tour is done through the Rangeland Resources Program (RRP) website, offering an easy step-by-step process for participants.
  6. The 2022 and 2023 Montana Range Tours were significant events, focusing on topics like ranch management, soil health, and the celebration of the Leopold Conservation Award.
  7. For a more ‘general’ tour, the upcoming 2024 Montana Tour offers a unique biking adventure through south central Montana, showcasing a variety of terrains and local highlights.

About the Montana Range Tour

A scenic highway leading towards snow-capped mountains under a clear blue sky in Montana.

If you are someone who not only wants to explore the breathtaking beauty of Montana but also cares about the conservation and sustainability of its rangelands, then the Montana Range Tour is the perfect annual event for you.

This unique tour provides a platform for like-minded individuals to come together and learn about the significance of managing and maintaining the rangelands in Montana. With its diverse landscapes and rich cultural heritage, the state is home to some of the most iconic rangelands in the United States.

Montana Range Tour Purpose

Two hikers trek a grassy mountain slope during the Montana range tour.

Montana Range Tours has a big mission: to ensure the health and sustainability of the state’s vast rangelands. These tours are not just about sightseeing; they play a crucial role in educating and connecting people who care about these landscapes.

Here’s why the purpose of the Montana Range Tour program is so important:

  • Rangelands and Grasslands – They cover about 70% of Montana with 68 million acres, providing essential habitats for wildlife and grazing grounds for livestock. They also offer critical ecosystem services, like filtering water and recharging aquifers, making them vital for Montana’s environment and economy.
  • Raise Awareness – These tours are designed to increase awareness about the value of rangelands and the need to manage them sustainably. They highlight the delicate balance between human activities and the health of these natural landscapes.
  • Collaboration – The Rangeland Resources Program (RRP) is at the heart of this effort, bringing together a diverse range of stakeholders, from ranchers to conservationists, to share knowledge and work towards common goals. This collaboration ensures that Montana’s rangelands remain healthy and productive.
  • Commitment – What sets the Montana Range Tour program apart is its commitment to being a trusted, non-political source of information. It welcomes everyone who cares about rangelands, offering a platform for open and honest discussions.

The Montana Range Tour program is not just a scenic adventure; it’s a call to action for anyone interested in the future of Montana’s rangelands. By joining these tours, you’re not only exploring the beauty of the state but also contributing to the preservation of its most valuable landscapes.

Montana Range Tour Registration

To register for the Montana Range Tour, you need to visit the Rangeland Resources Program (RRP) website. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through the process:

  1. Click on the provided link to take you to the DNRC’s registration page.
  2. On the registration page, you’ll be prompted to select your payment type.
  3. Next, look for the “Montana Range Tour” option and select it.
  4. Follow the instructions to complete the checkout process. This will lead you to a payment receipt, confirming your registration.
  5. Once successfully registered, keep an eye on your email for a confirmation message.

If you encounter any issues during the registration or have questions, you can reach out to the following contacts for assistance:

  • Stacey Barta at (406) 594-8481
  • Shantell Martin at (406) 531-4584

For those interested in the Montana Range Tour 2024, stay tuned for the release of the dates. Additionally, be aware that the registration process and contacts for 2024 may differ from previous years. This tour offers a great opportunity to explore Montana’s landscapes and learn about its rangelands.

Montana Range Tour Highlights

A dry, barren landscape with grasslands and a hill in Great Falls, where the Montana Range Tour took place.

From exciting local ranch tours to informative workshops and educational sessions, the Montana Range Tour proved to be an exceptional event that brought together experts, enthusiasts, and the general public to celebrate and learn about the beauty and importance of Montana’s range ecosystems.

With a diverse range of topics covered and a variety of engaging activities available, attendees had the opportunity to immerse themselves in the rich history and culture of the region, while also gaining valuable knowledge about sustainable range management practices.

2022 Montana Range Tour

A wide expanse of rolling meadows leading to hills covered with trees during a Montana Range Tour event.

Event DateLocationFee DescriptionTopics
August 30-31, 2022Great Falls International Airport$125/participantMontana, plants, animals

The 2022 Montana Range Tour was a big deal for those passionate about rangeland health. It took place on August 30-31 in Great Falls, MT. The Cascade Conservation District and the Rangeland Resources Program teamed up to host this event.

Here’s what made the tour special:

  • It included a local ranch tour, speeches from experts, and the Leopold Conservation Award Presentation.
  • The keynote international speaker was Alejandro Carrillo, a fourth-generation rancher from the Chihuahuan Desert who shared his success story in managing a ranch in a dry climate.
  • The event also celebrated the 2022 Leopold Conservation Award Winner.

This event was a great opportunity to learn about Montana’s unique ecosystems and how to manage them in the future.

2023 Montana Range Tour

Rolling hills at a ranch tour from the 2023 Montana Range Tour.

Event DateLocationFee DescriptionTopics
July 6, 2023Chico Hot Springs, MT$65/participantMontana, Range & Pasture

The 2023 Montana Range Tour was a key event in Paradise Valley, just south of Livingston. It was a fantastic opportunity for anyone interested in ranching and land management.

The tour included a visit to the Barney Creek Livestock, the 2022 Leopold Conservation Award winner. This was a chance to see sustainable ranching in action and learn from the best.

One of the highlights of the tour was a talk by the special guest speaker, Nicole Masters, from Integrity Soils. She shared her expertise on soil health, a topic that’s super important for anyone managing grazing land.

This tour was not just a fun day out; it was a valuable learning experience for those looking to deepen their understanding of sustainable land management. If you’re passionate about keeping Montana’s landscapes healthy and productive, events like this are a great way to get involved and learn from experts in the field.

Montana Tour 2024

A cyclist riding along a forest path during a Montana tour.

Red Lodge to ColumbusJune 2344 miles (70.8 km)85%15%
Columbus to Big TimberJune 2465 miles (104.6 km)50%50%
Big Timber to LivingstonJune 2565 miles (104.6 km)35%65%
Livingston Layover DayJune 2675 miles (120.7 km)35%65%
Livingston to AbsarokeeJune 2785 miles (136.8 km)40%60%
Absarokee to Red LodgeJune 2845 miles (72.4 km)70%30%

Since the 2024 Montana Range Tour dates are still up in the air, I want to share a general idea of what you could explore. Montana Tour offers a cool adventure where you get to bike around the state.

You can pick between a 3 or 6-day biking tour that takes you through the gravel and paved backroads of south-central Montana. Here’s a look at what each day of the 6-day tour could be like:

  • Day 1: Red Lodge to Columbus – Start your day with breakfast and a late check-in. After that, you’ll head out from camp to Columbus. It’s a chill day with a stop at Cooney State Park and lunch at the end.
  • Day 2: Columbus to Big Timber – Get ready for breakfast and then hit the road from Columbus to Big Timber, passing through Rapelje. Lunch will be on the way.
  • Day 3: Big Timber to Livingston – Breakfast, then off to Livingston through some scenic backroads. You’ll have lunch and then head back to Natural Bridge State Park to explore more. This route follows the base of the Absaroka and offers close views of Livingston Peak and Shell Mountains.
  • Day 4: Livingston Layover Day – Start your day early with breakfast, then take a full Livingston Loop. If you’re not biking, you can enjoy a sack lunch in the park. There are also chances for fly fishing and other fun stuff.
  • Day 5: Livingston to Absarokee – Breakfast and then off to Absarokee via Bridger Creek Road. You’ll have lunch on the way, enjoying the views of the old Bozeman Trail.
  • Day 6: Absarokee to Red Lodge – Enjoy your final breakfast at Absarokee before heading out through East Rosebud, a Wild & Scenic River, and Luther, Montana. The tour ends with a festive lunch at the Beartooths.

Montana Range Tour Final Thoughts

Soft evening light bathes the Montana range, casting warm hues over the rolling hills and green meadows, creating a serene atmosphere.

The Montana Range Tour isn’t just a scenic adventure; it’s a vital platform for anyone who cares about Montana’s rangelands. These tours, organized by the Rangeland Resources Program, offer a unique blend of education and exploration, highlighting the importance of sustainable rangeland management in Montana.

They cover a significant portion of the state, providing essential habitats and ecosystem services. The program’s commitment to being a trusted, non-political source of information ensures that it’s a welcoming space for all who want to learn and contribute to the preservation of these landscapes.

Whether you’re registering for the tour or joining in on the biking adventure planned for 2024, each experience promises not just breathtaking views but also a deeper understanding of what makes Montana’s landscapes so special.

The 2022 and 2023 tours, with their focus on ranch management and soil health, have set a high bar for what participants can expect. As you prepare to go on your own Montana adventure, remember that these tours are more than just a journey; they’re a call to action to safeguard the future of Montana’s most valuable natural assets.

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Written by:

Elizabeth Hawley
Hey, fellow travelers! I'm Elizabeth Hawley, stepping into the world in the hues of fall. For me, Montana is more than just a state; it's a muse. The golden aspen trees and russet landscapes in the fall have always fueled my creativity. Co-founding was a no-brainer, blending my love for art, photography, and Montana's ever-changing palette.

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