When President Theodore Roosevelt green lit the National Bison Range in Charlo, Montana, way back in 1908, it was the first time American taxpayer money was used to conserve the country’s native wildlife. Nowadays, fewer than 500 bison roam these lonesome grasslands, 45 miles north of Missoula, but passers-through also stand a chance of encountering deer, mountain lions, coyotes, bears, big-horn sheep, bobcats, and more than 200 species of bird. Day passes cost $5 per vehicle and may be purchased in the visitors center just past this enormous pile of horns. Or, better yet, buy an annual National Park Service pass for $80 and make the Bison Range the first of many stops within the beautiful system Roosevelt helped kickstart.
58355 Bison Range Rd., Charlo, MT; 406-644-2211.