We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Features Animals
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Get directions
Address: 922 Bootlegger Trl, Great Falls, MT 59404-6133
Phone Number:
+1 406-727-7400
08:00 - 16:00
Open now
See all hours
Mon - Fri 08:00 - 16:00

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 13 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 8
  • 3
    Very good
  • 2
  • 0
  • 0
Great place to explore

After business meetings all day I went out to be able to walk and stretch a bit. It is a beautiful area and is a place I could sit and watch the birds for awhile.

Reviewed 24 February 2016
Karlina C
Albany, Oregon
via mobile
Add Photo Write a Review

13 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Showing 13: English reviews
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Level Contributor
52 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 June 2016

We went to the visitor's center while in Great Falls. There isn't really a lake at Benton Lake Wildlife Refuge. It is a wetlands. We talked to a worker. We decided not to drive the 9 miles since it didn't appear to be worth it.

2 Thank concertina61
Albany, Oregon
Level Contributor
422 reviews
134 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 February 2016 via mobile

After business meetings all day I went out to be able to walk and stretch a bit. It is a beautiful area and is a place I could sit and watch the birds for awhile.

Thank Karlina C
Oakland, California
Level Contributor
190 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 July 2015

With a morning to spare before joining up with the rest of our tour group, we rented a car and drove out to this wildlife refuge hoping for some interesting birding. We didn't expect much when we started the 9-mile loop drive as the lake was mostly dry. However, once we turned to follow the canal we found where all... More 

5 Thank The Other Jim H
Level Contributor
170 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 July 2015

I probably should have called first (but then likely would have come anyway) because by early July the water levels were low enough that pretty much only one small area of water remains. We did see several shore birds: willet, avocet, sandpipers, and gulls, and a few of the more typical grassland birds like horned lark and sparrows. I was... More 

1 Thank okaugust
Frisco, Texas
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 May 2015 via mobile

Scaring up a pheasant as we were driving up was a surprising start. Good variety of water birds. American Avocets were the most plentiful with a few spotted sitting on nests. Highly recommend.

2 Thank masfw
Great Falls, Montana
Level Contributor
59 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 April 2015

If you are interested in birds this is a must. I have seen numerous birds that I didn't even know existed. There are several walk ways to get closer to some of the birds. Usually see some other wildlife, such as antelope, coyotes and deer

1 Thank Jean M
Alexandria, Virginia
Level Contributor
73 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 September 2014

This was so good, we happily went twice during our visit to Great Falls. An easy drive north of town takes you to this wildlife reserve.the large wetlands supports a large number of waterfowl, waders, peeps and etc. the prairie around contained great grassland species - like chestnut collared long spur.

1 Thank Richard_Milsom
Takoma Park, Maryland
Level Contributor
54 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 July 2014

We visited Benton Lake to see the birds. In the middle of the plains outside of Great Falls, Montana, we were the only visitors our entire stay. And the birds didn't like it. One greeted us at the entrance, another swooped the car and stood in the middle of road as if to tell us not to come here. But... More 

1 Thank smallino7416
Great Falls, Montana
Level Contributor
122 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 May 2014

I will be there again this weekend, the wetlandsvrefuge just a few miles out of Great Falls, full of grasses, birds and life. Think about Ryan's Dam too.

1 Thank algologist
Cheyenne, Wyoming
Level Contributor
369 reviews
105 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 167 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 August 2012

This is truly an oasis -- most of the surrounding country is in dry land farming. Even in August, there was enough water present to provide a good variety of bird life, primarily wading birds with some waterfowl and some grassland birds. Portions of the "lake" were mostly dry at this time, since the refuge is managed for waterfowl migration;... More 

3 Thank WYbirdwatcher

Travellers who viewed Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge also viewed


Been to Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?