Ninepipe National Wildlife Refuge

Activity Details

From Missoula:39.7 Miles
Activity Type(s): Day Hikes Wildlife Viewing Hikes
Website:Visit Website »


This exceptional wetland complex contains over 800 glacial potholes and a 1,770-acre reservoir. About 200 bird species have been recorded. A jointly managed viewing area is just off US Highway 93 on the east side of the reservoir, about 0.75 mile south of the junction with Secondary Route 212. An access road and paved trail provide for waterfowl and shorebird viewing; the trail is barrier-free. Nesting great blue herons and double-crested cormorants can be observed from the road on the west side of the refuge. Follow SR 212 along the north shore for 2 miles to the dike entrance to view ducks, grebes and short-eared owls. Duck Road offers viewing of pothole ponds for about 2 miles: to reach it, turn west off US 93, 1 mile north of SR 212. Superb viewing of raptors in winter.


Ninepipe NWR is located in northwest Montana near Ronan. From Ronan (45 miles north of Missoula), go south on US Highway 93 for 4 miles and watch for refuge, Waterfowl Production Area, and Wildlife Management Area signs. The area lies on both sides of Highways 93 and 212, and is bordered by several county roads. Signed parking areas are located along many of the roads.