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Montana’s Missouri River Breaks

After leaving Winifred, MT this morning our group drove about 15 miles north into the Missouri River Breaks. Locally, you’ll hear this area referred to as “The Breaks”.

From Fort Benton to 149 miles downstream, the Mighty Mo has a Wild & Scenic designation. This river area and part of the land surrounding the Wild & Scenic Missouri are also in the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument, a designation made by former US President Bill Clinton before he left office. That’s a lot of names for one area and local rancher Matt Wickens has one more – the Bring Your Camera National Monument! The landscapes were truly breathtaking and you could see for miles.

In the distance of this photo you can see the Bear Paw Mountains and the river breaks are in front of the mountains.

I am frequently asked to describe the Missouri River Breaks. Usually, I start out by saying the land seems to be broken. The terms mountain or hill aren’t the right fit, it’s just best to say that there are breaks in the land and a river runs through it.

Cattle ranching, hay crops and recreation are primary uses for the Missouri River Breaks area. Wildlife is abundant. This photo, which was taken by a Chinook, MT local, shows three bighorn sheep in The Breaks. We didn’t see any sheep the day we were there although we kept looking for them.

As you can see from the photos, the Missouri River Breaks area is rugged and beautiful country. I was thankful I had brought my camera to the Bring Your Camera National Monument!

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