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the essence of bison
Overview: One of two short trails along Red Sleep Mountain Drive. These are the only two spots where you can leave your vehicle along the loop drive. This hike goes to the summit of Red Sleep Mountain, which is the highest point in the refuge.
Hike: From the large parking area, first head to the north end and look at the interpretive signs regarding Glacial Lake Missoula, which has some neat history of the area. After that, head back to the south end of the parking area, where the trail starts on the west side of the restrooms.
The trail follows an old road south as it heads uphill towards the summit of Red Sleep Mountain. The trail surface is in good condition and is easy walking, although you will notice the elevation gain. As the road climbs, it will curve around the west, then the south side of the hill, before approaching the summit from the south. On the day we were there, there was plenty of fresh bison evidence on the trail. There is a solar panel and about a half dozen picnic tables at the summit. Views in all directions are outstanding as you scan the hillsides for wildlife or have a snack at the tables.
When done, retrace your steps back downhill.
Warning: This is a wildlife refuge; stay aware of your surroundings. Do not approach wildlife along the trail.
Check out the Official Route and Triplog.