Drive US 87 north of Great Falls to Fort Benton, the birthplace of Montana. The Lewis & Clark Memorial stands on the levee in Fort Benton along with several museums covering the town’s history. Take a tour of the Old Fort reconstructed on the original site and experience everything from a blacksmith shop to Native American culture to fur trade information. Stroll along the levee and think of the Lewis & Clark expedition paddling up this river. Be thankful for modern transportation! As you drive from Fort Benton to Chester on MT 223 you’ll pass the site of two separate Lewis & Clark campsites. Near Chester and Lake Elwell you’ll see interpretive signage about the Lewis & Clark expedition. In Chester, turn west on US 2 and drive to Shelby, Cut Bank and toward Browning. Between Cut Bank and Browning is an interpretive marker about Lewis & Clark’s Camp Disappointment.

From Browning, take US 89 south. Just north of the junction of US 89 and MT 44 is another historic marker detailing the Meriwether Fight Site near here. This was the only hostile encounter with Native Americans on the Lewis & Clark expedition. As you continue south on US 89 back to Great Falls, you’ll be driving parallel to the spectacular Rocky Mountain Front through the charming rural towns of Dupuyer, Bynum (Two Medicine Dinosaur Center), Choteau and Fairfield. You’ll be very thankful if you remembered to bring your camera!

QUICK FACTS

Duration: 5 hours, 24 min
Distance: 322 miles [518km]
Highlights: As you drive from Fort Benton to Chester on MT 223 you’ll
pass the site of two separate Lewis & Clark campsites.

A special thank you to Central Montana for this content.