Learn here about the fractured uplands bordering the Upper Missouri River.
Once a hideout for desperados, this new national monument remains much as Lewis and Clark saw it two centuries ago. Float and fish the river, or drive the landscape’s rough wagon tracks in a rugged vehicle—but off-road is off-limits
If you cannot float the Upper Missouri or visit the backcountry, you'll still be able to experience the cultural and natural history of the monument at the Missouri Breaks Interpretive Center at 701 7th Street, Fort Benton, Montana. Winter hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday except for federal holidays. Summer hours (the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend through September 30) are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week. .
The Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument (UMRBNM) covers about 375,000 acres of BLM-administered public land in central Montana. These lands hold a spectacular array of plant life, wildlife, unique geological features, endless recreational opportunities and significant historical and cultural values.
The rugged landscape has retained much of its unspoiled character over the centuries and, as a result, offers outstanding opportunities for solitude and dispersed recreation. In some areas, the BLM lands are intermingled with State of Montana lands and private property. The monument designation applies only to the BLM-managed lands. Landowner permission is required prior to using private property for any activity. A permit is required for recreational use of state lands.
The 149-mile Upper Missouri National Wild and Scenic River flows through the monument. The land and the rugged, surrounding uplands (commonly call the Missouri Breaks) are defined in part by their history. The entire region was the homeland and lifeblood of American Indians.
The river served as the pathway for Lewis and Clark, then the waterway for steamboats and a drawing card for fur trappers and traders. Later, the river and the Missouri Breaks were sanctuaries for desperados trying to stay a step ahead of the law. The land was also a source of hope and inspiration for several generations of homesteaders. Today the public lands in the monument make a significant contribution to the local lifestyle and the regional economy.
Within the monument you can float the river, fish, hike, hunt, drive for pleasure, find a little solitude, enjoy a sense of exploration or simply marvel at the variety of resources around you.