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By Rick and Susie Graetz
University of Montana Department of Geography 

Time to explore Red Rock Lakes and the Centennial Valley


January 5, 2018

Rick and Susie Graetz

A view of the Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge

From a cluster of old buildings just off Interstate 15 at Monida Pass, a dirt road winds its way through dry, windswept hills before easing down into southwest Montana's high and remote Centennial Valley.

If it weren't for one of the gems of the National Wildlife Refuge system – Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge – very few travelers would make their way through this nearly 40-mile-long valley.

Cattlemen first ventured into the place in 1876, establishing what are now some of the oldest ranches in the state. In the 1880s, determined Yellowstone National Park tourists coming from...

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