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Montana Birding and Nature Trail
Discover the Nature of Montana...

Trails and Maps

   

Lolo Creek Campground

A Suite of Songbirds

One of the best places on the Trail to see migratory songbirds.

Dense brush by the creek forms idea habitat, especially for American redstarts.

Lolo Creek Campground Site Map

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Field Notes

Breeding season (May/June) is a busy time on Lolo Creek. American redstarts display from willow branches overhanging the stream. Yellow warblers streak by. Catbirds mew while hidden in the alder and dippers walk underwater in search of insects. Rocky Mountain tailed frog (adults and larvae) live under cobble in the stream. Watch and listen for Columbia spotted frogs along the banks.

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Habitat Link

Most of the migratory songbirds nesting here spend winters in Mexico. Upon arriving at Lolo Creek, they find dense alder, willows and cottonwoods by water - just right for nesting. Spend time on the viewing bridge to observe and read an interpretive sign about neotropical migrants.

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Cultural Link

You won't be able to view grizzlies here, but visitors will gain insights into perspectives on the grizzly bear, a former inhabitant of this area and one that may return again. Be sure to read the interpretive sign at the picnic area with the title "Nature depends on your point of view," describing how the Nez Perce and Lewis and Clark viewed the grizzly bear.

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Viewing Tip

Park at the picnic area adjacent to the campground. Walk a short distance to the bridge for accessible birding. May-July is best for breeding birds. In August-September, juvenile birds feast on the berries of chokecherry and hawthorne bushes.

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Helpful Hint

This is the closest public campground to Missoula.

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Getting There

From Lolo Pass, campground/picnic area is 16.5 miles, on the right.
From Lolo, take Highway 12 for 15.5 miles and turn left. Park at the picnic area.

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Contact

Missoula Ranger District, Fort Missoula Bldg. 24, Missoula MT 59804; (406) 329-3750

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