Enjoy the Trails

Grant Kohrs Ranch offers over 10 miles of trails to explore. There are several interconnected routes, allowing visitors to choose their own adventure. There are two distinct areas of trails, allowing access from either side of the ranch. The areas connect via the Clark Fork River Bridge, but the hours, parking area and pet access are different for each. No potable water or restrooms are available on the trails.

 

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green grass in front, sunlight red shed to right, mountains in distance with fog in front, duck in flight
Mornings like this one are a great time to view birds as you walk the trails.

NPS Photo

The Home Ranch

Open 9:00 am to 5:30 pm Memorial Day through Labor Day, 9:00 am to 4:30 pm the rest of the year. The parking lot gate will be locked at closing time.

Accessed from the main parking lot near the Visitor Center, this parking area offers restrooms and access to staff at the Visitor Center for information and maps.
This area of the ranch was settled by Johnny Grant and then sold to Conrad Kohrs, who turned it into the headquarters of the historic CK Ranch. The trails take you near the many of the historic buildings on the ranch. No pets are allowed beyond the Visitor Center parking area.
Begin on the Visitor Center trail and travel west toward the historic buildings. There are interpretive waysides and displays in and around the historic buildings.

 
looking down the length of a wooden boardwalk with green deciduous trees and shrubs on either side
The Nature Trail winds through stands of trees, where many species of birds and wildlife make their homes.

NPS Photo/ Bruce Wright

Nature Trail

The Nature Trail can be easily accessed from the Visitor Center Trail. Walk about ¼ mile west from the Visitor Center, just west of the 2nd railroad trestle. The trailhead kiosk is on the south side of the visitor center trail.

With little elevation change, the Nature Trail provides an opportunity to take stroll along and view many birds and other wildlife. The trail meanders thru a grove of willows and cottonwood trees as it circles around an irrigated hay meadow to Cottonwood Creek. After following the creek to the confluence of the Clark Fork River, it turns north along the river for approximately .5 miles to Cattle Drive. From this junction, there are options to follow the river to the Superfund Site Interpretive trail, follow cattle drive to the West Range Trails, or east to return to the parking area.

 
 
Interpretive wayside sign has historic image of smelter stack and large title "Pollution Stacks Up"
One of several interpretive wayside signs connecting the history of the area to the Superfund Remediation along the Clark Fork River.  Toxic soil was removed, new soil brought in, and new vegetation has been planted to restore the natural environment. Walk the trail to learn more.

NPS Photo

Superfund Interpretive Trail

Located just east of the Clark Fork River Bridge, the Superfund Interpretive Trail is an approximately .2 mi long.

Enjoy this newly developed trail that will help explain why you see new vegetation in the newly remediated area along the river. Learn how mining pollution up-stream affected the area, see an example of contaminated soil and learn more about the superfund remediation.
 
Golden meadow in the fall with a moose in the front and white-tailed deer grazing to the back, willows frame the meadow behind
The trails can be enjoyed through all seasons.

NPS Photo/ Michael Oestreich

The West Range

Open dawn to dusk.

The west range of the ranch provides a peaceful walk through natural grasslands and wildflowers as well as near irrigated hay meadows. Wildlife such as deer, moose, and several species of birds can be enjoyed as you walk through the fields.

The trails through the west range of the ranch can be accessed from the Washington Street Trailhead. From main street in Deer Lodge, turn west at the traffic light, onto Milwaukee Street. Travel west on Milwaukee across the Clark Fork River bridge. Washington Street is the 3rd street to the right. Turn right onto Washington Street and travel north until it ends at the trailhead parking area.

Pets on leash are allowed on these trails, west of the Clark Fork River. There are no restrooms or water available at this trailhead.

 
two track trail follows a ridge into the distance, mountain behind with dark storm clouds  in sky
The Big Gulch Trail follows the ridge to the west as a summer storm gathers over Mount Powell.

NPS Photo

Big Gulch Trail

The Big Gulch Trail offers a moderately strenuous hike, 2.3 miles roundtrip, with approximately 120 feet of elevation gain/loss. It also offers some of the most sweeping views available on the ranch, especially when walked counter-clockwise. This is also home to many varieties of wildflowers.

Begin at the Washington Street Trailhead and walk the trail north for .61 miles. Turn west at the base of the bench and walk up a slight incline, following the ridge. Follow the trail as it goes west, then gradually circles southwest, around the gulch for 1.36 miles. Then take left path to continue to the east to complete the loop. Enjoy the sweeping views as the trail makes a significant decline back near the start of the loop.

Last updated: June 8, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

266 Warren Lane
Deer Lodge, MT 59722

Phone:

(406) 846-2070 x250

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