Eagle Migration Day Trip

The fall Golden Eagle migration at Rogers Pass or Bridger Mountain Ridge is a great way to spend a fall day in Montana’s Big Sky Country.  It also gives you a chance to check one more thing off the Best 100 of the Montana Outdoors.  The first two weeks of October are the climax of this event.  Along with the golden eagles there is a great chance to see bald eagles at the same time.  Our day was spent at Rogers Pass on the Rocky Mountain Front where we saw a total of 21 eagles that day and three of them mature bald eagles.  It is said that there were as many as 230 eagles seen in one day at the Rogers Pass site which is a record for the United States.  There have also been fourteen different species of hawks spotted at the site as of 2002.

While in the area we passed over the Dearborn River High Bridge which is on the National Register of Historic Places.  We cruised by Bean Lake where we saw a couple more eagles and this lead us to drive on into Augusta Montana. Augusta is a small Montana town with a couple of eateries, a couple of bars, a general store and a gas station to serve your basic needs.  From Augusta we drove west to the Gibson Dam as pictured below.  There are great views and photo ops from above and below the dam.  From the dam we took a drive along the west side of the Sun River Wildlife Management area on the Beaver Willow road south to Benchmark. It was on the Beaver Willow that we spotted the Ruffed Grouse pictured below. From Benchmark we headed back toward Rogers Pass where we saw eagles again and from there we were homeward bound.  We did not see any elk on the drive but we did see Whitetail and Mule deer and we saw a number of coyotes. Along with the wildlife the views of the Rocky Mountain Front are awe inspiring.

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