Flying D Ranch: Bison Viewing Area
- Things to See, Scenic Drives, Wildlife Viewing
- General info
Located just south of Gallatin Gateway on Spanish Creek Road
This is the private property of media mogul Ted Turner. One of the first things he did when he bought the ranch was to remove all of the fences on the 130,000 acres to allow his bison herd (as many as 5,000) to roam as freely as they did in times past. Fortunately for visitors, there is a Forest Service road that traverses his property. The hundreds of “Turner Enterprises” signs along the road are a clear reminder that you are on private property if you leave the road. The road terminates at a trailhead and National Forest Access area.
While following the road, it is highly likely that you will see at least a few of the bison. On a good day, you may see hundreds if not thousands of them on the hillsides. This is probably the closest you will ever come to seeing a herd close to the size of herds that once roamed these areas. If you want to take pictures, do so from your car window. DO NOT get out of your car if bison are anywhere nearby. They can accelerate from standing still to 50 mph in seconds. They will charge suddenly and be on top of you before you can take your finger off the shutter. Almost every year, a tourist gets gored by a bison somewhere in the state because they got to close.
To find the ranch take Hwy. 191 into the Gallatin Canyon just south of Gallatin Gateway. Immediately after you enter the Canyon, watch for Spanish Creek Road veering off to the right of the paved road. As soon as you pass through the gate just a few yards ahead, you are on Turner property.
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