EXPLORE: Freezeout Lake Geese Migration

By Beacon Staff

I vividly remember when I was 13, my mom wrangled up my family in Missoula and drove us to a quiet prairie between Fairfield and Choteau. She weathered our whining the entire trip, and I’m glad she did. We arrived at Freezeout Lake on an early afternoon in late March and witnessed one of the most awe-inspiring events of my life. Tens of thousands of snow geese filled the sky, flapping above the wetlands in a vibrant congregation. Our young family stood and watched in a state of wonder.

Every spring, up to 300,000 snow geese gather at the Freezeout Lake wildlife management area during their bi-annual migration along the Pacific Flyway. The massive movement typically occurs at the end of March when the lake thaws, and several organizations host trips to witness the event, including Montana Audubon and the Montana Natural History Center. For more information, contact the history center at 406-327-0405, or Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks’ regional office, 406-467-2646.

How to get there: From Kalispell, drive 185 miles north and east along U.S. Highway 2 through Browning and turn onto Montana Highway 89 past Choteau.

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