Hebgen & Quake Lake
Hebgen Lake can be viewed from the ranch. and draws the majority of its visitors in the summer months. Hebgen Lake has some of the best dry fly lake fishing in the state of Montana. Rainbow trout, lake trout, whitefish, pike and bass.
Neighboring the national forest and surrounded by breathtaking mountain scenes and beautiful pine trees, a trip to Hebgen Lake presents unforgettable fishing opportunities for any fly fishermen. In 1959, the Hebgen Lake earthquake produced a shocking 7.5 magnitude quake, the strongest ever recorded in the Intermountain West and the Rockies.
Just a few miles west of Parade Rest Ranch along Highway 287 begins the auto tour of the 1959 Quake Lake Earthquake disaster. Drive by Refugee Point, building destruction, the Duck Creek and the epicenter of the earthquake. The earthquake was the largest in Montana’s history. The resulting landslide and the lake it formed are still an impressive sight and a grim reminder of nature’s awesome power. This earthquake caused 28 fatalities and about $11 million in damage to highways and timber.
The Visitors Center overlooks the slide area and lake. Educational exhibits with information about wildlife, earthquakes and other geographic phenomenon line the walls. Highlights include a working seismograph, authentic photographs of damage taken in the days shortly following the quake, and recollections from the survivors. An observation room, informational videos and outdoor boardwalk share the story of the slide. The visitors’ center is open 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week from Memorial Day through mid-September. Fees are $3 per car, $15 per tour bus, and $1 for hikers/bikers. Golden Eagle, Golden Age, and Golden Access passes are honored.