Rapelje & Molt

Population: N/A
Elevation: 3,480 feet

Rural life is at the very heart of Rapelje and Molt. Locals wake up every morning to views of the Snowy Mountain Range to the north, the Crazy Mountain Range to the west and the Beartooth Mountain Range to  the south. In this part of Stillwater County, where the wildlife outnumber people, the Hailstone and Halfbreed National Wildlife Refuges are unique recreational and sight-seeing opportunities. An extensive antelope hunting district draws hunters from across the state and country. If pie, coffee and conversation are the only recreation you are seeking, visit the Stockman Cafe, owned by the Rapelje community, whose pride is reflected in the wholesome meals that are served there. Molt visitors can experience an old time country cafe.

Agriculture is the mainstay of these communities, with grain being the most important crop. Livestock and gas wells are also common to the area.

Hailstone National Wildlife Refuge is part of the Big Lake Complex, a large drainage area beginning with Hailstone to the north and ending at the state-owned and managed Big Lake to the south. This complex is one of the most productive areas in central Montana for waterfowl and was established as a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife. This 1,913 acre refuge is noted primarily for its waterfowl and shorebirds. Pronghorn and sharp-tailed grouse are frequently seen in the upland areas. Hailstone Basin was the location of a gun battle between Piegen and Crow warriors who enlisted the help of local ranchers from Park City on February 16, 1885. The Piegens had stolen horses from both parties and fled to this site where two ranchers and one Piegen warrior were killed in the ensuing battle. The refuge is open to hunting, hiking and bird watching.

Halfbreed National Wildlife Refuge is centrally located in the Big Lake Complex. The refuge receives the freshest water and most of the migratory bird use. When wet, these basins provide highly productive breeding and staging habitat for waterfowl and shorebirds. The refuge is open to bird watching and hiking.

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