A state of staggering variety, Montana is truly one of the nation’s best camping destinations. The eastern part of the state characterized by badlands and prairie, the west is where most of the fun is found. Camping in Montana means sleeping in some of the most sensational landscapes anywhere in the USA.
With no fewer than 50 state parks and two of the greatest national parks in America, Montana is an adventurer’s paradise. The brightest star in Montana’s firmament is Glacier National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is blessed with magnificent mountainscapes. If you’re looking to go camping in Montana, Glacier should be at the top of your list.
Many explorers look for camping in Montana’s Yellowstone National Park, a sliver of which lies along the state’s southwestern border. Few people know this, but Montana is a superb access point to the world’s very first national park. If a visit to Yellowstone is on your itinerary, make sure to enter the park via the scenic Beartooth Highway.
Another great camping destination in Montana is gorgeous Flathead Lake, located within the Kootenai Tribes Flathead Reservation and the contiguous USA’s largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi. Numerous recreation areas surround Flathead Lake, offering excellent picnicking, fishing and camping. More adventure-minded travelers might want to attempt an ascent of Granite Peak, the highest mountain in the state.
If you’re looking to travel off the beaten path, Montana offers you plenty of opportunities to do so. With more than 70 different mountain ranges belonging to the giant Rocky Mountains chain, it is easy to unplug and get closer to nature while camping in Montana. Pick a lesser-known campground and explore Montana “behind the scenes”.
In addition to fishing, rock climbing, and camping in Montana, there are myriad other ways to enjoy the state’s glorious natural scenery. Go mountain biking, whitewater rafting, horseback riding, backpacking…the list of choices is never-ending!
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Whether you’ve arrived on foot, by car or by rail, Apgar places you in an excellent position to take advantage of what Glacier has to offer. This is particularly true for first time visitors, and those seeking to avail themselves of regular access to park amenities, which are predominantly concentrated here in West Glacier. Apgar is walking distance from the Apgar Visitor Center and park shuttles, as well as Apgar Village, camp store, equipment rentals, etc. I was privileged to camp here near the end of season, and fortunate to arrive with spaces open, and the adjacent loop closed for the season and maintenance. Traffic near the entrance can be relatively heavy in the morning, drivers trying to get a jump on limited parking for hikes elsewhere, leading up to checkout.
Situated near the southern outlet of Lake McDonald into McDonald Creek above the middle fork of the Flathead, it worked well as a great jumping off point to explore landmarks on the West shore like the Apgar Fire Lookout tower and Fish Creek camp, and then push North and East into the park visiting the Lake McDonald Lodge as you climb toward Logan Pass. Recommend getting here around checkout, it fills up fast on a first come first serve basis. Same for the shuttles, particularly if you’re planning a longer outing like the Highline Trail. Parking fills up quickly at Logan Pass, shuttles fill up quickly here. Pay attention to schedule changes for both directions of your journey, give yourself time to enjoy the park, and get to the shuttle stop before the last shuttle.
Pros: Newly remodeled hot showers, which are apparently free to use for through hikers as well. Well maintained sites, helpful host staff. Close to park infrastructure and Lake McDonald
Cons: Busy, fills up quickly. Farther away from the park’s major trails.
I have not had the pleasure of renting the cabin, but I have seen it while riding in the area. It's a lookout cabin; so it stands high on stilts to watch for fires. I have ridden some of the trails and it's a beautiful place to ride deep in the forest surrounding the lake. The trails are clearly visable and very easy to ride. It was a beautiful place for a picnic.
This area is for dedicated horseback riders or hikers. The road getting there is horrible it's very washboard e and the going is very slow. I do not recommend it for any kind of RV or camp trailer. When I go out here to ride I usually take my least favorite horse trailer a big living quarters trailer will not go down this road with that said this is actually a fantastic place to ride Young Horses. There is huge Open Fields. There are also a lot of sandstone Cliffs and deep gullies a very big good assortment of varied Terrain to teach young horses for trail riding. Because it is BLM land you can camp but there's not really any camping spots. People do lease this land for their cattle so there are cattle no motorized vehicles allowed beyond the fence. There is a small parking lot big enough for a couple small horse trailers no bigger than three or four horse.
Second time we stayed here, first time was in the back by the road and yes there were a few rigs and atvs but was more quiet than most campgrounds with regular traffic. Second time we had a spot on the lake, great access to the beach and a couple trails for walking the dogs. The facilities were clean and the staff were very nice. West Yellowstone was a short drive, I enjoyed the solitude away from the highways. The boys enjoyed the kayak rentals, it would have been nice if someone helped launch them and putting them away.
Lake mountains means live love ☺️
This quaint little campground is easy to get to right off the gravel road. It sits right next to the stillwater river. There's a really cool, elevated cement lookout area next to the river to set up your chairs and fish. Theres also a vault toilet and picnic spot. Across the river is a rock ledge swimmers use to dive off of into a deep pool.