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!
This campsite is listed twice. Maybe someone added a new one and didn’t see this one. This one does have a good description of the campsite. Great campsite. The pictures should give a good idea of the area and the great campground. As well as rules and costs. The river is across the highway.
This is an fire lookout that has been converted to accommodate renters. It has panoramic windows with breathtaking views of glacier park and flathead valley. It is well kept and clean, with propane appliances, so there is heat and a stove to cook on as well as propane lamps on the walls inside. Sunsets and sunrises are particularly amazing from this location. I highly recommend waking up before dawn to watch the sunrise over Glacier National Park. The one downside is that the road up can be kind of rough, but any vehicle with decent ground clearance should be able to make it (like a Subaru).
We booked a deluxe site here because that’s all they had left. You could easily have paid the same for a decent hotel room. The patio for the deluxe sites was tiny, basically the size of a small sidewalk. The sites were really close together and didn’t provide any privacy. Bathrooms were ok. If you get a tent site or cabin along the edges of the campground then this could be a great place to stay. The store was really nice as were the staff. If you are a KOA diehard or have a huge rig then this might be a good option. Otherwise try to get a site inside Yellowstone to be closer to nature.
Our stay here was really good. The sites are large and wooded. Lots of amenities and activities for kids. The bathrooms were incredibly clean. Tip: showers in the bathrooms by the pool. They are huge and you can lock the door so no one else can come in.
The location was really odd through. It was sandwiched in the middle of a mobile home park and between an industrial area off the highway and the back of a strip mall. You could easily walk to shopping from here if needed. It wasn’t bad, just really unusual. If I was in the area I’d stay again despite this. Friendly staff and well kept overall.
We changed our minds the night before arriving about what part of the park to explore so we joined the mad dash before 8 am to find a FCFS campsite! It was stressful as people exited the entrance station and made a mad scramble. We were shut out of our first choice (Sprague Creek) and got one of the last available sites here. But the upside is that we made fast friends with the people who were leaving the site we ended up occupying! The sites in Loop B have pull-through driveways and most are very spacious. Ours could easily fit our van and screen tent with lots of room left over. Lots of trees but not necessarily between sites. We were just so grateful to find a site that it didn’t even bother us (much) that the dumpster was right at our site and we would hear the occasional crash of the lid. The bathroom in the B loop was clean enough but no soap and NO lights (you needed to bring a flashlight even during the day). You do need to purchase firewood outside of the campground - closest location is Lake McDonald Lodge or Apgar. Favorable features of this campground are easy access to a shuttle stop and the Avalanche Lake trailhead.
Right on the edge of the Yellowstone River, about 90 minutes north of Yellowstone NP. This is an RV Park, so no tents are allowed. The view of the river and the mountains is fantastic. And, it’s close to dining in Livingston if you want that. Laundry facilities and a larger than average store. Pet friendly. The sites are small. But, I would definitely go back.
Great place to camp for free! There are about 15 sites that fill up really quick! Hebgen Lake is beautiful and so fun to kayak on! The only bad thing is there is no quiet time and people were playing loud music until about midnight.
Confederate Campground is a Bureau of Reclamation campground on the shore of Canyon Ferry Lake. This small free campground does not have developed campsites with the exception of the one ADA available campsite. Their appears to be six camping spots, five that have rock made fire rings, the only developed site is the ADA site which has a concrete parking pad and metal fire pit. No picnic tables are available at this campground. The campground does have a ADA accessible vault toilet directly across from the ADA campsite. Two of the campsites sit along the lakes beach. Don't be expecting a nice sandy beach however, this is a gravel beach, but still nice. Two sites are near the vault toilet and ADA site, these sites sit on the edge of the lake among cotton wood trees and willows. The final location is away from the other sites in a grassy area near large cotton woods. Camping at Confederate campground is limited to 14 days. There is no water, trash service or picnic tables so come prepared. Their is not a boat launch at this campground, but boats can easily be launched from the rocky beach area. All water craft regardless of size must be inspected prior to launching at Canyon Ferry Lake.
We stayed in a cabin at Lake Five 28 years ago so when planning this trip, we decided to stay again particularly since it put us as close to the campground in Glacier NP that we hoped to snag a site at. The cabins are essentially the same but now there are electric hookups for the RVs and a live entertainment stage (we were there on a Monday so did not see any entertainment). The other thing that is different is that there are fewer mosquitoes (I remember they used to be vicious) due to bats (although I did not see any). Located right on a lake just a few miles from the west entrance to the park, there are accommodations to fit everyone’s needs. Cabins, some with bathrooms, some with kitchens, RV sites, and tipis. In my opinion, Cabins 1 and 2 are the best with full lake views but these are larger cabins and better suited for families. We stayed in Cabin 8 this time, with a bathroom but no kitchen. We had a picnic table and fire ring so enjoyed our dinner outside. The cabins are rustic (think summer camp) but clean. They have very limited outlets! One in the main room, used for the fridge and fan, and one in the bathroom, so don’t plan on charging your devices after being in the woods camping! Make sure you bring towels– while there are sheets on the bed, there are no bath towels. Cabins are a bit pricey but that is to be expected in a prime location. The RV sites are close together; the sites on the outside of the loop are more private with trees behind them. Sites 1-8 have NO privacy or separation between them and while lakefront, the view is filtered through the trees. Other amenities include a utility sink, showers (for campers only) and reasonably priced laundry, although with only one washer and dryer, there was a big back-up! This is a great place from which to explore Glacier National Park or just relax by the lake. Lots of families swimming and boating and hanging out. The office is open from 9am-9pm. Owner Ron has a dry sense of humor and is very welcoming, along with his two very large dogs. The resort is open spring through fall, with discounts in the spring and fall. Check is the preferred payment when making a reservation and you will receive a confirmation as soon as the check is received. Note if you are using Google Maps: if you are approaching from the west, Belton Stage Road is gravel (about 1.5 miles) but there is another paved entrance from the east.
Needed a one night spot on the way to Theodore Roosevelt NP, and came across Yellowstone RV and Campground. Little noise due to its close proximity to I-90. Clean bathrooms with showers. Pool and other fun amenities. Friendly staff…great for just a one night stay.
Campground with 22 sites, vault toilets, bear proof garbage, and plenty of water spigots. Placed at the base of 'wagon mountain' there is a small day use parking area, and 22 sites. We stayed in site 1 over a small bridge. It was a bit close to the highway. There was minimal night traffic, but it's a popular motorcycle road so the morning had more noise.
Make sure to pack any food in bear proof containers or a hard sided vehicle.
If your motto is “Anything for the views”, this campsite is absolutely worth it. The lake just beyond the campground is stunning, with spots to lay out and look either direction for waterfalls and stunning views.
However, the campsite is littered by a SWARM of mosquitoes. It is unlivable, unless you are prepared with endless bug spray and screens and clothes that can cover every square inch of your body. We spent our entire time sprinting between our tents and the water, swatting bugs every step of the way. I wish I had a picture of the bits across my face just to prove the point.
But if you are prepared, or hiking through, a stop down by the lake, where there aren’t any bugs, is well worth the stop!
The greatest backcountry campsite I’ve ever been to. This site is pristine! The tent sites are right along the water, the pole is already set up to hang your bear bag and there is a ready-made fire pit with benches to sit on. To top it off, the whole site is clean, easy lake access, and a top notch backcountry shitter.
You are doing it wrong if you don’t brave the cold for a dip in the clear turquoise blue water. I simply can’t praise the site enough.
The only downside is there are a decent number of mosquitoes, so make sure to bring bug spray.
I thoroughly enjoyed this park. The campground is a large field for the most part and the sites are located around the circle. As many other reviewers have mentioned, it is not very private, but I thought the camp sites were fairly well spaced out and I didn’t feel like we were crowded at any time. There are not a lot of trees, but we had no problem moving our chairs under the nearest cottonwood and getting some shade. I liked the open feel of the campground surrounded by the canyon. It was a pleasant change as we had just left Glacier National Park which is incredibly busy and packed with people. The park has enough room for tents and RVs. There are 3 cabins centrally located and a tipi, which we stayed in for a night- as it was a nice change not having to set up our tent after having done so the last two weeks on our trip. Water is easily accessible, bathrooms are clean, showers are available but for a fee. It was $3.00 for six minutes. There is a visitor center at the campground as well as a gift shop and cafe near the cavern. We took a cavern tour and really enjoyed it. It was a short but all uphill climb to the cavern, and then a 2 hour tour. Very informative.
Beautiful campground right on the lake! I advise you to bring a good vehicle because North Fork rd is very unstable and conditions are not good. It’ll take you over an hour to drive 15 miles but it’s well worth it
This is THE campground to go to in Glacier-especially if you have an RV or if you have a tent but don’t want to risk not getting a backcountry permit. It has a multitude of campsites and parking spots, as well as being walking distance from the lake and shops (gift shops, restaurant, convenience store, firewood, ice cream, crafts, and more). Beautiful sunset over the lake’s mountains too!
This is a very busy campground in a stunningly beautiful park. We selected this campground because it is one of only 2 in Glacier National Park that accepts reservations, and its close proximity to Lake McDonald. We stayed in the D loop (loops are A-D). Of the four loops, this one was my favorite. The A loop had larger sites, but they were less private. The A loop is the only loop with showers as well, so a lot of campers come thru to hit the shower. We hit the shower mid-day and were lucky that there was no line and a little hot water. Our loop had a mix of sites, but mostly tent campers. Some have direct views to the lake, some are along Fish Creek, and many are little more than a driveway with a picnic table & fire pit. We had to put our tents, one medium size & one small, in the driveway due to no other space available. The ground was incredibly hard to put stakes into and the gravel drive put a hole in my sleeping pad. The bathroom was within a minute walk and there are several water spickets around each loop. Being “bear aware” is essential in this area, so all food & food prep items have to be stored in your vehicle or one of the communal bear boxes. The camp hosts offer wash basins for dishes and there is a grey water dump at the bathroom. For the most part, it is a relatively quiet campground, as most people are off exploring the park every day. We did have a large group of loud campers/partiers next to us one night that resulted in a small swarm of park rangers showing up, but I think this is probably unusual. Apgar Village is nearby where you can get everything you may need and more…gifts/souvenirs, ice cream, firewood, boat & bike rentals, coffee, etc. Glacier is amazing!…but very busy & with really only one road going thru the park for the most part. Be prepared for crowds but relax & take in the beauty of it all.
We normally avoid KOA campgrounds - preferring to stay away from large campers pushed together. Our experience was not what we expected. We were the only ones in the last loop. With the way our teardrop faced we couldn’t see anyone else. This gave us a small campground feel.
There are lots of activities - from mini-golf to dog park to river access. We took advantage of the amazing showers.
Walking around was a surprise too. We followed a trail by the river and it led around a pond it was short but away from everything.
Nice place to stop for the night, no designated sites but I set up a pop up in the parking lot and it worked great. Two blocks off of Hwy 2, restrooms available but not showers. It may be a little close to active railroad tracks for a light sleeper.