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!
Cooper Creek Campground is a nice quiet campground in the Helena National Forest. Cooper Creek Campground offers 20 sites with metal fire rings and concrete picnic tables, and has three vault toilets and potable Water is available from a hand pump. For those who like to fish, the campground is along Cooper Creek and Snowbird lake is just across the road from the campground. Like to hike, the trailhead for Snowbank Creek/Sucker Creek trail is just across the road next to Snowbird lake. The trailhead has plenty of parking space and a Vault Toilet. Like bears, good, this is grizzly bear country so Food Storage Order is in effect. You will have to store your food in your vehicle as storage lockers are not available. Campground does have trash service. Cost in 2018 was $8 a night put this is planned to go up to $15 next year, but still well worth the price.
A Ranger review of the Vivobarefoot Primus Trail SG / Soft Ground.
I really like these shoe, but when I first pulled them out the box I wasn't sure. My first experience with these shoes was a little hard, hard as in, these shoes were hard to get in to. I though I was going to have to send these back, but I finally got them on. These shoe need to be broke in as they are very snug around the ankle. Luckily the shoes get easier to put on as you wear them, but still a bit of a challenge. That snug fit at the top of the shoe has its advantage, you don't get debris in your shoe as there is no room for anything to make its way into the shoe.
I was concerned at first that these shoes would not provide enough protection from rocks, but after taking them out on the trail my mind was changed. I was able to hike a rocky trail easily and comfortably, I even purposely stepped on loose rocks to see how it would feel. While I could feel the rocks, the shoe was tough enough to protect my feet, even the front of the shoe has enough material to protect your toes if you stub your toe on a rock.
A few things to note when you take the shoes out of the box, be sure to put the inserts in the shoes. I missed them at first and wore the shoes for several days before noticing them. While they are slim, those inserts made the shoes so much more comfortable. The shoes have elastic laces, but also come with a set of traditional laces, but the shoes fit so well I could probably go without the laces at all.
We stayed here in our TT with son and daughter-in-law, once we were able to find it. 30 minutes after setup, we noticed a horrendous odor coming through the campground. Strong sewer/sulphur smell, but the host couldn't find the cause in his 15 minute search, so he quit looking. Showers and restrooms were filthy; dirty, buggy, and hairy. Dog in the pool are. We bailed as soon as we could the next morning. This is the only campground (out of 6) we stayed at on this trip that did not ask us for a review, I wonder why………..
Cottonwood Campground is a nice small 4 site campground. While the campground is near Canyon Ferry Lake it is not on the lake. Boat access to the lake is possible from a boat launch in a day use area past the campground, the launch is to a side channel of the Missouri River. While the campground is listed as a dispersed camping campground I would not call this a dispersed camping area. The site has four established campsites with picnic tables and metal fire rings. These four campsite take up the entire area and does not leave on a place to "disperse camp". The site has a ADA Vault toilet and one of the four campsite is an ADA site with a large concrete pad. One thing that is nice about this campground is that you need to know it's here, their is no signage along Highway US 12/287 to indicate that their is a campground here. The site has no water or trash service so come prepared. No fee is charged for the site.
Unplanned road trip from Seattle to Glacier NP. I had planned on staying in Missoula for the night, or at least camping close. It was terribly hot, around 100 degrees at 8pm. We started heading south from Missoula into Lolo Ntl Forest towards Idaho. Every campground we came across was full. Almost to Idaho, we pulled into this lovely place. We pulled into the upper (left) side. There were not many folks camping here, but the right or lower side was full. It was quiet, the vault toilet was clean and stocked. Our site was cut into a steep hill. Tent pad and table were level, but be careful heading the couple feet down to the car. The woods behind us gave me a little pause about bears and wildlife, but we were just fine. It was cool, shady, and quiet. A lovely last night to our trip before pushing back home.
You won't find a more beautiful drive than Hwy 12 through Idaho! I wish I would have taken pictures but I must have been camera'd out after our time in Glacier.
We drove from Seattle to Glacier in one day. Last minute road trip in early August. We did no planning other than what we wanted to do in Glacier National Park.
Stopped at Kalispell for groceries and White Fish for dinner. Decided that was as far as we were going to get for the night. Made some phone calls for a tent opening and no one could accommodate us but Sundance. It's pretty packed together, bordered by a fence on the side. Tents on the outside, trailers on the inside of the U shaped loop.
The good: The folks in the office were super nice. Told up we could pick anything that was free at this point. There is power and water at the sites, some have a shelter built for hammocks or tents. The bathroom had showers and stalls like a KOA or Encore campground. It was pretty nice!
The not so awesome: Our site was down on the far end. Close by train noise every 40 minutes or so. Our site was cramped and lot very even. Our table was so warped it was unusable. The bathrooms were a bit of a trek uphill. The trash was overflowing and pretty gross, we picked some of it up.
We were only there to sleep. Got in, set up, went to sleep, packed up at 5am and headed out to Glacier. It would be a fine base for GNP activities, maybe best in a trailer were you weren't relying on provided picnic tables and could drown out the train.
We took a last minute trip to Glacier in early August. Stayed in Columbia Falls the night before we arrived, hoping to make it to the campground to snag a last minute sight. Arrived at Many Glacier about 8am. Confused about the reservation vs first come first served process. Apparently you must be waiting for a campsite at 5am to be part of the first come first served lotto. We found a spot that we thought was open, as there was nothing posted on the sight number. Unloaded and got set up just to have the ranger come around and tell us we had to leave. They happened to have a last minute cancellation in the reserved area and allowed up to drag our tent over there. She saved our whole trip!
Many Glacier is a great location. Bathrooms are clean and bright, water, bear lockers, and trash are easy to locate. We hiked,rode the boats, chatted with some great neighbors, and heard many tales of bears in the campground. We'll be back, with a bit more planning next time.
Loved everything about this place, and would definitely come back and visit. Here are some things we really enjoyed:
- Campground was easy to locate- I hate when we are traveling from out of town and trying to find a spot and there are no signs. This place was well marked, and actually the GPS took us right here.
- Nice rangers- they helped us find our spot and also told us some great things to do nearby! There is a lake close by and they told us how to get there. Also told us some great hiking spots, which is why we came in the first place.
- Clean- The bathrooms and campground were clean. There was actually TP in the bathroom too!! Shocker!! Dumpsters on site as well.
- Great hiking!!! Look up hikes and GOOOOO!!!
- Campsites are "bigger" which was really like because we didn't feel squished.
Really enjoyed my stay at this campground. The people that were working were super friendly and helpful. They gave me a list of great hikes in the area, and they were definitely right! The hiking was incredible. I love living in Montana and being able to hike some of the best spots ever. Flathead is also an amazing spot, so really any campground in the area is good in my opinion. This campground is known for some of the best sunsets, and that is definitely correct. I have actually stayed at this campground multiple times because the sunset is that great. There is a hike nearby that will lead you to the top of a mountain and the sunset is even better!! Flathead Lake is gorgeous and makes staying here that much more better. You are able to cool off in the lake on hot summer days. This lake is packed in the summer because of the lake and campgrounds. Definitely reserve your spot online or calling because there is no way you will be able to walk up and get a spot in the summer!! The hiking is amazing! The last time I went, the flowers were in bloom and were amazing!! See my pictures attached. That is literally all I took pictures of because they were awesome. Highly recommend this campground!! I will be coming back again and again and again!!
Montana is such a beautiful place to visit. We come every summer but try and hit a new spot in Montana every time. We like experiencing new places, new hikes and new campgrounds! This place was great, definitely met all our needs!! The campground was super clean! We didn’t spot any garbage anywhere when we came! We saw some other reviews that said it was a little dirty, but we didn’t think so! The campsites were decently big, fit our RV perfectly! We stayed 3 nights and loved it. We hiked in the morning nearby, and all were amazing! The hiking in Montana never disappoints. The views are spectacular. We also saw so many deer coming in and out of the campground which we love! This seems to always happen when we stay in Montana :). Lots of chipmunks, birds and deer! We love it. There was a really yummy burger joint down the road that we stopped by on the way to the campground and on our way home! Super good burgers, fries and milkshakes!! The campground has many trees which was great for hanging our hammocks. We hiked in the morning and hung out in the campground in the evening reading in our hammocks. It was pretty relaxing!!
We stayed here while on a hiking trip to Glacier National Park. We stayed in one of the small cabins, but they had RV and tent sites as well. They had a small shop with snacks/food, and souvenirs. We didn't use the pool but it looked nice. The cabin had a nice porch with swings. While small on the inside, it had everything we needed. It was good proximity to hiking within the park.
I love visiting Montana to do hiking and camping. The outdoors here is amazing!! Mountains everywhere, and wildlife everywhere!! The campground was awesome. Here are some things we liked:
- Well kept/clean- this is something that seems to be rare now a days. We liked that the restrooms were clean, and toilet paper was stocked. There are dumpsters in the campground which make it easy to clean up after yourself.
- Awesome hiking! We hiked every day that we were here. The views are amazing!! We did one hike that was 8 miles round trip, 4 miles round trip, and 6 miles roundtrip. All were amazing!
- The rangers were great! They helped us find our spot, and then tell us where some great hiking was!
- Campsites were big. This is ALWAYS a plus!! Also, the campsites have a table and fire ring. We loved using the fire rings at night to make smores!!
We will definitely be coming back! :)
To me, the best part about camping is just being outside and also hiking! If the campground is mediocre but the hiking is fantastic, then its a win-win for me. This campground was "okay," nothing really special about it. It was clean, but a bit small. Thankfully we went during the late week, so it wasn't too busy. We honestly stayed here because it had the nights we wanted available and it was close to a few hikes we wanted to do. The campground, like I said above, is smaller but it was clean and well kept. We got in a bit late, and our campsite was tagged for us so we knew which one was ours. We got up that morning and did a great hike (can't remember name?) that was about 10 miles roundtrip. Some of the best views! Beautiful wildflowers throughout the hike, which I always love. The campsite is pretty basic, with a fire ring and table in your campsite. The table that was in our campsite was a bit beat up, we were a little afraid to all sit on it because we thought it might break! No water spigot, so definitely bring enough water and filtration system if you plan to do some hiking. We stayed here 2 nights, and did 3 different awesome hikes! Probably wouldn't stay here again, but definitely would come back to this area.
Wood Lake Campground located at the south end of Wood Lake is an awesome campground tucked in the mountains near the Bob Marshal Wilderness Complex. One of the nicest things about this campground it the new shinny (very shinny) concrete picnic tables. These are the nicest picnic tables I have ever seen in a campground. The 12 campsites sit mostly in a stand of mature fir and lodge pole pine. The sites are roomy, each having the new picnic table and a metal fire ring. The campground has two vault toilets and a hand pump. It was windy during our visit so we picked site 6 at the south end of the campground, the trees blocked most of the wind. A hiking trail head is located in the campground. The campsites were listed at $6 per night, but a notice was up announcing a future change to $10 per night, still a great deal for such a nice campground. Although we visited in the off season (October) It appears that this is a Pack-in/Pack-out campground.
This campground sits along Ford Creek a few hundred yards below Double Fall, a very nice water fall worth the stop for sure. Be warned if it is wet I would pass by this campground, park up near an area by the road to visit the water fall. When wet things get muddy, and the roads in the campground get bad. We were able to drive down to one site, but had some difficulty getting back up to the main road. The site we stopped at had the picnic table and fire ring about 50 feet apart from each other. We were able to walk down to a second site, but didn't dare drive to it due to the mud. The site has a vault toilet. We believe the listed 3rd and 4th campsites are past the outhouse but didn't want to risk mud bogging in a mini van to check them out. After visiting the water fall we drove six miles down the road to the next campground. Their is no fee for this campground. This is a pack-in, Pack-out site with no water.
If you want to get away from it all, this is the place. It is remote, secluded, and beautiful. If you are looking for peace and quiet, it's definitely available here! There isn't "much" to do…if you're looking for swimming pools, golf courses, yada yada…but if you just want to camp in one of the prettiest places on earth, this is it.
If you were getting ready to hike in from this trailhead the next morning it might be an okay place to sleep in your truck - or warily in your tent because there could be traffic. No picknic table or fire ring and maybe only one flat spot in the dense grass right by the river. It gets a lot colder in a riparian area at night. Decided to go to Big Hole campground instead.
Newlan Creek Reservoir FAS has lots of opportunities for camping. The FAS has six different camping areas. The first three camping areas are right next to each other. They are like three developed campgrounds in a row, to go from one to the other you have to get back on the main road then turn into the next section. The other three camping location are less developed and more spread out further along the reservoir. The first three areas have numbered sites with distinct parking pads. All sites have picnic tables and fire rings. Each section has a vault toilet. Section 2 has a boat launch and dock. An interesting thing was that the campsite numbers do not always go in order, and jump around. Found three sites listed as site #4, two of which were in the same section. Most of the sites in the first three sections are in the trees. The last three camping sections are all in the open with no trees. Water is not available and you must pack out your trash.
I was not impressed with Richardson Campground. This campground has three sites. Be sure to pay attend to the sign at the beginning of the campground "NO TURN AROUND" this sign is correct. Once you get past the second campsite their will not be room to turn around if you have a trailer. A signal vehicle can turn around a tree at the third campsite, but if someone is camped in the third site you may not be able to even do that. The three campsites sit along a small creek. The first site has a picnic table, metal fire ring and a BBQ grill. Sites 2 and 3 both have a picnic table and metal fire ring. The campground has a single Outhouse, not a vault toilet, this is a small wooden outhouse. At the entrance to the campground is a trailhead and a horse corral, an added bonus if you bring horses. Horses are not allowed in the campground. This campground is a "Pack-in, Pack-out" campground with no water.
Lewis and Clark National Forest Grasshopper Campground is a nice campground in the Castle Mountains. As you enter this campground you find a trail head to the left and then a picnic area to the right. The campsites start right after the first of two vault toilets for the campground. At the beginning of the campground loop, right behind the registration box you will find the hand pump for the campground. A creek runs right through the middle of the campground. One nice feature of this campground is once the campground gates are closed and locked, you can still drive to sites 1 and 2 as they are before the closure gate, so as long as you can still drive up the road you can camp. Each site has a picnic table and a fire ring. I did notice at least one site also had a BBQ grill in addition to the fire ring. Sites are $10 per night with a 16 day stay limit.
This is a military campground. It does have hookups and is very nice and quiet. The campground or the host cannot really be held responsible for mosquitos and wind. Its always windy in Great Falls. But the amenities like commissary, BX, Movie Theatre and Bowling Alley are very close and Outdoor Rec people are and camphosts are very friendly and helpful.
Being from Montana, I love finding new campsites that I haven't stayed and doing hikes I've never done. This place was great. The campground was decently sized, very easy to find, and clean. The campground is right off the highway, down a gravel path a few miles. The road is driveable and in great condition. The rangers are super helpful and nice. They directed us to our campsite, and also helped us figure out what hikes to do in the area. The campsites are normal- they have a fire pit and picnic table to use, and the size is pretty big. Each site is spaced out well, and the trees are gorgeous here! We brought our hammocks and hung them while we were hanging out. The hiking nearby is great! Wish I could remember the names of the hikes- Bear Creek might be one of them? Not sure. Anyways, you can look hikes up on All Trails, or ask the ranger! Bring water- there is no place to fill up your water bottles for hiking. We stopped by a store on our way there and loaded up on snacks and goodies. We saw some deer, as well as lots of chipmunks on our stay! The deer were amazing- we saw a huge herd of them one evening! Wish I would have recorded it. Beautiful place, and would definitely come back and recommend.
This campground was a pleasant surprise. We had initially planned to camp at Glacier but were thwarted by fire and smoke. We booked this campground when we arrived at the State Park, no problem. The road circles the campground. There are five loops inside the outer road, with about 7 campsites per loop, and the playground and bathrooms in the center. The sites have electric hookups. We were able to fill our water tanks with spigots centrally located throughout the campground, but could not keep it connected. No sewer, but the bathroom is very convenient. The site was level with a fire pit and very spacious. The State Park was awesome. We went hiking and the cave tour was great. They have two souvenir stores and one cafe near the cave. We stayed there for 4 nights which was perfect for what we had planned. Would highly recommend.
Not much pizzazz with this campground. It's a gravel parking lot next to grandstands and an ice rink. All the sites back up to the southern fence. Spaces are a little tight but not too bad… it's not like you are going to sit outside in a lounge chair in this place. And while I am on the down side, there were a few occasions at night where cars would drive through the parking lot and hang out. Not doing donuts or anything, but it was a little creepy. We stayed here because all other campgrounds in the area were full. But on a good note, it was nicely located, very central to town. The traffic was not too loud and despite it being a non-paved lot, it wasn't too dusty. It was ok. Sorry, no pictures to add.
The campground is located on the far corner of this small Air Force Base. The back-in site we occupied had W, E, S hook-ups and was fairly level though narrow. The camp host was friendly and accommodating. That is where the goodness ended. The mosquitos were incredibly bad. Visibility was less than a mile due to smoke from fires to the northwest. It was windy and dusty. The area surrounding our site was full of broken glass. It served our purpose for a night of rest but it was an unpleasant experience and I would not stay again. Unfortunately I have no pictures to add.
Montana is definitely one of my all time favorite places to visit. Being from Washington, there is so many hikes there, and Montana definitely reminds me a little of Washington- except the mountains are EVERYWHERE!! The hiking here is amazing, and Montana Gulch Campground is the best. The campground was really clean, and actually the bathrooms were clean as well and stocked with toilet paper when we were there. Which is shocking because most campgrounds have nasty bathrooms. The campsite spaces were fairly big, with enough room to pitch 2 tents and have our car in front too. There is a table and fire pit within your campsite. There is also some areas under cover with extra tables. The campground is easy to find, and the road was pretty good. I've been to a few places where the road leading to the campground is crappy. The hiking around here was amazing, recommend!! The staff was super friendly and helped us pick out a few hikes. The views were incredible. Wish I would have taken more pictures, but that just means we have to come back!
Mill Creek is a nice 10 site campground along Mill Creek in the Tobacco Root Mountains. The campground is 7 miles from the town of Sheridan. Note that the sign in Sheridan says the campground is 6 miles away, however it is 6 miles to the forest boundary, then another mile to the campground. The campground features 2 double vault toilets and two hand pump wells for water. This is a well shaded campground due to the large fir and pine trees. In the mile between the forest boundary and the campground about 6 marked primitive campsites can be found as well. Between the 2nd and 3rd campsites is a short trail leading to a large group fire ring with four benches circling it. All the campsites have a picnic table and fire rings. Each site has a large parking area that can easily fit two vehicles. This is grizzle bear territory, food must be stored in your car or the provided bear proof foot locker at the campground.
The BLM's Ruby Reservoir is a disperse camping area. The only facilities at this campground is a double vault toilet. There is no signage on the highway to indicated the campground. After passing the dam look for the first paved turn with a stop sign on the right side of the road, this is your turn, the pavement will stop after a couple hundred feet. Lots of campsite can be found by following the web of roads once the pavement ends. Off road travel is not allowed. Their are no metal fire rings, all the fire rings in the area are made of rocks. Being a primitive camping area this is a trash-in-trash-out site, and you will need to bring your own water. This is a nice area, and I have camped here several times during hunting season. The fishing is decent as well. If you want to find garnets just head to the lake shore and start digging. Small ones can be found on the surface, bring a shovel and dig deeper if you want something decent. If you use a gold pan shake the gravel around for several minutes then flip the pan is the easiest way to find them as the garnets are heavy and will settle to the bottom of the pan. Site is free with a 16 day stay limit.
Good location and very scenic lake at campground! Close to Yellowstone West entrance! No water or sewer hookups! No showers, but community water spouts and port a potty type toilets. Tight space for our Class A motorhome! ($10 sewer dump in town at Yellowstone Grizzly RV Park).
This is a wonderful RV Park, on the banks of the Yellowstone River, just north of Yellowstone NP. Great location with easy drive south to Yellowstone or dining in Livingston a few miles north. Clean modern shower & bath, plus laundry and store.