RV Sites
Tent Sites
Fires Unknown
Pets Unknown
Drinking Water
About Hellgate Campground

Hellgate Campground and Group Use Shelter Area is located 30 miles east of Helena, Montana, along Montana Highway 284 or 21 miles north of Townsend, Montana. In July of 1805 the Lewis and Clark Expedition traveled through the Canyon Ferry area exploring and mapping the Missouri River. When Lewis visited the area he described it as a beautiful and extensive plain country of about 10 to 12 miles wide which extended upwards further than an eye could see. In the 1850s the gold rush hit the Canyon Ferry area attracting miners from all over the United States in the hopes of striking it rich.


Canyon Ferry Reservoir offers a wide range of year-round recreational opportunities. Water related activities include everything from swimming and fishing to sailing and motor-boating. Canoeists and kayakers explore the many quiet backwater bays. Jet skiers, windsurfers and water skiers skim the summer waves, while winter draws ice fishermen and ice skaters.


Hellgate Campground and Group Use Area Shelter is the largest developed campground on Canyon Ferry Reservoir with 69 campsites. The campground provides a mixture of single and double campsites, three group use shelter areas with electric, boat ramp, parking area for boat trailers and several day use picnic sites.

Natural Features

Hellgate Campground and Group Use Shelter Area sits along the banks of Canyon Ferry Reservoir in an open valley between the Big Belt and Elkhorns mountain ranges. Along the bank of the reservoir there is a narrow riparian canopy that provides partial shade.

Nearby Attractions

Hellgate Campground and Group Use Shelter Area is located halfway between Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park. The city of Helena, Montana, the state capital, is 25 miles away and the city of Townsend, Montana, is 21 miles away. For up to date events visit, click here

ADA Access: N

Bureau of Reclamation
Drive In
Boat In
ADA Accessible
Alcohol Allowed
Drinking Water
Phone Service
Picnic Table
Trash Available
Water Hookups
Hellgate Campground is located in Montana
46.6177 N
-111.6401 W
Get Directions
From Helena, MT: Head east along Co Rd 430/Canyon Ferry Rd from Helena, MT, continue for 38 miles to the Hellgate Campground and Group Use Shelter Area sign and turn right. Continue straight until you reach the campground. From Townsend, MT: Head north on Hwy 284 for 21 miles and turn left at the Hellgate Campground and Group Use Shelter Areasign. Continue straight until you reach the campground.
4 Reviews of Hellgate Campground
Not my kind of camping

I know everyone has their own likes and dislikes when it comes to a site. I treasure seclusion, trees, and a lack of crowds/people. This site is by some beautiful water, but that’s about all it has. No trails, everything is wide open and people can really get packed in there. That being said, it’s ok for a quick weekend trip if you live in Helena. Not my first, second, or third choice tho. Lots of RV’s. Keep in mind that this is the same for all of the sites in the canyon ferry/Missouri River area. Just not for me.

Great Group Use area

Large campground on the east side of Canyon Ferry. Two very large group use areas. If you like camping in the trees you will need to get one of the first several sites along the creek, most of the other campsites are in the open unless a large cottonwood is growing on the edge of the lake. Large day use shelter. Boat ramp with lots of parking for boat trailers. Lots of pull through sites for RVs.

Scenic Shores

Canyon Ferry Lake is an expansive lake reaching 33 miles from Townsend to Helena, MT. Gorgeous scenery that is reminiscent of the ocean: long, white-sand beaches, warm waters (in the summer), and the lake disappearing into the horizon. Hellgate Campground is the largest developed campground with 69 campsites along the banks of the lake. Some campsites are for single cars only and some have space for multiple vehicles. Each campsite has a designated fire ring and picnic tables. Verizon cell coverage is available. Rated a four-star because this campground is popular and fills up quickly, a little too populated for my personal preference.

First to Review
Lakeside camping less than an hour from Helena

This site has extensive day-use picnic areas and a regular campground. This is a totally open site with no shade or privacy. If you don’t have a boat and don’t want to BBQ, there’s not much to do, but the views are pretty all around. Went here with a local. If you’re visiting Montana from out of state there are, IMHO, much more beautiful and Montana-y options.