The best camping near
Bozeman, MONTANA

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Camp where Lewis and Clark camped

Experience Camping near where Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark and the Corps of Discovery camped at the headwaters of the Missouri river in 1805. Missouri Headwaters State Park campground is a 17 site campground located just a short distance from the confluence of the Jefferson, Madison and Gallatin Rivers. If you are a history buff or just want to learn about the Corps of Discovery journey then this is a must stay. Historical signs about the the Corps of Discovers stay at the headwaters of the Missouri and their journey are located through out the park. If you have never spent a night in a tipi you can do it here, just be sure to reserve it ahead of time. You can see how Lewis and Clark traveled up the Missouri by checking out the dug out canoe that can be found at the entrance of the campground. All the campsites have picnic tables sitting on concrete pads, and metal fire rings. Trash pins, water and vault toilets are also available. All the campsites are nice and flat. Most of the site are of good size with nice grassy areas to set up your tent, a few are a little small and cramped. All sites can be reserved. Many short hiking trails are in the park, be sure to take the short hike up to a vista to get the entire view of the headwaters area. If you like to fish you are in luck, you have four rivers to choose from, all with great fishing opportunities.

Quiet campground on Ennis Lake

We stayed at Lake Shore Lodge Campground while visiting my parents in Ennis.

The campground is situated right on the northern shore of Ennis Lake and has a boat launch ramp for those looking to fish.

We stayed three nights at the beginning of July. Our site had water, sewer, and 30amp service. We were able to fit our 39ft toy hauler in with almost no issues.

The campground is very peaceful and appears to have a lot of seasonal residents.

Wood and ice are available from the front desk. Bath houses and laundry are also available on site.

Primitive walk-in tent camping in a cool riverside spot

Warning: google maps will take you down a small road with houses. Skip that one. Continue straight on the main road and it will have a turn off for the camp. 

At first we we a bit worried about what it would be like. The road there went through 20 some miles of ranching and no trees. Once the national forest starts it is a beautiful area. 

This is also walk-in tenting only. The sites are beautiful and hidden under trees. There is plenty of room between sites giving you privacy. The river is right next to the campsites - perfect sound to relax to. A hand pump water source is here. This is primitive camping in a cool little spot. 

There is a historical site open to tour on the weekend. Natural Bridge site is on the way here with hiking. This is a nice place but it doesn’t handle our teardrop camper.

Good jumping of point for Yellowstone plus lots of rocks for kids to climb

Canyon campground located in a canyon just across the highway from the Yellowstone River is a pleasant campground with plenty of boulders for kids and adults to climb. The boulders are what really make this campground interesting, many of the campsites are tucked in between these large boulders. Canyon is a good jumping off point for the north end of Yellowstone National Park, located 16 miles from the north entrance town of Gardiner. This is a cheep campground at only$7 per night,$3 more for a 2nd vehicle, but you trade a low cost campground for lack of water. You will need to bring your own water for your stay so come prepared, this is also a trash-in trash-out campground. Bear food storage rules are in affect so leave the food in your car or use the bear lockers. Campground has vault toilets and each site has a picnic table and metal fire ring. The one negative about this campground is the proximity to the highway, lots of road noise during the day, a little quieter during the night but for some reason a lot of drivers seen to hit the rumble strip as they drive by making things a little loud at night. Our Scouts used this campground as a jumping off point for a multi day backpacking trip, close to the park so we could get to the back country office early to get a permit before sites filled up.

Perfectly primitive

Great sites right on the Madison

Great Base Camp

I have now been to Norris Hot Springs two years in a row on the last weekend in September. I love the small number of camping spaces and the rules that all campers actually follow (no loose dogs, no generators). The camp bathroom/showers are super helpful and it is awesome to just walk across the parking lot to the spring.

The food is amazing and the staff are all super friendly. Both years I've been, it has snowed either a dusting or an inch-ish. The camp spots do not become a muddy mess and the drive is still easy to navigate on foot or by small vehicle. 

We might make an annual trip here if we can budget in the time off. It is the perfect spot to setup camp and then go explore the area.

First to Review
Camp and fish along the Madison river

Ennis fishing access site is located on the Madison River just on the south edge of town. This is a First come, First serve campground that is walking distance to the town of Ennis. Some sites sit along the river, some spots are more private toward the back of the campground. It appears not much effort was placed in making this site a campground, sites are unlevel and parking pads vary from gravel, to dirt or grass. This is a dry campground like most FAS sites. A small vault toilet serves the area, site are numbered and have a picnic table and appear to all have rock fire rings. Fishing must be good here as this site always appears full when I drive by. Several spots appeared to have nice grassy areas for tents. If you have a large RV you might want to park at a parking area at the entrance and walk in to make sure there is a place big enough for you as the layout of the campground might get a bit tight for a larger RV. The fishing access site is closed to camping from December 1st through April 31st every year.

Totally dug it

We had been doing mostly dispersed camping through the west but decided to stay here after hiking the Pine Creek trail. The trees provided nice spacing and its location nested in the foothills of the Beartooth wilderness gave it a great view.

Yellowstone Northern Access At A Lower Price Point

When it comes to Yellowstone camping can be difficult unless you plan far in advance and prices can soar in the summer months.   For those wanting a little better price points and convenient access to the northern most entrance visiting the Gallatin National Forest is a great option for finding that perfect location and still maintaining access.

I visited this area and was very impressed with the campground and the spacing it provided.   But more importantly I was happy to see that unlike the Yellowstone campgrounds which lack cell signal, at this location I was able to utilize my services through AT&T.    Sure that might not be something everyone considers when traveling, but when you work remotely being able to access the internet through my cell phone is very important.  I had been in the park for several days so stopping here was a good catch up opportunity.

The sites were each well spaced and offered a soft grassy pad for my tent when staying, unlike the darkened dry grassy lands around.   It was almost as though this location was an oasis, despite having no services.

Each sight provides a bear box, picnic table and fire ring, overall very standard for this area.    Additionally there were basic vault toilets which were very well maintained.  One person at the campground actually joked about that being a great hiding place should a bear enter camp…lol

Camping at this location has a 16 night limit and sites are only $7 per night, which is $20 less expensive than the closest Yellowstone campground.  Similar rules apply to this campground as others in the area.   There are no trash services so you have to pack in and out all of your trash.   Generators can be use throughout the camp during certain hours and there are fire restrictions during certain conditions and times (posted on the entry kiosk).   This is an honor system campground with a pay box at the entry, however I did notice it was patrolled at least once nightly by area Forest Service, unlike the pull off sites just beyond camp.

TIPS:

  • If you need anything you can stop off just before turning onto the road at any number of stores, shops or restaurants in the low laying community.
  • If you need high speed WIFI Subway in the local community has the best access for free.
  • West Entrance allows you to split to to east which is where you will spot more wildlife versus the Western side of the park where you will find more of the geothermal features.
A day or two

It isn't all together a terrible place, best for a night or two. We stayed 3 nights. If you have a partial hook up site, they are in gravel, which isn't bad but they are so un-level. It took us longer than usual to set up. The rv sites are also cramped. They young adults who seem to manage the park are not very friendly. The bathhouse is very old and has extremely small shower stalls. The shower curtain barely fits across the opening. If you don't like trains don't go, 3-5 a night.

Will go back!

We stayed in a cabin on the river. One of my favorite spots. It was our first time staying at a KOA and would recommend it.

Camp in a meadow of Wildflowers

Yellowstone National Parks back country campsite WF1 sits on the edge of a large meadow of wildflowers with amazing views of the mountains to the west. Campsite WF1 is the first back country site along Black Butte Trail in the North West corner of the park. It is about a 2.2 mile hike to the campsite from the trail head. Campsite WF1 is open to backpackers and stock animals, however I could see no evidence of any stock animals using this site recently. The site has a large rock fire ring in the cooking area with logs sitting around it to sit on. An arrow on a tree with the site number points to the sites toilet just up hill in the trees. Don't get to excited about the toilet, think of an outhouse with out any walls, and the hole in the ground is not very deep, but a back country site with a seat to sit on is a rare treat. Just on the other side of the large trees at the cooking area is a meadow full of wildflowers, the meadow slopes downhill making a flat area in the field for your tent hard to find, but you can find spots at the edge of the field just in the trees with flat spots for your tent. Water is no problem at this site, the creek is just next to the cooking area, best spot to filter the water is right where you cross to enter the campsite.

Black Butte Trail head(WK2) is located on U.S. Hwy 191. The trail head is easy to miss, the sign for the tail is on the east side of the Highway where the trail starts, the parking area is just south of the sign on the west side of the highway. You will need to obtain a back country permit to stay at WF1. The closest place to obtain a permit is at the visitor center in West Yellowstone. The cost is$3 per person with a maximum of$15 for the night. Site is limited to one group of ten.

A little too isolated

I'm all for getting away but there are benefits of having other campers nearby, especially in grizzly territory. This is definitely a back country campsite. It's free. Pack in, pack out & leave no trace. There is a single vault toilet for all campsites. I only found 3 camp sites. The road up was pretty rough when I went but my Subaru made it all right. Overall a gorgeous spot if it's what you're looking for.

GREAT spot just outside Yellowstone

It's a gorgeous drive up to the campground. Lots of wildlife in this area. I stayed here one cold week of March to get up before dawn and wolf watch in the park. I haven't stayed since but am up that road regularly- winter and summer views do not disappoint! There's a fire pit in each site, and a few scattered vault toilets. Some sites are a little close but there's lots of foliage to give you some space. Definitely an active bear area. I'd stay here again and probably will soon!

Well Spaced

There is a very generous amount of space between camp sites making this campground feel very private. I brought my dog and it was really nice to have all that space. The campground has excellent views of the Bridgers. It's a fairly shady campground, bugs weren't too bad. Each site has a fire pit and a picnic table.

Decent campground

It's $20 bucks a night for tent camping, and has a bathroom with showers. The bathroom stalls are funny. If you sit on the toilet seat, your knees hit the stall door. The shower floors are not nice, but it's still a shower. There is Wi-Fi as well. The guy who runs the campground is very chill. We didn't have to reserve a spot, which was really nice. Overall I liked it. It's only an hour away from the north end of Yellowstone. I would go back.

Excellent camp spot

Excellent camping here. Spots are separated by trees so you can hardly notice any else there. Some are next to the river. Toilets are clean. Tables and fire rings are there too. No trash pick up so pack it out.

Nice relaxing and quiet

Battle ridge is the perfect spot for a weekend getaway quiet and clean!!

Rustic camping with river access

Riverside fishing access that is about 25 miles out of town. Camping is dispersed-like so find a campfire ring and set up. Camping here is simple and pretty rustic. Campsites didn’t have an appealing look but I guess the real draw is fishing. The boat ramp gives access to the water. 

It also has little trails from camp that sneak you to the river. This is a pretty fun feature that gave a private feel to camp. 

A farm is adjacent so only go to the public area. It’s clearly signed but it’s important to respect the locals. 

This is an out of the way spot along a beautiful river. The river is so powerful! We saw quite a few people dropping off boats and moving their cars further down.

Nice green campground on the Gallatin

Red Cliff Campground is a large Forest Service campground in the Gallatin River canyon. The campground has 63 campsites which can be reserved. This nice campground is set among pine and spruce trees. Their are two sections to the campground, the south section is more heavily wooded and has electric sites for$28 a night. The north section is more open, especially at the uphill portion of the loop with sites for$20. Several campsites have steps leading up to the campsite. The entire area was very green, with nice tall grass cover through out the campground. The Campground is set across the Gallatin river from Hwy 191, allowing the river to slightly muffle the sound of the constant truck travel on the highway, still the road noise is the big downfall for this campground. Each site is equipped with a large picnic table and metal fire ring. Bear lockers for food storage are located though out the campground, but you might need to share space with others as one lockers serves multiple sites. Vault toilets are located through out the campground. Water is available as well as trash and recycling. If you need firewood it is available from the camp host. It appears that about 1/3 of the sites are located along the river. If you like to hike there is the Elkhorn trail head at the south end of the campground, and of coarse don't forget to bring that fishing pole.

Busy Hwy means little ZZZ's at night

Moose Creek Flat campground is a small campground sandwiched between the Gallatin River and U.S. highway 191. If you are planning on visiting this campground be prepared as you approach as there is little notice that you are approaching the campground while driving down the highway. Moose Creek Flat is a wide open campground, basically a flat open area with campsites along the river and highway. Campsites have no tree cover. The campground has 13 campsites and site 14 is a large day use only site. Moose Creek Flat is a popular starting point for rafting companies and those wanting to kayak the river. All the sites are along the river with the exception of three pull through sites which are along the highway. Sites 6-8 are near a nice beach. All sites have picnic tables and fire rings. ADA sites are available. Two vault toilets serve the campground and water is available at a hand pump next to the first vault toilet. If you want a quiet nights sleep then you are out of luck, Highway 191 is busy all night so bring earplugs if you are planning on staying the night. If you like to fish then be sure to bring your license and pole as the Gallatin River is very popular fly fishing destination. All sites can be reserved for$20 per night.

A little hidden gem in the woods

Swan Creek campground is a hidden gem in an area where most of the campgrounds through the Gallatin canyon sit along the busy and noisy highway 191. This small 13 site campground sits along Swan Creek a half mile removed from the noise of highway 191. The road to the campground is paved, but be warned it is narrow. This is basically a one lane paved road so drive slow and keep an eye out for wider sections along the road as you may need to back up to one to allow traffic to pass by. The campground has two loops just over a¼ mile apart. The first loop has 6 sites, and the second loop has 7 sites all ADA accessible. All the sites sit along Swan Creek in a mature spruce forest and are equipped with picnic table, and metal fire ring. ADA accessible vault toilets serve the campground, water(hand pump) and trash service is available, bear lockers are located through out the campground. All sites can be reserved and the cost is$20. Being reversible, in a popular recreation area and on the route to Yellowstone this is a hard place to find a campsite on the weekend with out a reservation. While a busy campground like all the others in the area, this is the place to go for a nice quiet nights sleep as the distance from the highway and the flowing creek provide for a peaceful nights sleep.

Gravel road to get to and noisy

First of all you have to get on a 10 mile dirt road to get to the campground. The road is not too bad for a truck or SUV. May be a little challenging for normal passenger cars but doable.

Both campgrounds are nice and close to the waters edge. However a noisy and busy train track for freight trains run on the other side of the river. It feels and sounds like freight trains will run right thru your tent at all times of the day.

The big plus: its free.

Nice and tidy with some mosquitos

Really nice campground with sites being spread apart and not too close to each other. When the sun sets in June and July the mosquitos will come out. They are quite nasty but an hour after sunset they are gone, having a campfire going helps too. A bundle of firewood is 6 bucks and will be delivered to your site. Vault toilets are very clean and smell fresh.

A nice wooded, but loud campground

Greek Creek Campground is a small 15 site campground in the Gallatin National Forest. The campground is located on both sides of U.S. Highway 191. The West portion of the campground has 6 sites and sits on the shore of the Gallatin River. The East portion has 9 sites. The campground is paved with gravel parking pads. Each side of the campground has ADA accessible vault toilets. Sites are$20 per night and all sites can be reserved so the chance of finding a spot available on the weekend will be difficult unless you have reserved a site. I was unable to find an available site and I arrived at the campground at 9am on a Friday morning. This is going to be a loud campground at nice with the busy U.S. Highway 191 running through the campground, so unless you are a sound sleeper you might just want to pass on this campground. All campsites are equipped with a picnic table and metal fire ring. Both sides have water and trash service, including recycling. The campground is nicely wooded with Fir, Spruce and Cottonwood trees. The Gallatin River is a popular Rafting and Kayaking location with numerous outfitters available, the river is also a popular fly fishing destination. If you enjoy hiking many trail heads are available in the area.

Narrow sites but doable

We had all the services except for cable. There is a campstore and pool. Up a little hill and it was well maintained.

Basic RV park/campground with amenities for children

This is your average family campground with RV park and grass closely packed tent campground (like literally right on top of one another split by single pine trees). Very much like a KOA (pool, shop, WiFi, showers, laundry etc.) but half the price ($26/night for basic tent site). No fire pits, there is a picnic table for each site.

Nice campground

This campground is a nice little escape. They have day use areas too. This is a nice place to kick back and float the Madison in tubes like a local. This stretch of river is known for floating and is well suited for this activity as well as fishing.

Nice place to camp

Pulled into the campground late evening and it was easy to get into and out of with my 41 ft toy hauler. Campground was quiet and secluded. The river flows right along the camp ground and made foe a nice morning to get up eat breakfast and then fish for a few hours. Caught a few fish on a PMD. This is a great place for a person wanting to fish and enjoy the area.

Family-friendly campground

The layout of this state park was somewhat unusual: there are five loops within one larger loop with 32 sites plus seven additional pull-through sites on the outside of the loop. There are also three handicap accessible cabins and one tipi. All are reservable. This campground appeared to be very family-friendly, with many kids riding bikes and playing on the playground (first campground I’ve seen in a while that had kids playing on it). There are some trees, but they don’t necessarily provide shade (certainly not for B4!) Flush toilets plus (fee) showers; it was nice that there was HOT water! The path leading from Loop B (where we were) to the bathroom went between one of the cabins and their driveway, making it feel like we were walking through their yard – a little bit awkward. There is one 6.5-mile trail from the campground but the real attraction is the cave tour (and no, Lewis and Clark never saw the caves)! The Classic tour is $12 and lasts approximately two hours and is very interesting. You cannot make advance reservations for the tour, but we had no problem walking up and buying tickets at 5:30 pm on a Friday. It is a 3/4 mile UPHILL walk to the cave entrance and a half-mile walk back to the visitor center when done with the tour. There was also a covered picnic pavilion and a day-use area, but it appeared to be closed when we were there.