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Flathead National Forest, MONTANA
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Camping Montana Flathead National Forest
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Nothing beat GNP camping

Typical national park accommodations. Nice and clean sites. Close to Lake McDonald and Apgar visitor center, gift shops and cafes. Be ready to reserve your campsites 6 months in advance. Nice bike path to ride around the area.

Rugged and stunning

This is a paved campground with 3 loops, some reservation and some first come first serve. The campground host told us that he had the cleanest pit toilets in the territory and he wasn’t kidding! It even smelled clean. Overlooking quake lake and the skeletal trees that drown in the 1959 7.3 earthquake that brought a good portion of the mountain down and dammed the Madison river.

Paved roads, water spigots, bear box locations. It was quiet and absolutely beautiful, with the pine cover mountains surrounding it. We loved it!

Great location, Inexpensive, Not very crowded

Stayed at Little Bitterroot Lake last year(Aug 2018) for 3 nights and had a great time. 

After seeing the crowds closer to Kalispell, we enjoyed the slower pace of Little Bitterroot lake. Got a great site, where the tent literally opened to a beautiful view of the lake. 

Nice clear lake for swimming or fishing for trout. All types of boating is allowed. 

We saw many eagles fishing for dinner, and even a snake swimming in the lake.

Great campground

Nice shaded sites (we stayed in B loop). Close bathrooms. Enjoyed the nightly ranger programs.

Beautiful Hungry Horse

Small campsites with nice wooded settling. Very reasonable access to the West gate of Glacier National Park. There is also dispersed camping in the National Forest along this same road for late comers or those who want a little more primitive and quiet experience.

Awesome river side free camping

The road is nice gravel for most of the way in, but the last 500 ft to the shore is a very bumpy dirt road so trailers might have an issue. But that road leads you to a open expanse of rocks next to the rivers edge you can camp on or drive back a bit into a sparsely wooded area. Primitive camping because it’s free, no amenities. But there is a lot of drift wood to use as fire wood and many perfect fire pits made from the rocky ground.

Quiet

Stayed 3 nights on site #8. The site was half shady and half sunny. Large site that we could easily maneuver our 20' camper with room to spare. Notice a nest of young robins getting ready to take their first flight at our site. It is a quiet campground, back from the road with hiking trails around the area.

Pretty Spot

This is a free campsite, we stayed on the lake loop, There is water available. Very busy place. One group of people would leave and there would be someone in the site within an hour or two. There is a loop a little before the lake which is wooded. We were there for July 4 weekend and were told to be ready for an amazing display of fireworks and they were right! Lasted about 2 hours - private fireworks but were beautiful. Husband kayaked and larger boats were in the water. For being as busy as it was the nights were quiet.

Spotted No Bear

We like small, out of the way, campgrounds and this is my husband's favorite in Montana. Campsites are large, quiet, and well looked after by the host. The bathroom facilities were cleaned often by the friendly host. This is a quiet campground that is very close to the ranger station. The campsite was a back in and we stayed in site #6. There were several tents also staying at the campground. There was scat in the site that we believe was elk. Saw several types of birds. If you like quiet, this is the place. Some hiking in the area and lots of beautiful scenery near the campground.

Pretty Spot

Stayed in June 2018 with a travel trailer. We were near the boat ramp so was slightly busy during the day but all-in-all not too bad. It is a favorite spot with the teens for swimming. They were friendly, polite, and teenagers. It is also a very popular area for boating. My husband used the kayak in this large reservoir. Beauty view of the mountains. We stayed on site #4 which is an easy back-in site. Host was seen often.

National Park Campground

Stayed in June 2018 at site C111 (not first or even 2nd choice). The site is up on a little hill you drive up to and down from. We had a 20' travel trailer and even though it was RV listed, it wasn't the best. One set of neighbors on one night were a little rude by putting their tent, car, and eventually picnic table where we drove and we squeezed our truck in. It is a pull through. A tent would be better suited. This is a no-generator area. We received the Senior Pass discount. We've stayed here before but across the road. Bathrooms were clean. Nice view from Lake McDonald.

Nice free campground

Free, close to lake quite campground. The bathroom ran out of TP but what do you expect to get for free? I’ll be back with my own TP

Get here early!

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.

Favorite

This is my favorite place to camp. I wish we would have stayed more the two nights! It is absolutely beautiful here! Will be returning

Enjoy Glacier National Park or just relax at the 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.

West Shore

Good site for a stop onward to Glacier. Very quiet which was very nice!

45 mins to Glacier

Great place to camp with children because of the large, grassy playground and swimming area. Showers and a laundry are on site. Sites have trees and a fire ring. Pull through sites are available.

Absolutely perfect!

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!

Glacier...jewel of the Continent

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.

Great spot

I’ve stayed here a few times now. Decent spots with attention to some privacy. Not 100% privacy but I’ve been at campgrounds where we are on top of our neighbors, but not here. Access to showers is nice, just wish there were more because to not wait in line I’ve had to get there before 5am.

Great experience !

We landed a great spot at the back of loop D. These sites on the outside of the loop have more privacy and trees. Our sit was huge and backed up to a lot of trees. Within an hour of arriving we saw a black bear and her 2 cubs about 50 yards behind our site! Then shortly after that a deer walked into our neighbor’s site.

The bathrooms are what you’d expect at a national park campground. Fresh water was readily available and tasted great. Close to the Apgar Visitors Center so you can easily walk to the shuttle. Very peaceful and beautiful, I’d definitely camp here again.

Really a nice older established RV park.

Right next to beautiful golf course in Polson MT. All the hookups. Pool, hot tub, pickle ball courts.

Nice little campground!

Very small secluded campground with a beautiful little trout stream flowing right through it. Falling asleep to the sound of the stream a few feet away from the tent was very relaxing. Pit toilets only & no water or electric. The mosquitos were pretty bad right at sunset but let up a bit after dark.

My favorite place to camp in the US

Spent a week here 2 summers ago, planning on another 2 this summer. Road in is pretty rough. The view and place is gorgeous though. Good cell service with AT&T. Pit toilet on the other side of the bridge.

Nice Camp

Stayed here in late June. Rained everyday for 4 days but the site stayed nice and relatively mud free. Sites are a little close for my taste so it's a 4* instead of 5, but it's a national park not a backcountry hideaway. Short walk to the restrooms and water dump. Water/trash/food storage facilities are placed frequently throughout camp. Lots of families and tons of RVs. Our rooftop tend set up quite nicely in the pull through site. Buy your wood ahead of time as it is not available at this Campground but is sold in other areas of the park. We reserved online ahead of time but the board at the main gate showed open sites that weren't listed online. Would recommend. Also, all bear camping rules and regs in place, be smart. Sprint had service and internet, Verizon did not, wierd I know.

Well maintained, clean, spacious, lots of amenities and family friendly.

I was reluctant to reserve a site at Fish Creek Campground because they are mostly pull-in, and very few back-ins. I stayed in a couple of sites in Loop A. To my surprise, I was actually digging the pull-in sites because it offered more room to a site. RVs or vehicle combination longer then 21 feet or 8 feet wide with the mirrors are allowed in this campground. It became an interesting entertainment watching RV owners park the vehicles just the way they want it and decorate their site. Each site offers a fire ring, a table which can be moved to anywhere you want, and plenty of trees where you can hang your hammock or temporary clothes line. Each sites are very spacious and you cannot hear the campers next to yours, even if the campground is full. The trees offered great aesthetic and shade to cool down on a very hot day. The camp hosts, John and Mary frequently do their rounds, and converse with the campers, along with the NPS law enforcement. Pets are allowed but has to be on a leash no longer than six feet, and must not be left unattended. 

There are showers and flush toilets, but there are no sinks to wash dishes. Fortunately, the camp hosts offers basins to lend for the campers to use to clean dishes, and must practice Leave No Trace. Scraps must be collected and contained, while the gray water or dirty water must be broadcasted or put in a cat hole at least 200 feet from any water source. The showers are free to use for registered campers. There are several if not a couple of spigots where drinkable water are accessible throughout the campground. 

Wildlife frequent this campground and do not feed them. Be Bear Aware, and always carry your bear spray, and flashlight especially at night. Properly store food or smelly attractant items in a hard-sided vehicle or special bear containers. Coolers are not bear proof. There are secured bear proof lockers that campers can use but it is shared with other campers. Keep a clean campsite, especially when you are not present. Several deers strolled through loop A in the morning, along with squirrels, chipmunks and birds. Fish Creek was pretty clean, and the bathrooms were free from bugs that stare at you as you do your business. There are dump stations near the entrance/exit.  The hosts does sell firewood for a price. I bought mine outside the park. It was tough to keep the fire going because it had been raining on and off. A short stroll between sites 19 and 21 is a mini trail that leads to a staircase to the Southwest Side of Lake McDonald where kids and adults can take a dip in the water. Mosquitos were not a problem but it is good to have protection from them.

Though recreation.gov indicates that the campground is full, there were sites that were open, either from cancellation or no shows. The neat thing that NPS does for the Glacier NP campground, is that they list the campsites' number on the campground entrance window that certain sites are open due to cancellation, and then it becomes first come, first serve. On this campground, the NPS does not take cash, only credit card. You can pay the NPS in the morning if you arrive late. So there are no envelopes where you can stuff cash and claim a site. Please follow the honor system. I was lucky to get a free site for one night because their credit card machine was broken. I did have Verizon cell signal but was very spotty. I am not sure about the other mobile services. Overall, this is one of my favorites because it is spacious, clean, lots of amenities and access to water.

Overcrowded Glacier National Park

We flew into Portland Oregon and drove through the Pacific Northwest to Glacier National Park. The park is renowned as one of the best national park in the US. We visited during August in the peak season and the crowds were huge. You had to wait over 1 hour just to enter the park. The have new visitors center which is very informative. But the parking lot and roads on the western side of the park near our camp at fish creek were crowded beyond belief. Fish creek campground had some good cover for the sun. However like many large national parks the sites were packed in like sardines. The have 178 sites in this camp alone. The site had portable water in the camp and toilets. Our van was too tall to drive on the highway to the sky, so we took the public transport. The experience was a bit like visiting Disneyland and very very touristy. The highway was crowded with weekend bikers clogging the road and impacting the experience. The mountains are stunning and I would love to revisit and perhaps do some trekking into the mountain walk in sites to get out of the crowds. We are planning a trip this Fall to enter from the Canadian side and focus on hiking and back country camping. This is worth round two.

Breath taking

One of the most beautiful places I've ever visited. But be prepared to reserve your spot months in advance.

When can I come back?

This is one of my most favorite campgrounds I’ve ever stayed at. Located at the West Glacier entrance, Fish Creek campground is nestled right next to Lake McDonald. It’s a heavily wooded area, which gave us a lot of privacy between sites. The lake is a quick walk away. Camp hosts were very friendly and helpful.

Ranger Review of The Dyrt's reservation system @ Swan Lake Trading Post & C

For full disclosure we were compensated for this trip for testing the Dyrt's reservation system.

Our trip to Swan Lake Trading Post & Campground started out by reserving the campground through The Dyrts's new reservation system. Reserving the site was extremely easy and fast to use, way better than other systems we have used before. We had a confirmation from the campground with in a few hours of using the reservation system.

Now for the campground. We were highly impressed by this small campground. The tent camping area was located around a small pond/lake. The site has picnic tables and fire rings as well as plenty of chairs available for siting around the fire or along the little lake. The campground has 8 RV sites, 3 cabins and 3 yurts (the yurts had not been set up for the season during our visit). The trading post has all your basic camping needs and anything you need if you forget something, they even have Ice Cream. If you don't want to cook breakfast the trading post will take care of that for you by cooking up a breakfast sandwich for you. The campground provides clean restrooms and showers. Tent sites were very reasonable at $20, just two more dollars than the Forest Service campground down the road which does not have flush toilets or showers. The camp host are very friendly. We were provided with the camps wifi password, but you do have to be on the trading post back porch to use it. The porch has plenty of table an chairs for sitting at. They also have games you can use to pass the time, we didn't use them but was nice to know they were available. It was nice and quiet at night with very little traffic on the highway, plus the creek running by really muffled any noise from vehicles driving by. This campground will definitely be on our list to stay at the next time we visit the Swan Valley and Swan Lake.