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Helena National Forest, MONTANA
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Most Recent Helena National Forest Camping Reviews
10/10 would not recommend

This campground had dead animals, dog feces, ant hills everywhere, and the camp host tried to lie about tent policies to try to extort our family out of more money. Not to mention he threw himself in front of my husband who was leaving the campground, even though his passengers corroborated his experience, the camp host later screamed at me that he was going to call the cops and I am disabled due to PTSD. I have been going to this campground for 30+ years and would never go back after this last experience.

Quite and peaceful area with Great views

We have stayed here many times and enjoyed the area very much.  If what you are looking for is exploring history and wildlife then this is the place.  Campground is located on the edge of a small town with all pull-thru sites and FHU's.  Tv reception is good with all the major channels, ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX and PBS.  Verizon and AT&T are good.  The park WiFi is very good.  You are surrounded by several mountain ranges.  The town offers fuel and groceries with numerous dining options.

Ranger Review of Mountain House Chicken & Dumplings at Duck Creek Primitive

Ranger Review of Duck Creek Primitive Campground

We had a weekend district Scouting camporee at Duck Creek campground and really enjoyed our time. Even with several hundred Scouts attending we had plenty of room to spread out and have a large area to our selves.

Duck Creek Primitive campground is located along the shore of Canyon Ferry Lake at the end of Lower Duck Creek Road. Duck Creek primitive campground is a large open area along the lake allowing camping on Bureau of Reclamation land. This is primitive camping, all you are going to find here is a flat grassy area to camp with rock fire rings. No p { margin-bottom: 0.1in; line-height: 115%; }facilities, no water, no trash, no outhouse so come prepared. A lot of the area is in the open with out trees and windy. You can find trees for a wind break in several spots in the camping area. Firewood was not a problem when we visited due to all the available driftwood. Their is no cost to camp at Duck Creek, however there is a 14 day stay limit and all Bureau of Reclamation camping rules apply.

Ranger Review of Mountain House's Chicken & Dumplings

Our new Scout BSA Girls Troop/Venturing Crew gave Mountain House's Chicken & Dumplings a try during camp. I think their was a problem, after taking a taste I handed it to the two girls in camp to try and next they I know they are handing me back an empty bag and they wanted more, this after already eating a full meal before hand. This is the real thing, it would hard to make one at home that taste better than this did. How good, one of our adults in camp asked how much they cost as she would consider serving this at home. I definitely know what one of the meal choices for our backing trips this summer are going to be. This is by far the best Mountain House meal we have tried so far, and that Biscuits and Gravy was hard to beat. Scouts gave it a 6 out of 5 starts.

Favorite in area

Hiking boating good ramp

Really nice

Near the water. Good hiking

Great

Close to the water. Lake is fun

Newly upgrated FAS

Wolf Creek Bridge FAS got a big upgrade over the winter.  The fishing access site is now fully paved.  No more parking in the mud or dirt.  With the upgrade the old vault toilet is gone and two new vault toilets have replaced it.  The site still has five campsites but four of them have been relocated.  One site sits at the entrance to the FAS, one site sits in the same location near the highway, the other three sites have moved across the parking area and sit near the vault toilets.  All sites have picnic tables, the three near the vault toilet have metal fire rings.  I expect that the other two will have rings soon.  Site still has no water or trash service.  This is a great location to start a nice day long float down the Missouri River, even better now that it is paved.  Site gains a star.

Ranger Review of Mountain House Lasagna and Little Log Tent Only Campground

Little Log campground is a small 10 site tent only campground in the Log Gulch Recreation Area on Holter Lake. Located just past the larger Log Gulch campground this small campground sites in a gully above the lake. Flat locations to put a tent are limited due to the slope of the ground in the campground, but each site does have a flat area for a tent, however it may be hard to find room for more than one tent. Most of the choices for tent placement are at the end of the parking pad next the the picnic table and fire ring. The campground cost $15 per night, has trash service, running water and a double vault toilet. Each site has a picnic table and metal fire ring. A short distance from the campground and across the street is the day use area for the recreation area, where fishing appears to be good as we saw several large fish taken out of the lake in a short period of time. Registration for campsites is located in the day use area on the side of the road as you enter the recreation area.

Ranger Review of Mountain House's Lasagna with meat sauce freeze dried meal.

Gave this Lasagna a tried and liked it. Did find that it seemed to need something to make it real good, and that would be a packet of Parmesan cheese, if they would include the Parmesan to put on the lasagna after cooking then this would be an awesome meal. Even with out the Parmesan this is a good meal. Following the instructions and stirring well resulted in a well hydrated hot meal. A little on the saucy side, but the texture of the noddles and meat are spot on. At 2.5 servings per bag this is perfect for two people, the meal was a little two much for just me to eat on my own. Can't wait to eat this again on my summer backpacking trips, but will be bringing a little Parmesan to put on it.

Ranger Review of Wenzel Boulderdasche 33 Backpack and Log Gulch Recreation

Log Gulch Recreation site has two campgrounds for a total of 72 campsites, Log Gulch and Little Log. The main campground Log Gulch Campground has 60 sites, plus two tent walk in sites. This is a paved campground with gravel parking pads. A large day use area with boat ramp, marina, fish cleaning site, Ramada and beach are below the campground across the road. The campground features a ranger station, two vault toilets (a third one can be found in the day use area), running water, trash service and a Ramada located at the top of the campground. Sites 1-13 are best suited for RV's. Two of the sites in Log Gulch are walk in tent only campsites. After sites 1-13 all the other sites are very nice large sites with plenty of room for tents, however finding a flat place may be challenging as the campground is built on a hill. Grassy sites can be found in the center of the main loop. All sites have picnic tables with fire rings. A small creeks runs along the edge of the campground. Two trail heads are at the campground, one at each end which connect to 4 miles of hiking trails. Fishing appears to very good at the marina as I watch two very large trout be pulled out of the water in a short period of time.

Ranger Review of the Wenzel' Boulderdasche 33 Backpack

I took this pack on a 7.5 mile hike and found it to be a comfortable pack that held everything I needed for a day hike. Like to retro look of the pack. One of its features is a padded internal laptop sleeve, which works well holding a hydration bag. Another feature I liked was that the clips were metal not plastic so I won't have to worry about cracking them when putting the pack down on the ground. Two side pockets and a top pocket have plenty of room to hold frequently used items so you won't have to open up the whole pack each time you want something. A chest strap would have been a nice feature to have. Loops on the back, bottom and top of the pack make it possible to strap additional items to the outside of the pack if needed, which could allow this pack to be used for an single overnight trip if you are a lightweight backpacker. A pretty nice pack for the price.

Peaceful

Spent the day fishing here. A beautiful and quite relaxing day.

Parking Lot Camping

Departure Point campground is basically camping in a parking lot. Four "campsites" are lined parking spots in a large paved area with a picnic table and fire ring at the end of the parking spot. The four spots are right next to each other. If you want to set up a tent you will be setting it up on the pavement. The area has two vault toilets, running water and trash service. Down below the camping area is a nice day use area with four picnic tables three of which are covered and right on the edge of the lake. Camping is not allowed in the day use area along the lake. So if you want to tent camp you will want to head to one of the other BLM campgrounds on the lake.

Ranger review of Wenzel's Windy Pass Mummy 0° Sleeping bag and Holter Dam C

Holter Dam Campground Review

Holter Dam Campground at Holter Dam Recreation site is a BLM 15 site campground located just below Holter Dam. All 15 sites at the campground feature covered picnic tables with a fire ring. All the sites sit along the edge of a very large parking area. 13 of the sites have plenty of room for tents on a nice flat grassy area. Two sites are close together and have limited room for tents. The campground has a double vault toilet with numerous water faucets, and dumpsters. A second vault toilet can be found at the boat ramp area just a short distance from the campground. An ADA campsite sits right in front of the vault toilets. The concrete pad for the ADA site extends to and surrounds the fire ring allowing wheelchairs to get as close to the fire as they want. Campsites run $10 an night (½ price for senior and access pass holders). Keep an eye out on the surrounding hills around the campground for Big Horn Sheep. While staying at the campground we saw 5 sheep on the hill next to the campground entrance.

Ranger review of the Wenzel Windy Pass Mummy 0° Sleeping bag

I was quiet pleased with the Windy Pass 0° Mummy sleeping bag. The bag is roomy, giving you room to turn around in the bags with out needing to have to bag turn with you. On the bags stuff sack it says it is a cold weather bag 0-20 degrees. I slept warm all night with the temps dropping into the low 30's with it raining all night (snow was on the ground on the hills above us). I was quiet pleased with the amount of padding the bag provided during the night as my sleeping pad failed to hold air, but I was still able to sleep comfortably on the hard ground. I got up several times during the night and each time I was able to warm back up in just a few minutes after getting back in to the bag. It will be interesting to test it out next winter in colder weather to see if it meets its temperature claims. I weighted the bag, and at 4 pounds 10 ounces, you might not be taking this one out on a backpacking trip, but for the front country camping you can't go wrong with this warm bag, specially for the price of $45.

First to Review
How Rugged Are You?

There are a lot of cabin rentals in western Montana. This is one of the easier ones to access. That being said, DO NOT attempt it in a car. You need HIGH CLEARANCE. And forget about winter months unless you intend to snowmobile or snowshoe in.

Facilities are rudimentary, and in the summer months, there’s a huge fly problem. Bring everything, including propane cylinders.

But for the price, it’s a fun excursion, even if you end up deciding to sleep in the SUV. I did, and didn’t regret it one bit.

Ranger Review of York Island FAS & Mountain House Biscuits and Gravy Meal

York Island FAS Campground Review

York Island Fishing Access Site Campground sits along the upper Missouri River sitting in mature cottonwood trees and features 10 camping sites and a boat launch. This is a popular and busy campground in the summer. The site has 10 well spread out campsites each with a least one picnic table and a metal fire ring. The campground has one ADA accessible vault toilet. No water is available at this campground and you will need to pack out your trash as trash service is not available. The campground has one ADA Campsite, site #4, unless you really need the sites concrete pad I would avoid this site as it is going to be very busy around the site as it is right next to the boat launch and vault toilet, plus add in the historic sign that is placed in the site. The most secluded site is site 10. If you have a large group then try for sites 6 or 7. Both sites 6 and 7 sit in a large grassy area in the middle of the campground. Site 6 has an extra picnic table. Site 7 is basically two sites in one as a second fire ring and additional picnic tables while not having a parking spot or numbered post for the additional fire ring and tables. Cost for the campground vary depending if you have a valid Montana fishing license or not. Discounted camping for those 62 or older. Cost with out a license is $18 with a license $12. Over 62 with a license $6 with out a license $9.

Ranger review of Mountain House Freeze Dried Biscuits and Gravy meal

Tried out the Mountain House Biscuits and Gravy meal and really enjoyed it. It was a chilly below freezing morning when I tried the meal and was a little worried if it would stay hot, but that was not a problem. You could really smell that it was Biscuits and Gravy once I started pouring in the water. Just follow the directions and you're all set, just make sure to stir well so you don't end up with any dry bits. May not look like a traditional biscuits and gravy, but sure taste like it. I managed to eat all of the two servings but it was a little to much for me so this could easily feed two as stated.

Ranger review of Upper Toston Dam Campground and Liquid I.V. Review

Upper Toston Dam Campground and Boat launch is one of two campground in the BLM Toston Dam Recreation Area. The Lower Toston Damp Campground is located a half mile below Toston Dam. The Upper Toston Dam Campground features four cover camp picnic table sites with metal fire rings. All four of the sites sit at the edge of a large parking area. Between the covered sites and the Missouri river is a grassy area that tents can be set up in. The grassy area slopes down towards the river, this could make finding a level spot for your tent difficult depending on the size of your tent. One could also pitch their tent on the edge of the parking area. The site has a single vault toilet. A small boat launch with a dock is available as well. Their is not water or trash service at this campground. This campground will be a quiet location as it is 5 miles from the highway, the only noise will be from water running over the dam and any trains that come down the tracks located on the other side of the river. This site also benefits from not having any cell phone service.

Ranger Review of Liquid I.V.™ Hydration Multiplier Passion Fruit Flavor

I have been trying out Liquid I.V. for several days now and I am quite pleased with the result. Just drinking one of these a day is keeping me well hydrated, far more so than drinking the same amount of water or other sports drinks during the day. Today I tried out the Passion Fruit flavor which taste great. I would give the flavor 5 starts, all though I do prefer the Lemon-Lime flavor.

Small 2 site campground at Toston Dam Recreation Area

Lower Toston Damp Campground and Boat launch is one of two campground in the BLM Toston Dam Recreation Area. Lower Toston Damp Campground is located a half mile below Toston Dam. The Campground features two camp sites with picnic tables and metal fire rings. The two sites sit on a nice level grassy area with plenty of room for a lot of tents. The site has a single vault toilet and small boat launch. The site has no water or trash service. If you really want a quiet location and be disconnected from your device then this is the spot to camp, you have zero cell phone connection at this location.

Great campground on upper blackfoot river + Ranger Review of Liquid I.V.

Aspen Grove Campground is a nice campground just before Aspen Grove Group Use Campground. Aspen Grove Campground features 19 campsite nestled in a mature grove of cottonwoods, Lodgepole pines, junipers and a few aspens, all sitting on the banks of the upper Black Foot River. The campground is split between two loops. The campground is served by three Vault Toilets and has running water as well as trash service. When entering Aspen Grove Campground turn right at the fort in the road to go to the campground are, a left turn will take you to the group use area. Camping in the Aspen Grove Campground is first come first served. Only the group use area can be reserved. A note about the price of camping at Aspen Grove, in 2018 the fee was $10 but is scheduled to increase to $15 this year. This tends to be a busy campground in the summer. In the winter off season there is no fee to use the campground if weather conditions allow access. On a historical note, Meriweather Lewis passed through this area in 1806 during their return trip.

Ranger Review of Liquid I.V.™ Hydration Multiplier Lemon-Lime Flavor at Aspen Grove Campground

Gave Liquid I.V. Lemon-lime flavor a try and half to say that this stuff tastes great. The flavor is way above the lemon-lime name-brand sports drinks on the market. The mouth feel while drinking liquid I.V. I found to be better at quenching my thirst than those other products. These two factors alone would get me more hydrated. I intentionally tried out Liquid I.V. when I was dehydrated and half to say I could feel relief faster than I would normally with water or sports drinks. I am looking forward to having liquid I.V. with me during several backpacking trips planned this summer.

Clean

Clean. Had outhouses. Pet and family friendly drive to accessible. Tent and camper parking. Right on the water.

It was gorgeous

Visited two years ago while rent camping. It was quite accommodating.

Exposed windy Campground + Midland Radio Review

The Silos Campground located on Canyon Ferry Lake is a Bureau of Reclamation campground with 77 dry sites, 4 gazebos, handicapped accessible restrooms and RV sites. The campground is run by Broadwater County. The 4 gazebos in the campground that can be reserved through the nearby KOA campground.

Silos campground is a large open and windy campground with no tree cover. All the trees are along the lake and provide little to no releaf from the sun or constant winds that blow through the area. The campground consist of 5 camping areas, four of which have boat ramps. One of the camping areas is for tent only camping. Sites are $10 for a single site and $20 for a double site, Stays are limited to 14 days. Golden Age pass holders are $5.00 a night. No Cost during the winter season. The only way to tell if you are in a single site or a double site is if the site number post tells you if it a double site. Each camping area has at least two vault toilets. Each site has a picnic table and metal fire ring. Almost all of the picnic tables are concrete tables.

The campground's four gazebos can be rented for the night for $30 by contacting the Silos KOA Campground which is located just before the Silos campground. The gazebos all have power and lights.

The campground has four small boat launches and one large launch with a marina (Broadwater Bay) for docking your boat. The marina is managed by Silos KOA. If you need more information on either the campground or the marina facilities call 406-266-3100.

On our visit we only found one site that had any protection from the winds, that was site #1.

The campground does not have a store, but the KOA does have one. If you don't fell like cooking you have two options just outside of the campground. Between the KOA and Silo Campground is the Flamingo Grill which is open seasonally. At the turn on Hwy 12/287 is the Silos Junction Bar and Grill which is open year round. The town of Townsend is less than 10 minutes from the campground is you need more supplies.

Ranger Review of Midland Radios X-TALKER T10X3 Walkie Talkie

The X-Talker T10X3 Walkie talkie has a reported range of up to 20 miles and has 22 available channels. These walkie talkies take three AAA batteries. We gave these radios a test shortly after receiving them. Took one for a hike and left another at home. The trail-head for my hike was 16 miles from home and I had a clear crisp signal at the start. While on the hike I added a few more miles to that distance and was still able to communicate without any problems, even while in heavy timber. It wasn't until I started rounding the back of the mountain and lost line of site that the signal was lost, just like all walkie talkies do. We are quiet please with how these radios have been holding up, our Scouts have used them several times and are no worse for wear. Great to use with out Scout group as we can stay in better communication during our activities and trips, especially in those areas with out cell phone signal, which is the location of most of our activities.

A very good quality 2 way radio at a low cost. We have another set of Midland Radios that these work just as well with.

Don’t wake the sleeping giant

This is a hidden gem near the west end of Holter Lake. Over 50 sites with views of the mountains, Holter Lake, and the sleeping giant from various points in the campground. Wildlife abound and fishing galore. Most sites are big enough for a camper and level enough for tents. There is a pavilion and group tent site at the back of the campground, too. Trails connect it to other points of interest nearby.

Great for anything!

For scouts we had a huge campout here (like we do every year) and it still is one of my most memorable campground. The area is super clean, with the only trash I find way out in the mountain. Talking about that, there are cool “mountains” (basically steep hills with some rocks) you can climb or hike, that give you a great view of the area. The bathrooms are pretty clean and not too smelly as well. If you just want to go camping there are amazing places to pitch a tent and in ground fire pits. Also, if you happen to have a boat, you can park it next to your campsite and take it onto the lake during the day.

Nice Group Use campground along the Blackfoot river

Aspen Grove Group Use Campground is a nice group use area sitting on the banks of the upper Black Foot River. The site is a large area with plenty of parking. It is served by a single Vault Toilet and has running water as well as trash service. The group use area is just past the main Aspen Grove Campground. When entering Aspen Grove Campground turn left at the fort in the road to go to the group use area, turning to the right will take you into Aspen Grove campground. Camping in the Aspen Grove Group Use Area is by reservation only. A note about the price of the Group Use area, the current fee is $30 but is scheduled to increase to $50.

Quiet Mt. Campground & Ranger review of the Vivobarefoot Primus Trail SG

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.

Nice small quiet campground

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.

Great camping areas along Newlan Creek Reservoir

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.

Very nice, very busy campground

Holter Lake Recreation Area campground is a very nice campground with 52 camp sites. The entire campground including parking pads is paved. The site also has a swimming beach, boat ramp, docks, fish cleaning station, and accessible fishing walkway. The site has several vault toilets as well as water faucets through out the campground. This is a very busy campground with sites filling up fast, especially on the weekends. All sites are first come first serve, no reservations. If you want to avoid the crowd bring a tent and camp in the tent only area, when we visited no one was using the eight tent only sites, yet all the other sites in the camp ground were full. Each campsite has a fire-pit and picnic table.

First to Review
Roomy and quiet Missouri River Campground

Mid Canon FAS is a favorite stopping point for lunch while were paddling the Missouri River canyon. We can usually find site #1 empty for our lunch break, which is nice as the vault toilet is right next to the site. Mid Canon FAS along the Missouri River has five roomy spread apart campsites. In addition to the campground the Fishing Access site has a large parking area for those floating/paddling the Missouri. This location seems to get little use as a camp ground as we have never seen it full, and very few boat trailers are ever seen in the parking area. The site only has on vault toilet which is at the end of the campground, making for a long walk from two of the camp sites. Access to the river is from a gravel boat launch at the parking area. Easy access is also available at camp site #1 which is why we like having lunch at site #1. Each site has a metal fire ring and a picnic table. No trash service or water at the camp ground.

Quit campground along the Missouri River

Pelican Point Fishing Access Site has four campsites, three sit under large cottonwoods. The site sits along the Missouri River and has two small lakes as well. The sites are nice and roomy with plenty flat ground for tents of any size. The area has one vault toilet. Their is a very large parking area as this is a popular take out point for boats along the Missouri River, a concrete boat ramp provides access to the river. The down side is that their is no trash service or water at the site.