Best Camping near Helena National Forest

Helena National Forest, MT is a great camping destination for adventurers of all types. Helena National Forest is an adventure-filled destination for those who love the outdoorsy camper lifestyle. But it's also great for those who prefer to spend time near the city, exploring and sightseeing. Ready to plan your adventure? Check out our campgrounds near Helena National Forest and user-submitted reviews.

Best Camping Sites Near Helena National Forest, MT (116)

    Camper-submitted photo from Black Sandy State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Black Sandy State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Black Sandy State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Black Sandy State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Black Sandy State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Black Sandy State Park Campground

    1.

    Black Sandy State Park Campground

    15 Reviews
    42 Photos
    33 Saves
    Helena National Forest, Montana

    Welcome to Black Sandy State Park Campground, nestled near Helena, MT. This spot is a favorite among campers for its stunning lakeside views and year-round availability. Every campsite here is right on the water, making it perfect for those who love to fish, boat, or just relax by the lake.

    The campground offers electric hookups at all sites, but you'll need to bring your own water or fill up at the dump station near the entrance. There are no sewer hookups, so plan accordingly. The sites are pretty close together, which can be a bit tight for larger rigs, but the beautiful scenery more than makes up for it.

    For those who enjoy boating, there's a convenient boat launch and you can even rent a boat slip if you want to keep your vessel in the water during your stay. The campground also has a small store with basic supplies, so you won't have to venture far for essentials.

    While the main bathhouse closes for the winter, there are pit toilets available year-round. Cell service is spotty at best, so it's a great place to disconnect and enjoy nature. If you need to stay connected, some campers have had success with satellite internet setups.

    The road leading into the campground can be a bit rough, so take it slow, especially if you're towing. Once you're here, you'll find plenty of opportunities to relax, whether it's by the water, on a boat, or just soaking in the mountain views.

    So, pack your sunscreen, keep an eye out for snakes on the trails, and get ready to enjoy a peaceful stay at Black Sandy State Park Campground.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • Reservable
    • ADA Access
    Camper-submitted photo from Court Sheriff Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Court Sheriff Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Court Sheriff Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Court Sheriff Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Court Sheriff Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Court Sheriff Campground

    2.

    Court Sheriff Campground

    13 Reviews
    32 Photos
    38 Saves
    Helena, Montana

    Overview

    Court Sheriff Campground is located at the very north end of Canyon Ferry Reservoir, 30 miles east of Helena, Montana, along Montana Highway 284. Court Sheriff Campground offers year-round access to a wide range of recreational opportunities. Court Sheriff Campground is named for the Sheriff family. In 1865 Court Sheriff moved into the region from the state of Illinois to Montana to work the mines. Court Sheriff first worked the mines in Diamond City, then hired on as a carpenter to help build a wooden flume for the Magpie-Gave Hill ditch. In 1875 he opened a general mercantile to serve the miners east of the Missouri River at Cavetown. He moved to nearby Canyon Ferry in 1880, and by 1883 had established a general store and later added a livery stable and two-and-a-half-story hotel.

    Recreation

    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, ice boaters and ice skaters.

    Facilities

    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, ice boaters and ice skaters.

    Natural Features

    Court Sheriff Campground sits at the north end of Canyon Ferry Reservoir between the Big Belt and Elkhorns mountain ranges.

    Nearby Attractions

    Court Sheriff Campground on Canyon Ferry Reservoir is located halfway between Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park along with the capital city of Helena, Montana. For up to date events visit, www.helenamt.com.

    contact_info

    For facility specific information, please call (406) 475-3920.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Phone Service
    • RVs
    • Tents
    • Group

    $15 / night

    Camper-submitted photo from Hellgate Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Hellgate Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Hellgate Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Hellgate Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Hellgate Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Hellgate Campground

    3.

    Hellgate Campground

    13 Reviews
    57 Photos
    22 Saves
    Helena, Montana

    Overview

    Hellgate Campground is located 30 miles east of Helena, Montana, along Montana Highway 284.__ 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.__

    Recreation

    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.

    Facilities

    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.

    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. __

    contact_info

    For facility specific information, please call (406) 475-3920.

    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

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • RVs
    • Tents

    $130 / night

    Camper-submitted photo from Holter Dam Rec. Site Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Holter Dam Rec. Site Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Holter Dam Rec. Site Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Holter Dam Rec. Site Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Holter Dam Rec. Site Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Holter Dam Rec. Site Campground

    4.

    Holter Dam Rec. Site Campground

    13 Reviews
    18 Photos
    31 Saves
    Wolf Creek, Montana

    Overview

    Holter Lake Campground is situated on the picturesque Holter Lake in west central Montana. The site is located approximately 45 miles north of Helena, Montana, along the Missouri River. The area offers stunning views of the Sleeping Giant Wilderness Study Area. Gates of the Mountains Historic Site is in close proximity of the campground, which is accessible via a watercraft. The area is overflowing with outdoor adventure opportunities. Whether you're into fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing, hiking, boating, water skiing, or all of the above, all of these activities are in close proximity to Holter Lake Campground. There is surely an activity for everyone!__

    Recreation

    Holter Lake Campground offers excellent recreational opportunities. Activities in the area include camping, boating (motorized and non-motorized), fishing, water skiing, hiking, scenic/wildlife photography, wildlife viewing, and bird watching. There are trails within the general vicinity, as well as multiple fishing access sites and hunting access points. The recreation opportunities in the area are truly boundless.

    Facilities

    Holter Lake Campground offers excellent recreational opportunities. Activities in the area include camping, boating (motorized and non-motorized), fishing, water skiing, hiking, scenic/wildlife photography, wildlife viewing, and bird watching. There are trails within the general vicinity, as well as multiple fishing access sites and hunting access points. The recreation opportunities in the area are truly boundless.

    Natural Features

    Every campsite has a view of the lake and mountains. The campground and day-use area has poplar and green ash trees throughout the campground, which provide shade during the height of the summer. The site is situated in a shrub-steppe landscape, mostly comprised of sage brush and bunch grasses. The campground is surrounded by sparsely wooded hills.

    Nearby Attractions

    Holter Lake Campground is located in a prime location to get out and recreate outdoors. There is access to public lands, where multiple recreation opportunities and experiences are available. The campground is adjacent to the Missouri River, which was also the historical travel corridor for The Lewis and Clark Trail. Holter Lake Campground is situated between Helena and Great Falls.__ In Helena, there are great restaurants, museums, the capitol building, old mining settlements, Last Chance Gulch, Reeder's Alley, and a vibrant downtown area. In or near Great Falls, there is the First People's Buffalo Jump and Interpretive Center, Charlie Russell museum, Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, Giant Springs Fish Hatchery and State Park, and Tower Rock State Park. The Continental Divide Trail is nearby.

    Charges & Cancellations

    Reservation Cancellations & Changes ___ Cancelling a Reservation: Customers may cancel their reservation prior to arrival both on-line and through the call center. A $10 service fee will be withheld from any refund for a cancellation. Depending on when you cancel in relation to your arrival day, it may be considered a late cancellation (see below). Late Cancellations or Cancellations within the Cut-off Window ___ Individual Campsites: A customer who cancels a reservation the day before or on the day of arrival will pay a $10.00 service fee AND forfeit the first night's use fee (not to exceed the total paid for the original reservation). Cancellations for a one-night reservation will forfeit the entire amount paid and will not be subject to an additional service fee. The recreation.gov cancellation policy can be found here: https://www.recreation.gov/rules-reservation-policies

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Phone Service
    • RVs
    • Tents
    • Cabins

    $25 / night

    Camper-submitted photo from Goose Bay - Dispersed Camping
    Camper-submitted photo from Goose Bay - Dispersed Camping
    Camper-submitted photo from Goose Bay - Dispersed Camping
    Camper-submitted photo from Goose Bay - Dispersed Camping
    Camper-submitted photo from Goose Bay - Dispersed Camping
    Camper-submitted photo from Goose Bay - Dispersed Camping
    Camper-submitted photo from Devil's Elbow Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Devil's Elbow Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Devil's Elbow Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Devil's Elbow Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Devil's Elbow Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Devil's Elbow Campground

    6.

    Devil's Elbow Campground

    7 Reviews
    38 Photos
    67 Saves
    Helena, Montana

    Overview

    Devil's Elbow Recreation Area is situated on the picturesque "Devil's Elbow" of Hauser Lake. Just a short drive from Helena, the area offers stunning views of the Big Belt and Elkhorn mountains. The area is overflowing with outdoor adventure opportunities. Whether you're into fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing, hiking, mountain biking, boating or all of the above; all of these things are immediately accessed from (the greater) Hauser Lake Recreation Area. There is surely an activity for everyone! While just a short drive from Helena, the state capital; the feeling of seclusion and abundant nature is sure to impress.

    Recreation

    Devil's Elbow offers excellent recreational access. Devil's Elbow has a small beach area, picnic areas, as well as a ramada/pavilion with power and lights, available by advanced reservation. There are vault toilets located in convenient locations throughout the area. There is a network of non-motorized dirt, gravel and paved trails throughout Devil's Elbow, Two Camps Vista and Clark's Bay that allow you to walk or bike around the area without contending with vehicles. There are multiple trails within the larger Hauser Lake Recreation area, as well as multiple fishing access sites, hunting access, wildlife viewing and of course, boating. There are several world class mountain biking trails in the area as well. The recreation opportunities in the area are truly boundless.

    Facilities

    Devil's Elbow offers excellent recreational access. Devil's Elbow has a small beach area, picnic areas, as well as a ramada/pavilion with power and lights, available by advanced reservation. There are vault toilets located in convenient locations throughout the area. There is a network of non-motorized dirt, gravel and paved trails throughout Devil's Elbow, Two Camps Vista and Clark's Bay that allow you to walk or bike around the area without contending with vehicles. There are multiple trails within the larger Hauser Lake Recreation area, as well as multiple fishing access sites, hunting access, wildlife viewing and of course, boating. There are several world class mountain biking trails in the area as well. The recreation opportunities in the area are truly boundless.

    Natural Features

    The campground and day use areas are situated in a shrub-steppe landscape, mostly comprised of sage brush and bunch grasses. Every campsite has a view of the lake and mountains. While there are some ponderosa pine and deciduous trees throughout the area, they are scarce and do not provide a large amount of shade, but the lake does help keep the temperatures down a bit on those hot summer days.

    Nearby Attractions

    Devil's Elbow is located in a prime location to get out and recreate outdoors, or within the capital of Montana. There are hundreds of miles of trails, Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service lands, state parks, the Lewis and Clark Trail and so much more. Helena (only a short drive away) has all the amenities of a large city with small town charm. There are great restaurants, museums, the capitol building, old mining settlements, Last Chance Gulch, Reeder's Alley and a vibrant downtown with a walking mall area.

    Charges & Cancellations

    Reservation Cancellations & Changes ___ Cancelling a Reservation: Customers may cancel their reservation prior to arrival both on-line and through the call center. A $10 service fee will be withheld from any refund for a cancellation. Depending on when you cancel in relation to your arrival day, it may be considered a late cancellation (see below). ___ Group Facility (including Cabins and Lookouts): Customers who cancel a group overnight facility reservation less than 14 days before the arrival date will pay a $10.00 service fee AND forfeit the first night's use fee. Late Cancellations or Cancellations within the Cut-off Window ___ Individual Campsites: A customer who cancels a reservation the day before or on the day of arrival will pay a $10.00 service fee AND forfeit the first night's use fee (not to exceed the total paid for the original reservation). Cancellations for a one-night reservation will forfeit the entire amount paid and will not be subject to an additional service fee. The recreation.gov cancellation policy can be found here: https://www.recreation.gov/rules-reservation-policies

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • RVs
    • Tents

    $25 / night

    Camper-submitted photo from White Sandy Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from White Sandy Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from White Sandy Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from White Sandy Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from White Sandy Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from White Sandy Campground

    7.

    White Sandy Campground

    8 Reviews
    41 Photos
    32 Saves
    Helena, Montana

    Overview

    White Sandy is located on the west side of Hauser Lake at the confluence of Prickly Pear creek. White Sandy faces Eldorado Bar and the beautiful Big Belt mountains. It is in an ideal location for outdoor recreation, wildlife watching, water sports, camping and swimming.__

    Recreation

    White Sandy offers excellent recreational access. There is a beach area, picnic areas, as well as a ramada/pavilion with power and lights, available by advanced reservation. There are vault toilets located in convenient locations throughout the site. There are trails throughout White Sandy as well as in the surrounding area. Additionally, there are multiple trails within the larger Hauser Lake Recreation area, as well as multiple fishing access sites, hunting access, wildlife viewing and of course, boating. World class mountain biking trails abound in the area as well. The recreation opportunities are truly boundless.

    Facilities

    White Sandy offers excellent recreational access. There is a beach area, picnic areas, as well as a ramada/pavilion with power and lights, available by advanced reservation. There are vault toilets located in convenient locations throughout the site. There are trails throughout White Sandy as well as in the surrounding area. Additionally, there are multiple trails within the larger Hauser Lake Recreation area, as well as multiple fishing access sites, hunting access, wildlife viewing and of course, boating. World class mountain biking trails abound in the area as well. The recreation opportunities are truly boundless.

    Natural Features

    The campground and day use areas are situated in a shrub-steppe landscape, mostly comprised of sage brush and bunch grasses. Every campsite has a view of the lake and mountains. While there are some ponderosa pine and deciduous trees throughout the area, they are scarce and do not provide a large amount of shade, but the lake does help keep the temperatures down a bit on those hot summer days.

    Nearby Attractions

    White Sandy is located in a prime location to get out and recreate outdoors, or within the capital of Montana. There are hundreds of miles of trails, Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service lands, state parks, the Lewis and Clark Trail and so much more.__ Helena (only a short drive away) has all the amenities of a large city with small town charm. There are great restaurants, museums, the capitol building, old mining settlements, Last Chance Gulch, Reeder's Alley and a vibrant downtown with a walking mall area.

    Charges & Cancellations

    Reservation Cancellations & Changes ___ Cancelling a Reservation: Customers may cancel their reservation prior to arrival both on-line and through the call center. A $10 service fee will be withheld from any refund for a cancellation. Depending on when you cancel in relation to your arrival day, it may be considered a late cancellation (see below). ___ Group Facility (including Cabins and Lookouts): Customers who cancel a group overnight facility reservation less than 14 days before the arrival date will pay a $10.00 service fee AND forfeit the first night's use fee. Late Cancellations or Cancellations within the Cut-off Window ___ Individual Campsites: A customer who cancels a reservation the day before or on the day of arrival will pay a $10.00 service fee AND forfeit the first night's use fee (not to exceed the total paid for the original reservation). Cancellations for a one-night reservation will forfeit the entire amount paid and will not be subject to an additional service fee. The recreation.gov cancellation policy can be found here: https://www.recreation.gov/rules-reservation-policies

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • RVs
    • Tents

    $140 / night

    Camper-submitted photo from Vigilante Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Vigilante Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Vigilante Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Vigilante Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Vigilante Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Vigilante Campground

    8.

    Vigilante Campground

    6 Reviews
    11 Photos
    51 Saves
    Helena National Forest, Montana

    Vigilante Campground is located approximately 24 miles northeast of Helena in the Big Belt Mountains. To access the campground travel northeast of Helena on Highway #280, across the Missouri River to the small community of York. At York continue driving straight on Road #4 to the campground. This 7 acre campground provides access to the Hanging Valley National Recreation Trail and the scenic Trout Creek Canyon Trail.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Reservable
    • ADA Access
    • RVs
    • Tents
    Camper-submitted photo from Riverside Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Riverside Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Riverside Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Riverside Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Riverside Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Riverside Campground

    9.

    Riverside Campground

    4 Reviews
    26 Photos
    23 Saves
    Helena, Montana

    Overview

    Riverside Campground is located 30 miles east of Helena, Montana, below the dam at the northern end of Canyon Ferry Reservoir. Riverside Campground provides space for campers, day users, and large groups. 27 paved campsites, a group use area with a picnic pavilion, 6 pit toilets, an accessible fishing dock, a boat ramp and day use picnic area. This popular location below the dam attracts many families, boaters and fisherman.__

    Recreation

    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.

    Facilities

    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.

    Natural Features

    Riverside Campground sits below Canyon Ferry Dam along the banks of Hauser Reservoir. The current is swift, and swimming is not advised. Ample fish in the water makes this a prime location for bird watching. Loons, cormorants and pelicans are often present patrolling the waters; while bald eagles and osprey make appearances to showcase their fish hunting skills.__

    Nearby Attractions

    Riverside Campground is located halfway between Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park. The city of Helena, Montana, the state capital, is 25 miles away. For up to date events visit, www.helenamt.com.

    contact_info

    For facility specific information, please call (406) 475-3920.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Phone Service
    • RVs
    • Tents
    • Group

    $106 / night

    Camper-submitted photo from Confederate Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Confederate Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Confederate Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Confederate Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Confederate Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Confederate Campground
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Pet-friendly camping near Helena National Forest

Recent Reviews In Helena National Forest

348 Reviews of 116 Helena National Forest Campgrounds


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Frequently Asked Questions

What camping is available near Helena National Forest?

According to TheDyrt.com, Helena National Forest offers a wide range of camping options, with 116 campgrounds and RV parks near Helena National Forest and 11 free dispersed camping spots.

Which is the most popular campground near Helena National Forest?

According to TheDyrt.com, the most popular campground near Helena National Forest is Black Sandy State Park Campground with a 4-star rating from 15 reviews.

Where can I find free dispersed camping near Helena National Forest?

According to TheDyrt.com, there are 11 free dispersed camping spots near Helena National Forest.

What parks are near Helena National Forest?

According to TheDyrt.com, there are 10 parks near Helena National Forest that allow camping, notably Canyon Ferry Lake and Lewis and Clark National Forest.