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This is a primitive campground in the American Prairie Reserve. It seems to be a relatively unknown place and we were the only people in the campground for the night (there are 6 tent sites and 7 RV). It was about 40 miles of high-quality gravel road to get here. Near the campground, there is a research HQ for the reserve which is not open to the public and otherwise we didn't see anyone else the entire time.
Tent sites are walk-in and and on platforms, which you are required to use. This means if you have two tents like us, you'll need two sites. You tie the tents down to lashing points on on the side of the platform. Each site has a fire pit, picnic table and there is a community covered picnic area and fire pit as well. Free firewood is available next to the toilets. There are vault toilets and non-potable water sources in the loop. The walk-in is only about 15-50 yards, depending on the site. From the campground, there is a small auditorium and nature trail available. Bugs were pretty bad the night we were there, so we didn't try much of the nature trail.
Everything felt new and almost unused, like the campground had just opened. The toilets were only okay in cleanliness, the main reason I took off a star. It was a fantastic experience for the kids. A buffalo herd roamed the area and even through the campground at night and in the morning. Prairie dog towns were all over. It was one of our most memorable camping experiences but definitely come prepared since nothing is available on site or nearby. Many of the roads in the preserve are in pretty primitive shape so 4WD is recommended to get around the preserve, but you want need it to access the camp site. We had a big windstorm come through during the night, so lash down carefully!
Montana is definitely one of my all time favorite places to visit. Being from Washington, there is so many hikes there, and Montana definitely reminds me a little of Washington- except the mountains are EVERYWHERE!! The hiking here is amazing, and Montana Gulch Campground is the best. The campground was really clean, and actually the bathrooms were clean as well and stocked with toilet paper when we were there. Which is shocking because most campgrounds have nasty bathrooms. The campsite spaces were fairly big, with enough room to pitch 2 tents and have our car in front too. There is a table and fire pit within your campsite. There is also some areas under cover with extra tables. The campground is easy to find, and the road was pretty good. I've been to a few places where the road leading to the campground is crappy. The hiking around here was amazing, recommend!! The staff was super friendly and helped us pick out a few hikes. The views were incredible. Wish I would have taken more pictures, but that just means we have to come back!
Montana is hands down one of my favorite places to visit to be outdoors. I am from Washington where there is TONS of places to camp and hike, and Montana definitely is a close tie to Washington and the incredible outdoors. One thing I love about Montana Gulch is the vast views of the mountains. The mountains surround you everywhere you look. The hiking here is incredible, so I highly recommend coming here to hike. Here are a few things we liked about this spot:
- Great hikes! As I mentioned above, there are some amazing hikes nearby. The farthest we drove for a hike was 1hr past the campground, but we really wanted to do this particular hike so we thought the drive was definitely worth it. It was a little rainy when we went, but that didn't stop us.
- Bigger campsite spaces. This is something that we really like about some campgrounds- is when the campsite spaces are "bigger" than normal. We were able to fit our car and 2 tents in the site. Also, each campsite was separated by trees and shrubs which gave you a little more privacy.
- Easy to find. We appreciated that there were signs on the road that directed us right to the campground. I like to trust my phone, but sometimes it doesn't lead you in the right direction. Thankfully their signage was great.
- Helpful rangers. They were super nice, and directed us to our campsite as well as give us some insight on great hikes nearby.
The only thing we didn't like about the campground was that there was only 1 bathroom (that we could find), and it was pretty far from our campsite.
Overall, I highly recommend coming here! Great place to stay with beautiful views.
Montana Gulch is such a great place to visit and stay if you are ever in the area. Being from Montana, I have had the pleasure of staying at quite a few places and this one is probably one of my favorites. I love that the campground is surrounded be the beautiful mountains, and there are so many great hikes you can go on. Whenever we decide where we are going to stay, we make sure that there are amazing hikes nearby. I would definitely look up hikes nearby before you go, that way you get a feel for what is around you, the length of the hike, and elevation gain. I would also caution that there is a lot of wild life in Montana. We saw a bear and her cubs in the distance on one of the hikes we went on. It was incredible to see, but we were definitely pretty cautious. The campground is great, clean, and well kept. There are quite a few spaces available, but definitely fill up fast in the summertime. We went in the peak of summer and all of the spaces were taken. Luckily we made our reservation online ahead of time. This campground was only for tents, and there was only 1 bathroom which was the only downside. No water onsite, so make sure to bring plenty of your own. There wasn't any picnic tables in the campsites, but there were tables throughout the campground. Pets are allowed, so we brought our dog.
There are no reservations available and only 10 spots, so I felt like I got lucky there was something available for me that night. By the time the sun went down there were only 3 other sites filled, so plenty of space. There is no potable water so come prepared. The cost was minimal, $8 or $9 each night if I remember correctly. The sites have campfire rings, tables but not grills. There is a restroom for the camp. There are some trails to explore which were well maintained but I believe backpacking through Glacier spoiled me. Pets were allowed but must be on a leash. It was a peaceful and quiet place to stay.
This place is very beautiful and it just has the basic amenities that you need: 1 bathroom and a few tables. Be aware that there isn't any portable water (at least from what I saw). Because of how primitive this campsite is, this is what gives it, its charm. I will go back soon.