Amanda L.
Portland, OR
Joined June 2016
Gotta Love Glaciers

Visited on one of my last days in Valdez. Beautiful glacier. The campground is pretty standard and pleasant. Would highly recommend checking it out if you're in the area.

First to Review
Great for River Running, Okay for Camping

Thibodeau is one of the largest runnable rapids on the Blackfoot river. Camping next to it is wonderful for the sounds of the river and for the excitement of swimming. Unfortunately there are usually a lot of intertubers who flip in this rapid, so if you are there during the day you will make new friends. The site is pretty basic, no amenities and has a fair amount of shade. There are large rocks around the river that are are great for sitting and there's a little bit of beach.

Nice Starting Point For Gorge Hikes

I camped in the walk in sites which felt secluded despite being pretty close together. The campsite was well shaded and linked into an nice set of trails. The picnic table was great to cook on and the camp host was very helpful in suggesting hikes. Overall a good spot but a little noisy and probably cramped if you end up in a non-walk in site.

So Sweet I Can't Title

The road up is very rough. I would not recommend it for cars without four wheel or all wheel drive. The drive up is beautiful and the glimpses of Mount Hood on the way up are worth the ruts. The sites are close in. Despite this it seems open due to the tall trees scattered throughout and the views to the left and right. There's an old inn that is now used by the Forest Service that has an interesting history just a little way up the road that is cool to check out. Definitely worth it for the views alone but it leads to some wonderful hikes up Mount Hood. As a note, it takes over an hour for an ambulance to get there so bring a beefed up first aid kit and maybe a buddy with some training if you're a cautious person.

Great Swimming!

…but it can be very busy. The sites are nice and fairly well dispersed with lots of trees and foliage near the water. The park is a common pull out spot for boaters and tubers who run the Blackfoot. There is a lot of summer time traffic of shuttle vehicles on the paved road before the site and the dirt road afterwards. The swimming hole is deep and well defined which is good for swimmers but there is a lot of boat traffic. The cliffs across from the site are great for jumping but check with a local about the correct spot for the highest point. To get the cliffs you have to cross the main channel of the river. If you can't swim across, don't jump because it'll be hard to get into the swimming hole as you come back up. The sites are fairly well shaded and an awesome place to put up you feet (and paddles) after a float.

The Campground is Underwhelming but the Caverns are Amazing

The campground is very open, flat and has very very little shade. It is not comfortable to stay at during the summer. The facilities are nice, clean and the camp staff has always been great. The campground is more a spot to facilitate visiting the caverns which are a natural wonder.

Good for the Ease of Drive, but not the Best

The pond is small and prone to very dense algae blooms. Campsites are very close in and very busy by Montana standards. Good for a quick jaunt out for one night if you don't mind making new friends but it isn't a good place for an extended stay. Speaking as a former member of these hooligans, it's a common spot for high school students to be hooligans.

Iconic Missoula Spot For Year Round Use

Great place for picnics and spending time together (though not a campground). There is a frequently used disc golf course going through parts of the area. So if you decide to hike off trail watch out for flying discs. During the summer there are trails that wind through marshy areas and into a tall spruce and ponderosa forest. Keep an eye out for birds and deer along the trail The area is open to cross country ski and snow shoe in the winter time. The gradients are pretty easy and the trail is short so it's a good starting spot for beginners.

Solid but Close In

After hiking along the beach in relative solitude the NPS campground felt crowded and a little jarring. Overall very beautiful and a delightful stay. Nice showers.

Quiet Views of the Stars

Lake Alva is a no motorized water vehicle lake which makes it the quietest of the large lakes in the Seeley Lake chain. The beautiful mountain views and calm waters make for a restful trip. Great swimming in the summer time out to a small island in the center with pebble shores and a bustling population of crawfish. The water is clear and can be very cold. At the shores you can see down into the bottom of the lake. It is a great place to go star gazing in a canoe or kayak. The water is very mellow, no wake waves and the small size of the lake prevents the large white caps that show up on Seeley itself. It's a great place for beginning boaters to get in some risk free paddling. The camp ground is well spaced with separation and plenty of amenities.

Wonderful Summer Camping and Winter Cabining

Camping is dispersed and a little eerie. This ghost town is complete with still stocked shops, empty hotels with beds left in and slowly aging buildings. It is an interesting look at the mining industry in Montana. There are numerous interpretive signs and information about the building throughout the town and rangers on site during the summer months to answer questions. During the winter two of the cabins (the larger of which is the old saloon) are available to rent through the forest service. Most of my recent trips have been during the winter months, where the town is only accessible by ski, snow shoe or feet. Then it is silent and strange but heart breakingly beautiful.

Beautiful hiking, but very busy

Overnight trip in early summer. Beautiful hiking, waterfalls and delightful views. Hiking trails are easy and accessible to most levels of use. Unfortunately it is very busy all year round due to the proximity to Portland. Good camping neighbors but not a lot of quiet or solitude. I would recommend it for folks who want a quick jaunt with good views who don't want to face the traffic in the gorge.