Camp along the Yellowstone River free from bugs

Yellowstone National Park back country campsite 1Y9 is a nice pleasant campsite shaded by trees along the Yellowstone River. You'll relax in solitude at this campsite due to if being a full day hike from the trail head and being a couple 100 yards offs the Yellowstone River Trail. The camping area like most of the back country sites is broken into three sections. The first is the area for you tents, located around a huge fir tree and juniper trees with plenty of flat ground to choose from. Setting up our tents were a breeze as the ground was soft and the stakes went in with out a problem, no pounding with a rock was needed. Upstream to the left of the tent area is the cooking and eating area. The cooking/eating area is a large area cleared of vegetation. We sat on the ground as their was no other option. A short distance from the cooking area is the area to hang your food for the night, this spot did have a nice tree to sit on, and several flat rocks if you wanted to cook and eat hear. No campfire are allowed at this location, but you could tell that previous campers had made a fire at the location. When we registered for the camp site at the Mammoth Visitor Center the Park Ranger said that they have had difficulties with people making fires at these site and then leaving them burning when they leave. So please do not make campfires at back country sites unless it is one of the few that do allow them, most like this one do not allow them. A small fishing hole is near the campsite behind a couple of rocks in the river. Caught a cutthroat trout and white fish at the location. Bugs where present at the campsite but compared to the clouds of blood suckers and flesh eaters we backpacked through to get to the site, this was a oasis where the DEET actually worked and we could relax with out being bitten. Yellowstone National Park back country campsite 1Y9 is located along the Yellowstone River Trail. The Yellowstone River Trail can be reached from the Blacktail(1N5) trail head or the Hell Roaring(2K8) trail head. Closest trail head is the Blacktail trail head. The Back country campsite is located about 5½ miles from the Blacktail trail head. Campsite 1Y9 is located a few hundred yards down a side trail from the Yellowstone River Trail. You should not have any visitors to your site as only one group is allowing in a campsite per night. As with all back country be sure to have a way to filer water, carry bear spray be prepared to carry out your trash, and remember there are no out houses out here.

Relax on the shore of Canyon Ferry Lake

Confederate Campground is a Bureau of Reclamation campground on the shore of Canyon Ferry Lake. This small free campground does not have developed campsites with the exception of the one ADA available campsite. Their appears to be six camping spots, five that have rock made fire rings, the only developed site is the ADA site which has a concrete parking pad and metal fire pit. No picnic tables are available at this campground. The campground does have a ADA accessible vault toilet directly across from the ADA campsite. Two of the campsites sit along the lakes beach. Don't be expecting a nice sandy beach however, this is a gravel beach, but still nice. Two sites are near the vault toilet and ADA site, these sites sit on the edge of the lake among cotton wood trees and willows. The final location is away from the other sites in a grassy area near large cotton woods. Camping at Confederate campground is limited to 14 days. There is no water, trash service or picnic tables so come prepared. Their is not a boat launch at this campground, but boats can easily be launched from the rocky beach area. All water craft regardless of size must be inspected prior to launching at Canyon Ferry Lake.

2H1 - Y.N.P. Back Country camp site - camp in solitude

Site 2H1 is a five star back country site, 100% privacy and quiet due to the distance from the main trail and the proximity of Hell Roaring Creek and the Yellowstone River. The first thing we noticed on arriving to the site was the large collection of Elk antlers surrounding the campsite sign. The camping area is broken into three sections. The first is the area for you tents, located around a huge fir tree with plenty of flat ground to choose from. Setting up our tents were a breeze as the ground was soft and the stakes went in with out a problem, no pounding with a rock was needed. Down below the tent area is the cooking and eating area. The cooking area has several flat rock for placing your stove on and rocks and dead trees to sit on. No campfire are allowed at this location. To the left is the location to hang your food and a path to access the junction of Hell Roaring Creek and Yellowstone River to filter your water or give fishing a try(caught a huge cutthroat trout in a matter of minutes. This location is just beautiful. Rain wasn't a problem during out stay, there are plenty of large trees that shielded us from the rain while we ate our dinner. If you sit quietly you will notice a few visitors, several Yellow-belly Marmots live in the area, and will vent as close to 20 feet away from you. The marmots are fun to watch as they go along eating the vegetation in the area. Remember, this is a back country campsite, no outhouses and you need to pack out your trash.

Yellowstone National Park back country campsite 2H1 is located along the Yellowstone River Trail. Yellowstone River Trail can be reached from the Hell Roaring(2K8) trail head or Black-tail(1N5) trail head. Closest trail head is the Hell Roaring trail head. Back country campsite is located about 3 miles from the trail head if the ford across Hell Roaring Creek is possible. If the ford crossing is not possible due to high water then you will need to hike to the Hell Roaring Creek bridge adding 3.7 miles to the hike to the campsite. Campsite 2H1 is located 1.1 miles down a side trail from the Yellowstone River Trail. Being 1.1 miles from the trail means you will not have any visitors to your site as only one group is allowing in a campsite per night. It is a flat hike from the Yellowstone River Trail to site 2H1. The site is located at the confluence of Hell Roaring Creek and the Yellowstone river so you can't hike past it.

Not a campground - Lava Creek Picnic area

Lava Creek is not one of Yellowstone's campgrounds.  This is a picnic area with a vault toilet with nearby hiking trails.  Yellowstone NP campground information can be found at https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/campgrounds.htm

Stay at the White House for Free

Whitehouse Campground is the only campground of three along the upper boulder river that still exist as a full fledged campground. The other two are now just disperse primitive camping areas. Whitehouse Campground is listed as having 5 campsite, but during our visit counted 12 site with tables and fire rings. The fire rings appear to be all rock rings until you check and find they all have metal fire rings with rocks that have been placed around the rings. Three other sites with rock only fire rings with no tables have also been built by past visitors to the area. The campground has one vault toilet and there is a hand pump at the entrance to the campground just behind the information sign on the right hand site of the drive in to the campground across from the first available site. This is a Trash-in Trash-out campground so come prepared to haul your trash back out with you. The first two sites you drive through are in the trees and isolated from all the other sites, the other sites sit in a fairly open area and are all in site of each other. If you want to go on a nice hike just head the 2 miles up Thunderbolt Mountain road across the road from the campground entrance for a 4.5 mile hike to Cottonwood lake with decent fishing for cutthroat trout. White house campground gets very busy during the fall hunting season and tends to have a steady amount of campers though out the summer months. Have stayed here several times and have always been able to get a site with a table and fire ring during the summer season, but best to avoid during hunting season. Their is no cost to camp at Whitehouse Campground

First to Review
Campground is gone, now only a primitive camping area with a paved loop

Lady Smith Campground has meet the same fate as Mormon Gulch Campground. This was a nice campground 10-15 years ago, but today it's just a paved loop with overgrown parking pads and one“Pack out your litter” sign. All the campsites are becoming overgrown, the picnic tables have been removed as well as most of the metal fire rings. The outhouse have been removed as has the pump that use to provide water. The campground area is devoid of pine trees, the area is littered with stumps. The tree were removed due to the massive pine beetle kill off, however Aspen Trees are starting to reclaim the area. Their is one site that still has a usable concrete fire pit and previous campers has set timbers from an old table across some stumps to provide a place to sit. You will have to travel to White house campground if you want a functional campground with water, fault toilets and picnic tables with fire rings.

First to Review
Dismantled and reduced to primitive camping

Mormon Gulch Campground was a nice campground 20 years ago, but today there is almost nothing. If you weren't looking for the turn for the campground you would drive right by as the sign is no longer hanging. A short distance after crossing the cattle guard the dirt road turns in to a paved loop for the campground, then your heart drops. You reach the first campsites and see overgrown parking pads, a dismantled concrete picnic table and a metal fire ring. Beyond the first sites it remains the same, hard to find parking pads, a few still have fire rings at the sites if you can find them, no picnic tables and the two outhouses have been removed as has the pump that use to provide water. The campground area is devoid of trees, the area is littered with stumps. The tree were removed due to the massive pine beetle kill off. The next campground down the road“Lady Smith” has suffered the same fate. You will have to travel to White house campground if you want a functional campground with water, fault toilets and picnic tables with fire rings.

Primitive Group Use Area with no development except a vault toilet

Quigley Group Use Area use to be called McDonald Pass Group Use Area, and the names can be confusing as the old entrance still has a sign saying“McDonald Pass Group Use Area” The new and current entrance list the area as Quigley Group Use Area. What ever name you call it, this is a primitive group use area. You will find one vault toilet for the area and that is about it. Their is a loop for the group use area that at times is paved, but most is a dirt two track. Most of the pull offs in the area have become overgrown. You will not find any metal fire rings, several rock rings have been built. Their are no picnic tables here to use. The site has no water or trash service. The closest water will be at Cromwell Dixon Campground which you will need to drive to as it is two far to walk to. So if you have a group planning on using this site be prepared to bring everything except a toilet. Finding information about this group use area is hard as the Helena National Forest web page does not have anything listed for it. What I was able to find out is that the site is currently free, but the Forest Service has proposed that the fee go to$50 for the site. I stayed here about 8 years ago during a Boy Scout camp. During our stay we cleaned up the tree debris in the area, but since then the parking pads that we used have almost disappeared. This group use area is really suffering from lack of use and maintenance.

Very Small 2 site free primitive campground

Basin Canyon Campground and Picnic Area in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest is a bare basics campground with only 2 sites(an old 3rd site can be found but is over grown and falling apart). Be careful not to drive right by the site as the sign for the campground is missing. The two campsites sit on the Boulder River side of the road. A picnic area and two outhouses sit on the other side of the road. One of the two sites is a very nice site next to the river with a picnic table and metal fire ring. This site appears to get heavy use as the ground is all bare dirt. The other site sits closer to the road in a grassy area. The second site also has a metal fire ring and picnic table. This campground does not have water(but looks like it may have in the past) and does not have trash service, so be sure to pack out your trash and bring plenty of water for your stay. Across the road is the picnic area which has three large picnic tables and two concrete fire pits. A rock ring fire pit has been placed in the picnic area and this might be a safer place for a fire at the picnic site do to the encroaching forest at the concrete fire pit location. The picnic area could use a little maintenance. The picnic area side of the road has two outhouses. These are old school wooden framed forest service outhouses, but are very nice, clean and well stocked inside. I did find one more former campsite/picnic site that has pretty much been reclaimed by the forest and the table is falling apart.

Nice free BLM campground right off I-15

Galena Gulch Campground is a free nicely maintained BLM campground just off of interstate 15 south of Boulder Montana. This campground has 10 sites all with metal fire rings and picnic tables. Two ADA accessible vault toilets serve the campground. This is a trash-in trash-out campground. Be sure to bring your own water as there is no water at this campground. Most sites sit along the Boulder River. Camping is limited to 14 days. This is a busy campground despite it not being listed on the BLM's website and their being no indication from the interstate that the campground is present. The main drawbacks of this campground is the noise from I-15 and how busy the campground is. The sites are nicely spread out giving you plenty of room. The entire campground has nice grass covering and is well maintained making finding a good spot for your tent an easy choir.

Camp and fish at a beautiful mountain lake

Helena National Forest's Park Lake Campground sits next to the beautiful Park Lake. A day use areas sits along the east side of the lake. The campground sits above the lake and features 22 campsites with metal fire rings and picnic tables. The campground is paved with paved parking pads. The campground has two vault toilets(a third one sits at the entrance to the campground in the day use area). Water is available from two hand pumps in the campground. This is a very nice campground with the sites nicely spread out from each other. The kids will love all the large boulders to climb on. Unlike a lot of other forest service campground that are off the beaten path, you will still get cell service at Park Lake since you sit on a high spot in the area. The lake provides fishing for Arctic Greyling, and Cutthroat trout. The lake is open to non-motorized watercraft. Follow the speed limit on the way up to the campground as the road can be very bumpy.

Camp for free in Lewistown Montana

The Lewistown Kiwanis provide a rest area and free campground to travels on the west end of town next to the airport. This camping area has no fee(they will take your donation to help with upkeep of the site), but does have restrooms with running water, several frost-frees are in the camping area to provide water, and trash cans are found at the restrooms. The camping area does not have numbered sites, but there are 12 concrete picnic tables, 6 of those are covered. No campfires at this campground. Their is plenty of room for camping even if all the tables are taken. Camping is limited to 10 nights. The airport is small so you will have very little aircraft noise, most noise will be from State Hwy 200/U.S. Hwy 87, but since the speed limit is 45mph noise from cars and trucks will be slight.

Camping and fishing oasis in central Montana

Ackley Lake State Park campground has no camping fees for Montana residents, for nonresidents the cost is$24 per night. The campground has two vault toilets, but no running water or trash service. While visiting I counted 26 metal fire rings at the campground. Most of those fire rings had picnic tables, but not all of them. Their are 15 numbered campsites with metal fire rings with a cement picnic table with a lean-to to block the wind and provide a little shade. The numbered sites sit along the shore of the lake allowing you to fish from your campsite. The state park also has 2 boat ramps and a seasonal boat dock.

Small Quiet Campground on Hyalite Reservoir with nearby hikes to waterfalls

Chisholm Campground is a small ten site campground on the south east end of Hyalite Reservoir. The campground sits among a mature stand of lodgepole pine. This forest service campground's ten sites all have metal fire rings and picnic tables. A double vault toilet, water pump(located at site 10) and trash service are all available in the campground. This is a busy but nice campground. All sites can be reserved. Sites are$20. If you like hiking to waterfalls then this is the place to stay. Nearby is Palisades Falls trail head which has a paved.7 mile hike to the falls. For a hike to multiple waterfalls head over to Hyalite Creek Trail#427.This trail to Hyalite Lake features eight waterfalls on strenuous 14-mile round-trip hike. Their is also Grotto Falls Trail#432 which starts at the same trail head locaton as Hyalite Creek Trail. The hike to Grotto Falls is a three mile round trip on a flat trail suitable for wheelchairs.

Want to catch trout, go to Browns Lake FAS Campground

Browns Lake Fishing Access Site Campground is located on the 459 acre Browns Lake. This fishing access campground has 14 sites all with metal fire rings and picnic tables. The site is serviced by two vault toilets. This is a dry campground so bring water. This is also a trash-in trash-out campground. The campground is fairly exposed and tends to be windy during the summer. We visited in early June and were amazed by all the birds in the area. The real draw for this campground is the fishing. Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks stocks this lake with over 50,000 rainbow trout per year….that's right 50,000. The lake is known for large rainbow trout and 10 pounders in the spring are apparently not a fish story. The lake also has Brook Trout, Westslope Cutthroat Trout, Kokanee, and Longnose suckers. So grab your tent and fishing pole, because with 50,000 trout being added every year a trout dinner has to be on the menu.

Have a quiet unplugged night at Kading Campground

If you are looking for a quiet campground away from electronic distractions then this campground is for you. Kading Campground is located along the upper Little Blackfoot river at the end of Little Blackfoot road. Being at the end of the road and located along the river you will have a nice quiet night as the only vehicle traffic with be those vehicles travel to the campground of near by trail head. Kading Campground has 11 sites, each site has a picnic table and metal fire rings. The campground has two vault toilets. Water is available at Kading Cabin located across the road from the campground entrance. A small public corral is located across the road from the campground, and there are two horse watering troughs in the campground. A trail head at the end of the road can be reached from a short trail at the end of the campground. The trail follows the Little Blackfoot river. A five mile hike leads to Blackfoot meadows a popular fly fishing location. The campground has been recently cleared of its beetle killed trees making the campground much more open than it used to been, but this is still a nice quiet campground to visit.

Small hidden campground on edge of the Elkhorn Moutains

Bumped in to this nice little campground after hiking in the adjacent Elkhorn Mountains.  This is a BLM campground with 8 sites, each having a metal fire ring and picnic tables.  The campground is served by one vault toilet.  No water of trash service at this free campground.  The campground sits along Crow Creek.  No one was at the campground during my visit.  Finding information about this campground was hard, it does not show up on the BLM's interactive map, and once found on the BLM site you will not receive any helpful information.  To find the campground turn east off of US Hwy 287 on to State highway 285 (near Toston, MT) heading towards Radersburg.  At Radersburg the Highway will end an the road will turn to dirt and become Crow Creek Road.  Continue down this well maintained dirt road until your reach the sign for Crow Creek Campground.  Since the sign indicating the turn for the campground is the only indication that a campground is even in the area this might just be a quiet get away with few other campers.

Unplug at this nice quiet campground

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Moose Creek campground will allow you to unplug during your visit as their is no cell service at this campground.  Moose Creek campground is located along the newly paved Remini Road.  This 9 site campground is scheduled to increase to $15 per night.  The campground has two vault toilets, one at the beginning of the campground with the first three campsites.  the remaining 6 sites are at the far end of the campground and have another vault toilet to serve them.  All sites have picnic tables and fire rings.  The campground has a water pump located at the beginning of the campground, so if you are staying in the far end of the campground be sure to fill up on the way in.  Be on the look out for the campground's name sake as Moose to visit the area.  Remini road gets light traffic so you should have much in the way of car noise, and Moose Creek runs along the edge of the campground helping muffle road noise.

Nice camground on the Continental Divide

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Cromwell Dixon Campground is a nice Forest Service Campground located on the Continental Divide's McDonald Pass. The campground has 15 campsites serviced by two vault toilets and water spigots. This is a Trash-in Trash-out campground. The campground has a mixture of drive and and pull through sites. All sites are first come first served. This campground use to be nicer until pine beetles killed most of the trees. All the dead trees have been removed making this campground more open, with little cover from the winds. Cromwell Dixon is very busy during the summer months. The campground is available in the shoulder seasons if snow drifts are not blocking your access to the campground. Nearby the campground are trail heads for the Continental Divide trail heading south along the trail. The hike along the CDT trail is a nice hike through rolling terrain.

Ranger review of Grub Stick at Lowland Campground

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Lowland Campground Review

Lowland Campground located in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest north of Butte Montana is nice small very quiet campground with 11 sites and a large day use area. You will disconnected from the world hear as there is no cell phone service at this campground. The campground has a vault toilet at the entrance, two more are found in the day use area, one is just a short distance from the campground toilet. The campground has several new bear proof garbage bins. The site has a water pump, but the only pump appears to be in the day use area so you will want to drive to the pump to fill up your water jugs in order to avoid a long walk back to camp with those heavy water jugs. Each site has plenty of room to spread out. You will want to collect firewood before you arrive at the campground as there is nothing to harvest in the campground, even small twigs for starting a fire were hard to find. We had the campground to our selves when we visited, and the best part is the fee is only $5. Can't beat that price and have vault toilets, water and trash pins.

Ranger Review of the Grub Stick

Received the Grub Stick several weeks ago and have used it on several outings since. Have to say this is just fun to use. Cooking over a fire is always great fun and having the Grub Stick just gives you way more options for fire cooking fun. It was a blast coming up with ideas to try. We really likes the bacon bowl feature, but a hint on using it “don't use thick cut bacon” it takes to long to cook and is hard to get the bacon clip over it. We have cooked up hot dogs, sausages, made eclairs, S'mores, Chocolate chip cookie s'mores, Biscuits, biscuit s'mores, Bacon bowls stuffed with just about anything we could find. The big down fall of the Grub Stick is that we didn't have enough of them and waiting for someone to finish was a downier, especially when you had a new idea you wanted to try.