Where to Camp in the Treasure State
Given that Montana literally means “mountain,” it’s not hard to imagine what type of topography you will encounter here.
Montana is home to two of the nation’s most beautiful national parks — Glacier and Yellowstone — as well as a large variety of wildlife, beautiful mountain views, miles of untamed wilderness and some of the best hunting and fishing in the world. Montana is truly an outdoorsman’s paradise.
Here are our favorite places to camp in Montana.
1. Glacier National Park – Northwest Montana
Glacier National Park in Montana is truly one of the most beautiful places in the US. And with a variety of activities from hiking and biking to whitewater rafting and fly fishing, you’re sure to find something exciting to do. Learn more.
2. Fort Peck Lake – Glasgow
Downstream Campground is located just below Fort Peck Dam on the Missouri River in northeastern Montana. Recreation enthusiasts and sportsmen enjoy the beauty of Fort Peck Lake’s 1,500 miles of shoreline. A variety of high quality outdoor activities are available, including camping, boating, fishing, hunting, sightseeing and wildlife viewing. Learn more.
3. Woodbine Campground – Nye
Woodbine Campground is situated on the banks of the Stillwater River at an elevation of 5,300 feet. The campground is wooded and shady, with views of the surrounding snow-covered, 10,000 foot peaks. A variety of wildlife, including deer, elk and bear, can be found in the surrounding area, creating prime opportunities for wildlife viewing. Learn more.
4. Bighorn Canyon Recreation Area – Fort Smith
The vast, wild landscape of Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area offers visitors unparalleled opportunities to immerse themselves in the natural world, and experience the wonders of this extraordinary place. With over 120,000 acres, one can find an astounding diversity in ecosystems, wildlife, and more than 10,000 years of human history to explore. Learn more.
5. Lone Pine State Park – Kalispell
There are 7.5 miles of trails available for hiking, mountain biking, snowshoeing, and horseback riding. Park visitors will be sure to find a great hike to revitalize their soul and a peaceful spot to relax and view area wildflowers, wildlife and breath-taking overlooks of the Flathead Valley. Learn more.
6. Libby Dam And Lake Koocanusa – Libby
The Koocanusa Area is primarily centered along a narrow 90 mile long Koocanusa Reservoir, formed by Libby Dam. Approximately 60 miles are within the United States. Libby Dam is operated by the US Army Corps of Engineers which provides daily dam tours. Koocanusa Reservoir is the major recreation attraction in this geographic area, providing ideal settings for large watercraft and sailing. The reservoir contains a large and stable population of Kookanee salmon, Kamloops (rainbow) trout, bull trout, West slope cutthroat trout and burbot. Fishing has been reported to be fantastic. Learn more.
7. Rainbow Point Campground – West Yellowstone
Rainbow Point Campground is located on the banks of scenic Hebgen Lake, in southwestern Montana. It is approximately 10 miles north of West Yellowstone and the West Entrance of Yellowstone National Park. Visitors enjoy the area for its boating, fishing and hiking opportunities, as well as its close proximity to Yellowstone. Learn more.
8. Giant Springs State Park – Great Falls
Giant Springs was discovered by the Lewis and Clark Expedition in 1805 and is one of the largest freshwater springs in the country. The springs flow at a rate of 156 million gallons of water per day and the water stays at a temperature of 54 degrees. This is also the site of the Roe River, once listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s shortest river. Learn more.
9. Beaver Creek Campground – West Yellowstone
Beaver Creek Campground is located near the Madison River and Earthquake Lake, less than 30 minutes from West Yellowstone and Yellowstone National Park. Visitors enjoy the area for its fishing, boating and hiking opportunities, as well as its close proximity to Yellowstone. Learn more.
10. Yellow Bay State Park – Bigfork
A pair of locals prepare to do some fishing along Flathead Lake at Yellow Bay State Park. Justin Franz | Flathead Beacon. (Image via)
Yellow Bay State Park is in the heart of the famous Montana sweet cherry orchards. In the summer, cherries can be purchased at nearby roadside stands or U-Pick orchards. The park includes Yellow Bay Creek and a wide, gravelly beach. Among its attractions are boating, lake trout fishing, water skiing, bird watching, swimming, camping, and scuba diving. Learn more.
Do you have a favorite camping spot in Montana that wasn’t included on this list? Let us know in the comments!
And be sure to check out the rest of our Best Campgrounds in the US series.
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