Montana is a state that is practically overflowing with fantastic natural landscapes. From Yellowstone to Glacier National Park and the Rocky Mountains to the Great Plains, Montana has wide array landscapes that draw you out into the great outdoors and all the unknown areas that come along with it.
Known across the United States as Big Sky Country, Montana is a state that can look pretty barren and boring when just staring at a political map of the country but is actually filled to the brim with a fantastic and engaging history not only of the country but of the natural world.
Montana is truly a dream come true for camping fans and people seeking some form of natural escape. With such a wide selection of campgrounds, opportunity is seemingly endless for the Treasure State.
However, in an effort to make it a little easier for you, here are eight of the best campgrounds in Montana, so that you can get started on planning your escape to the great state of Montana right away.
FAQs about camping in Montana
Can you camp anywhere in Montana?
Yes, you can camp anywhere in the Montana State land but it must be at least 200 feet of the road and only for up to 2 days!
Is overnight camping allowed in Montana?
Yes, you can camp overnight in Montana but only for up to 2 days.
Where can you camp for free in Montana?
Montana has numerous free camping sites. Some of the most popular ones are Romsett Beach, Red Shale Campground, and Rock Creek.
How much does RV camping cost in Montana?
RV camping is a bit more expensive than primitive camping. Yet, it is generally more affordable than staying in a hotel. Even though the rates depend on various factors and differ from park to park, they are usually between USD$ 30 and USD$ 80 per night.
Jim & Mary’s RV Park
Jim & Mary’s RV Park is a family-owned campground located right off I-90, less than a 10-minute drive from downtown Missoula. It features 70 full hook-up sites set amongst beautiful gardens, a gift shop, showers, and restrooms. It is a perfect place to spend a night when traveling through Montana or while visiting the diverse city of Missoula.
Visit the two local water parks, shopping, and unique foodie experiences. Or have fun at festivals, performing arts, and concerts. Other area attractions include fishing in the Bitterroot River, hiking in Lolo National Forest, or wine tasting in Ten Spoon Vineyards.
Whether you search for a relaxing getaway, outdoor recreation, or entertainment, Missoula is a vibrant city that has it all. And camping at Jim & Mary’s will make it an unforgettable experience.
7th Ranch RV Camp
7th Ranch RV Camp is a peaceful campground located in Crow Reservation, close to Little Bighorn National Monument, the Bighorn River, and Bighorn Canyon. It boasts a family-like atmosphere and plenty of amenities.
There are 48 full-service and 22 water and electricity sites, all of which are long pull-thrus. They all have tables, grills, lawns, satellite TV, and Wi-Fi. Pets are welcome, including horses!
You can entertain yourself with horseshoes, tetherball, and frisbee golf or set off a hike for some spectacular views of the area. Kids will appreciate the playground.
7th Ranch RV Camp is also known for its friendly staff, and therefore should not be missed on your next camping trip in Montana.
Indian Hill Campground
Located within the boundaries of the Lewis and Clark National Forest, Indian Hill Campground is a pack it in and pack it out style campground with minimal amenities and a focus on the natural world and the historic trails that Lewis and Clark once explored as they traversed across all the territory of the still young United States.
Indian Hill Campground does allow pets but requests that you keep them on a leash whenever you can. Trailers that are longer then fourteen feet in length are not allowed. There are vaulted toilets available.
While there is no camping fee if you choose to stay at this location, it is requested that you keep your stay to a maximum of sixteen nights. This scenic area can be known to be in high demand from a variety of individuals that seek all that the great outdoors has to offer.
Cow Creek Campground
Found within Custer National Forest, Cow Creek Campground hosts handicap-accessible toilets. the maximum trailer length for this location is thirty feet, which means that it is a campground that is perfect for those that do not want to get as rough and tumble when they go exploring in the wild side of the world.
Water is not provided, so it is advised that you make sure that you have packed yours in. This campiste is also a pack it in and pack it out location.
Pets are allowed to accompany you to Cow Creek Campground, provided that you make sure that they remained leashed while there. In the effort to keep the natural world accessible to all, there is no fee for this camping site. However it is requested that you make sure that your stay does not exceed ten days in length.
Camping slots in Montana tend to be in high demand, and it is important that you try your best to schedule your own camping trip with that demand in mind, as you might find your get away has more people than you would initially expect.
Southeast of Philipsburg, Lodgepole Campground is located just across the highway from Georgetown Lake. This campground is a popular destinations for people that enjoy spending time on the water. Whether swimming, boating, or water skiing, this campground is a fantastic stopover for those that want to have a fantastic time taking advantage of the sun and the water at this tranquil camping location surrounded by lodgepole timber.
With a multitude of camping sites along a slight hillside, Lodgepole Campground advises a maximum length of thirty-two feet for any trailers that come on site.
There is a small fee to pay in order to make use of the campsite during your stay, however, water and restrooms are easily found at this location which ought to save you on quite a few worries in the long run.
While you could drive up on your own time, you can also make reservations through the website for the campground or through a toll free number. It is requested that you keep your stay limited to a maximum of sixteen days when paying a visit to Lodgepole Campground.
Swan Lake Campground
Stretching across two acres of land at a whopping elevation of 2,500 feet, Swan Lake Campground is found across the highway from the titular lake and is bordered by the Swan Mountain Range.
Located within a mile of the site are amenities for groceries, laundry, and showers. This particular campsite has several handicap accessible areas and recommends a maximum trailer length of fifty feet.
Perfect for biking, hiking, boating, and much more, Swan Lake Campground offers something for everyone and welcomes visitors to explore the multitude of trails that meander through the menagerie of birch and fir trees. There is a small nightly fee that you have to pay in order to stay at this location, but that fee will cover your access to the Swan Lake Day Use Area as well.
Pets are welcome to stay with you at this location, provided that they are on a leash. Reservations for this location can be made online, though it is requested that you make sure your stay at Swan Lake does not exceed fourteen days in length.
Ackley Lake State Park
Ackley State Park is found right in the heart of what is known as Big Sky Country. With fantastic wide vistas and an uncomparable view of the stars, Ackley Lake State Park is set up for activities that are equal turns relaxing and heart racing.
From birding to water skiing, there is something at this park for everyone. The lake itself is somewhere around 160 acres, and the park has equal space in land. This balance means that there is more than enough space for all the activities that can be found in thee park, such as motor boating, canoeing, water skiing, jet skiing, fishing, ice fishing, swimming, photography, birding, and hiking.
Ackley Lake State Park has a fee that is specific to visitors that are not residents of Montana. Where residents of the Treasure State can stay at this location for free, non residents are asked to pay twenty-four dollars per night.
However, this location does not boast a nightly limit like some of the others on this list, which more than makes up for the inclusion of such a specific fee.
Medicine Rocks State Park
Describe as “As fantastically beautiful a place as I have ever seen” by Teddy Roosevelt, Medicine Rocks State Park has captured the minds and hearts of visitors long before anyone attempted to colonize the area from other lands.
At 330 acres, there is plenty of space for camping, biking, hiking, picnicking and observing the wildlife that make this state park home. Mule deer, antelope, Woodhouse’s toad and sharp tailed grouse can all be found within the borders of this particular park.
Found within Medicine Rocks State Park are around twelve camping sites with vault toilets, a group use area, grills/fire rings, water pumps, picnic tables, and drinking water. While there is no fee for entry or overnight stay, you are welcome to make a donation that will go towards the preservation of the area. It is requested that you keep your stay no longer than fourteen days in a thirty day period, as there is a lot of draw to the area because of all the wonderful things that this particular location has to offer visitors.
Bannack State Park
Rather than bring this historic ghost town back to life, Bannack was preserved and welcomes visitors to a moment that is eternally frozen in time. Over fifty building line Bannack’s Main Street and transport visitors back to the formative years of Montana and the days of the Wild West.
Fishing, camping, picnicking, bicycling, hiking, wildlife viewing, interpretive programs, photography and cultural events are all activities that draw people in to this once-thriving frontier town. In the summer, visitors can even partake in guided tours and gold panning.
Bannack State Park is a place that has a lot to offer, even if it is requested that you keep your camping trip to a maximum of fourteen days.
This fantastic time capsule might have been deserted by the original residents, but now it welcomes visitors year-round with a variety of activities that help to fill the historic streets once again.
Hells Canyon Campground
Located within the Gallatin National Forest, Hells Canyon Campground is a basic style campground that does not provide you with water or firewood. It is a place that helps you to plan and be prepared, as well as one that helps you get back to the simpler things in life.
There are eleven campsites found at this campground, and pets are welcome to stay right alongside you during your visit. This location is a pack it in and pack it out space and the maximum trailer length is recommended as being sixteen feet in length.
Hells Canyon is a relaxing location with a lot to offer. Avid angler’s might spend their time fishing at the nearby watering holes and hikers will certainly enjoy wandering through the trees of the Gallatin National Forest. It is requested that you keep your stay at Hells Canyon Campground to a maximum of sixteen days though.
Come And Explore Montana
From just these eight examples, it is probably easy to see why Montana describes itself as one of the last great places. From the majestic scenery to the plethora of wildlife that make the state home, there is plenty of natural draw to the state. Montana is surely one of the most fantastic camping destinations in the entirety of the United States.
Monatana is one of the few locations that offer terrain for just about everyone. Whether you are craving the wide open skies of the plains, dense forest, or rugged mountains, you are sure to find your dream camping location in this state.
Montana is a state where you can dream under the stars or lose yourself in a dense history of the country and the world that you live in. Whatever your form of escape takes, the state of Montana welcomes you with open arms and big skies. You will certainly find something that will make your camping trip utterly magical and completely unforgettable.
You will not want to hesitate any longer. Start planning your camping trip to Montana straight away and get out of the house to the great outdoors. Montana is waiting for you, so do not hesitate when it comes to staking your tent in this fantastic state and taking advantage of all of the wonder within.