10 Great Montana National Parks Boondocking and Camping Spots

There are 10 Montana National Parks, the crown jewels being Glacier Montana National Park and part of Yellowstone National Park. There are also 6 other stops that are designated as Montana National parks by the National Parks Service. We have put together a convenient guide for you so you will not miss any of the stops on your trip through Montana.

As always, check with the National Park Service for any updated information.

You can see all 10 of the Montana National Parks with one perfectly planned road trip. Our goal here at OBE is to help you see all that the Montana National Parks offer cheaper by making use of Montana boondocking locations and budget camping options.

We to make the world a smaller place. From RV camping deals, if you don’t have one, to becoming an expert with credit card points and frequent flyer miles, to money-saving travel tips, we’ve got you covered.


Want more ideas to round-out your trip to Montana?
A lot of great ideas are in these posts!


A Bit About Montana Before We Start the Montana National Parks List

It should come as no surprise that Montana offers some of the best vistas in the country given its monikers as “The Last Best Place” and “Big Sky Country.” In Montana National Parks, which are made up of uninterrupted prairies, unending plains, strange geothermal features, distant glacial lakes, and astounding mountains, you can experience moments of complete seclusion despite the state’s population of just over a million people.

The must-see attractions are located in the big 2 Montana National Parks. Yellowstone National Park and Glacier are the most well-known national parks. Going to the Sun Road, magnificent walks like the Trail of the Cedars and Apikuni Falls, and a lot of stunningly blue glacier lakes and rivers are all worth checking out. Southwest Montana is where three of the five entrances to Yellowstone are. Mammoth Hot Springs and the abundantly wildlife-filled Lamar Valley are also located there.

However, don’t let those 2 Montana National Parks make you too starry-eyed. Other Montana National Parks and historic sites are as impressive and far less busy. At Grant-Kohrs Ranch, immerse yourself in the culture of the Wild Wild West, or visit the historically significant Big Hole National Battlefield to learn about the Nez Perce. In Montana National Parks, distinctive culture and breathtaking vistas welcome you around every corner. Let’s look at it!

Glacier Montana National Park Boondocking and Camping

Montana National Parks - Glacier natinoal Park (1)Montana National Parks – Glacier National Park (edited) Photo by Our Big Escape

Location:

64 Grinnell Drive Glacier Montana National Park Headquarters
West Glacier, MT 59936
406-888-7800

About the Park:

Glacier Montana National Park is a haven for visitors seeking secluded walks, enchanting alpine meadows, breathtaking waterfalls, and up-close views of glaciers. It displays the untamed beauty that is characteristic of Montana.

In northwest Montana, the National Park covers 1 million acres, with a tiny fraction extending into Alberta, Canada. The park contains more than 700 miles of trails, so grab your hiking boots and start exploring America’s Crown Jewel.

One of our favorite parks in the National Park system is Glacier Montana National Park in Montana. Driving the Going to the Sun Road, staying at a historic lodge, taking in incredible wildlife viewing, and climbing its renowned trails all have a certain allure.

We are thrilled to present to you today our Glacier Montana National Park travel guide. To help you get the most out of your visit to this incredible park, it is based on the countless journeys we have made there over the years.

Things To Do:

Hiking – With 734 miles to choose from, there is something for everyone. Use these resources to pick what hike is right for you.

Backcountry Camping – With its towering mountains, pristine alpine lakes, abundant wildlife, and over 700 miles of trails, Glacier is a backpacking paradise.

Ranger-led Programs – Our scheduled activities include a variety of ranger-led programs, from easy walks and evening talks, to all-day hikes and boat tours.

Guided Tours – Rangers are not the only naturalists that lead groups in the park. Check out the tour options offered by park concessions.

Going-to-the-Sun Road – A quintessential part of any Glacier visit, Going-to-the-Sun Road connects the east and west sides through the middle of the park.

Camping – Enjoy the crackling of a campfire and sleep under the stars. With 13 campgrounds and 1,009 sites to choose from, options are plentiful.

Photography – Glacier is a photographer’s paradise. Here are a few tips from our park photographers if you are looking for some great places to shoot.

Biking – Learn the rules for biker access on Going-to-the-Sun Road and other opportunities available to cyclists.

Fishing – No license is needed to fish in the park, but you do need to know the many rules and limits, which vary with each body of water.

Boating – You will need to acquire a free permit and pass inspection before launching. Check the rules and regulations before you visit.

Private Stock Use – Learn the rules associated with stock use in Glacier, including which trails are not stock-friendly and where to find loading ramps.

Cross-country Skiing – There is fun to be had when the snow flies in winter. See trail recommendations and check conditions.

River Camping – Foot and stock are not the only ways to reach a campsite. Find out the required gear and your location options.

Top Tips:

Come for at least five days. A weekend getaway will not do. Many tourists return year after year because there is always something new to discover at the park because there is so much to see and do there.

To maximize your time, consider spending two nights at West Glacier and two nights in East Glacier during your trip. Both sides of the park provide a variety of lodging choices, including Glacier Park Lodge on the east side and West Glacier Village and Motel Lake McDonald on the west.

Travel to Canada and stay at the Prince of Wales Hotel in Waterton Lakes National Park if you’re feeling daring and have your passport on hand.

Bring your car. Despite the fact that shuttles travel all over the park, some of the better locations require a car. Many trailheads are in inaccessible areas that are not served by the shuttle service. Before embarking on your excursion, verify the shuttle timetable and routes if you do require a ride.

While you’re in town, stock up on supplies. Large supermarkets in Columbia Falls and Whitefish make stocking up for your trip a snap. As soon as you enter the park, your shopping options drastically decrease.

Sign up for activities. You can take advantage of a variety of fun activities to explore the park in a more structured manner. If you’re searching for a fun activity for the whole family, we suggest horseback riding or spending the day on the ropes course.

Of course, sitting by the river is the best way to enjoy the park. And Glacier Raft Company is the only company that truly knows Glacier’s waterways. The best option for a guided day on the Flathead River is Glacier Raft Co. because of its knowledgeable staff and more than 45 years of history.

Take to the trails. There are more than 700 miles of hiking paths in Glacier Montana National Park, stretching from the Two Medicine Valley to the St. Mary Valley. You’ve never walked a mountain trail before? No issue! One-mile educational nature strolls to strenuous 20-mile hikes are all available in Glacier Montana National Park.

When To Visit:

The best time to visit the park is in early spring from mid April through May and then in late fall in October. There are the only times to avoid some of the huge crowds that gather during the warmer months and unless you are a true winter lover the cold is to much for most people to enjoy.


The Free Boondocking Locations List


1. Apgar Picnic Area Free Boondocking

West Glacier, Montana
GPS: 48.528923, -113.97951
Elevation: 3166′

Management – National Park Service (Official)

The road into this free boondocking is Paved. Apgar Picnic Area is open Winter. There are 1-5 campsites at this location. You may stay 14 at Apgar Picnic Area. Winter only! This is the picnic area near the visitor center. In summer months, the campground is open instead. ($20/night)

2. Flathead National Forest-Ryan Road Free Boondocking

10 Hungry Horse Dr, Hungry Horse, MT 59919
West Glacier, Montana
GPS: 48.48742, -113.95865
Elevation: 3668′

Management – Forest Service (Official)

The road into this free boondocking is Dirt and 1-2 miles from a paved road. Flathead National Forest-Ryan Road is open year round but seasonal rd. There are 6-15 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 25 feet. You may stay 14 Days at Flathead National Forest-Ryan Road.

Dispersed Camping near West Glacier. Several Pulloff’s on Ryan Road in the Flathead National Forest. No amenities but really close to West Glacier, full access to Glacier National Park when they fill up.

3. Nyack Free Boondocking

West Glacier, Montana
GPS: 48.43748, -113.80418
Elevation: 3360′

Management – Forest Service (Unofficial)

The road into this free boondocking is Dirt and .5 miles from a paved road. There are 1-5 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 45 feet. parking area next to the railroad. lots of trains go by. the river over the tracks is popular with fly fishermen. you can park and walk across the river for national forest camping.

4. McGinnis Creek Free Boondocking

Columbia Falls, Montana
GPS: 48.514339, -114.147621
Elevation: 3778′

Management – Forest Service (USDA) (Official)

The road into this free boondocking is Gravel and 1.5 miles from a paved road. McGinnis Creek campsite in Flathead National Forest. Beautiful overlook location that might be rougher for large rigs. It’s off forest service road 803. Know that there are other Forest Service roads in the area that may offer free camping, but we just fell in love with this one.


5. Glacier Rim Free Boondocking

Columbia Falls, Montana
GPS: 48.495144, -114.127676
Elevation: 3185′

Management – Forest Service

The road into this free boondocking is Paved. There are 1-5 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 45 feet. You may stay 3 at Glacier Rim. This is a great little spot, right on the North Fork of the Flathead River. There is only one spot, on your left as you pull into the area. Not much to do here unless you enjoy fishing. There is a short trail system that you can hike.

AT&T Users: 3 bars

6. Blankenship Bridge – SW Free Boondocking

Columbia Falls, Montana
GPS: 48.464456, -114.071732
Elevation: 3104′

Management – Forest Service

The road into this free boondocking is Dirt and .2 miles from a paved road. There are 6-15 campsites at this location.

Beautiful tent camping spot! Had several van camps right on the rock bar as well as several tent camps but plenty of room. Two pot-a-potty’s, no electric or water but plenty of water on the river. Campground was clean I didn’t see any trash.

Looks like there’s only one spot to the right when you reach the river, just drive down to the river and drive on the rock bar to get to the better campsites?


Yellowstone Montana National Park

Montana National Parks - YellowstoneMontana National Parks – Yellowstone National Park (edited) Photo by Our Big Escape

Location:

2 Officers Row Montana National Parks Headquarters
Montana National Parks, WY 82190
307-344-7381

About the Park:

Yellowstone Montana National Park was established as the country’s first national park over 150 years ago, and since then, about five million visitors per year have flocked there to see rare creatures, discover geothermal wonders, and take in the 360-degree vistas of stunning landscapes.

Yellowstone Montana National Park is a must-see while in Montana even though only 3% of its enormous 2.2 million acres are located there.

Without setting foot in Montana National Parks, a trip to Montana would be incomplete. In addition to the richness of animals, tourists may boast that they went to the first national park in the world, which was created in 1872.

Montana National Parks provide something for every member of the family with its more than 2.2 million acres of steamy ponds, geysers, roaring waterfalls, mud pots, hot springs, and mountain views. If you enjoy fishing, Yellowstone Montana National Park Lake might satisfy your family’s “fishing itch”.

When visiting Montana National Parks, binoculars are definitely a necessity because there is wildlife wherever you turn! Yellowstone Montana National Park is home to a variety of animals, including wolves, buffalo, elk, deer, muskrats, bears, and bear cubs.

Things To Do:

Ski & Snowshoe – Make tracks in a winter wonderland.

Ride a Snowmobile or Snowcoach – Take a guided tour of wintry Yellowstone Montana National Park.

Camp in the Backcountry in Winter – A winter trip into the backcountry is a time of solitude and unique beauty. However, frigid weather conditions pose serious dangers.

Explore in Summer – There are so many ways to explore Yellowstone Montana National Park. Here are some of the more popular ways you can experience the park and make your visitor memorable.

Explore Thermal Basins – Follow boardwalks and maintained trails to witness hot springs, mudpots, fumaroles, and geysers up close.

Hike a Trail – Lace up your boots, grab your bear spray, and explore nearly 1,000 miles of trails.

Watch Wildlife – Bring some binoculars or a spotting scope and enjoy animals from a safe distance.

Take Photographs – Best practices & tips for shooting in Yellowstone Montana National Park.

Bike in the Park – Enjoy the scenery on two wheels.

Ride a Horse – Bring your own stock or take a guided ride.

Top Tips:

Driving in Montana National Parks – In Montana National Parks, it is quite simple to drive everywhere, therefore there is no need to take a guided tour. This will provide you the freedom to set your own schedule, go wherever you want in your own time, and alter your plans as necessary.

Montana National Parks photography – A decent camera with a zoom lens is necessary if you plan to shoot pictures of the breathtaking scenery and wildlife while visiting Montana National Parks.

Wildlife at Montana National Parks – The magnificent wildlife that inhabits Montana National Parks, including bears, bison, elk, coyotes, and deer among many others, is one of the main draws to the park. Keep a safe distance away from the animals out of respect for them.

Old Faithful – Predicted eruption times are listed in the Visitor Center as well as on the NPS Twitter Feed. Arrive early (at least an hour before), bring refreshments, and prepare to wait; it will be worthwhile.

Eating at Montana National Parks – We went at one of the large supermarkets in Bozeman to load up on drinks and snacks for the car so we could eat on the go before heading to Montana National Parks.

What Clothes to Bring to Montana National Parks – When preparing for your vacation, keep in mind that the weather is constantly changing and you can see all four seasons in a single day. Wear layers that you can add to or take off so that you are prepared for all conditions because you will experience both extremes of warmth and cold.

Other Items to Bring to Explore Montana National Parks – Binoculars can be used in the car to assist you seeing wildlife in the distance.

When To Visit:

The best time to visit the park is in early spring from mid April through May and then in late fall in October. There are the only times to avoid some of the huge crowds that gather during the warmer months and unless you are a true winter lover the cold is to much for most people to enjoy.


The Free Boondocking Locations List


1. National Forest Road 3243 Free Boondocking

Gardiner, Montana
GPS: 45.070611, -110.680043
Elevation: 7064′

Management – Forest Service

The road into this free boondocking is Dirt. There are primitive campsites off this road, basically just pulloffs all along the road. The GPS coordinate takes you past a few to the spot we stayed which had a great view and was near water.

I don’t know exactly how many spots there are, we passed at least 3 pull offs before getting to this one and a few more people went by and camped past us. It is a dirt road but easy for any car to go down.

2. Carbella Recreation Site Free Boondocking

Emigrant, Montana
GPS: 45.2135, -110.900095
Elevation: 4984′

Management – Bureau of Land Management (Official)

The road into this free boondocking is Gravel and 300 yards miles from a paved road. Carbella Recreation Site is open All Year. There are 1-5 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 35 feet. You may stay 14 days at Carbella Recreation Site. Carbella Recreation Site is a dispersed campground located on BLM land approximately 18 north of Gardiner, MT and the entrance to Yellowstone National Park.

This site is located along the Yellowstone River and is a popular place for fishermen to enter the river with their boats. It is located on the west side of U.S. Highway 89. Turn west onto Tom Miner Creek Road and then turn immediately to the north a hundred feet or so from that intersection. Follow the gravel road to the line of trees along the Yellowstone River. Cost is free.

3. Emigrant Rest Area Free Boondocking

Pray, Montana
GPS: 45.295624, -110.834815
Elevation: 4931′

Management – Rest Area (Official)

The road into this free boondocking is Paved. Emigrant Rest Area is open All Year. There are 6-15 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is unlimited. Emigrant Rest Area is a Montana Department of Transportation (DOT) facility located on the east side of U.S. Highway 89 between Emigrant, Montana and Gardiner, Montana on the way to/from Yellowstone National Park.

The Montana DOT does allow overnight parking at this facility, which is open year round. It has approximately 7 spots for truck/trailer/RV parking. This rest area offers a telephone, picnic area, drinking water, pet area, garbage cans, and a geological marker.

Parking lot is level and is well lit. And the view here in Paradise Valley is amazing.

4. Sunny Brook Springs Free Boondocking

482 National Forest Development Road 132
Emigrant, Montana
GPS: 45.309673, -110.894197
Elevation: 5427′

This is a free boondocking campsite. Reservations are not accepted at this campsite. Stayed here for 5 nights. It only has 1 camp site with a table and fire ring. Relatively quiet area, you can get cell phone service by the Sunny Brook recreational sign, just walk up the hill and you’ll get full bars.

I would recommend this site. It’s only about 20 miles from Yellowstone! Lots of soft grass for a few tents, also lots of shade. Beware of ticks in the area.

5. Pine Creek – George Lake Trailhead Free Boondocking

Emigrant, Montana
GPS: 45.363, -110.734585
Elevation: 4862′

Management – Forest Service (Unofficial)

You may stay 14 days at Pine Creek free boondocking – George Lake Trailhead. This is a small turn around and parking area for the George Lake Trailhead next to the Pine Creek Campground. Pine Creek Campground is a pay campsite, but the trailhead area for George Lake is not.

Follow the signs for Pine Creek Campground on a paved road until you get to a dirt road that forks to the right. 50 yards up a steep dirt road is the parking area. I made it easily is my two wheel drive van. If you get to Pine Creek Campground, you went about 100 yards too far.

6. Big Beaver Campground Free Boondocking

Mc Leod, Montana
GPS: 45.474937, -110.202134
Elevation: 5495′

Management- Forest Service

Free boondocking in Gallatin National Forest. Stayed here in summer 2014. We had a nice beach spot on the Boulder River. This is a free campground right down from the pay one. On the road there are also designated dispersed spot.

The only issue was the megaphone the Christian camps near it used to get the kids excited. Small campsite right next to the main road. Also close to Bloder River and Falls. A lot of trees but pretty enough spot. Road noise and church camp close by. Could accommodate a 30′ rig but pushing it.

Turn to get out was a little tricky. Hiking and a couple ATV trails nearby. No Verizon cell service even boosted.

7. Initial Creek Free Boondocking

FS Road 2846
Nye, Montana
GPS: 45.404027, -109.953973
Elevation: 6220′

Management – Forest Service

Initial Creek free boondocking is open all year. The maximum RV length at Initial Creek is 20 feet. This free campground is located on the West Fork Stillwater Road and is near the West Fork Stillwater Trail (#90). The campground is maintained from Memorial Day to Labor Day, but is opened the rest of the year without services. There is a 10 day stay limit for all Beartooth Ranger District campgrounds.


The Paid Campgrounds Locations List


1. Crazy Creek Campground

The price is $10/night
Beartooth Highway
Cody, Wyoming
GPS: 44.94234, -109.77412
Elevation: 6926′

The road in is Paved. Crazy Creek Campground is open mid May to early September. There are 16-29 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 25 feet. You may stay 16 days at Crazy Creek Campground.

2. Chief Joseph

The price is $8/night

718 U.S. 212
Cooke City-Silver Gate, Montana
GPS: 45.019527, -109.874688
Elevation: 8041′

The maximum RV length at Chief Joseph is 42 feet.

3. Colter Campground
($12 or less)

Beartooth Highway
Cooke City-Silver Gate, Montana
GPS: 45.02814, -109.89441
Elevation: 8028′

Colter Campground is open July 15 to Sept 30. There are 16-29 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 48 feet.

4. Soda Butte Campground
($12 or less)

Cooke City-Silver Gate, Montana
GPS: 45.02419, -109.91201
Elevation: 7808′

Soda Butte Campground is open July 1 to Sept 7. There are 16-29 campsites at this location.

5. Eagle Creek Campground
($12 or less)

Gardiner, Montana
GPS: 45.042133, -110.68116
Elevation: 6038′

The road in is Gravel and 2 miles miles from a paved road. Eagle Creek Campground is open Year Round. The maximum RV length at Eagle Creek Campground is 48′. You may stay 16 at Eagle Creek Campground.

6. Aspen Campground

This is a PAY campground. ($12 or less)

Big Timber, Montana
GPS: 45.457089, -110.196716
Elevation: 5385′

Aspen Campground, Farthest South is open May 28 to Sept 3. There are 6-15 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 32 feet. You may stay 16 days at Aspen Campground, Farthest South.

7. Paradise/Dan Bailey Fishing Access Campground

The price is $12/night

1759 East River Road
Livingston, Montana
GPS: 45.42043, -110.63668
Elevation: 4813′

Paradise/Dan Bailey Fishing Access is open all year. There are 6-15 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 25 feet. You may stay 7 days at Paradise/Dan Bailey Fishing Access.

8. Loch Leven Fishing Access Campground

The price is $7.00 with a valid Montana fishing license and $12 without

Livingston, Montana
GPS: 45.456705, -110.623377
Elevation: 4751′

The road in is Gravel and 2500 feet miles from a paved road. There are 6-15 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 45 feet. You may stay 7 nights at Loch Leven Fishing Access.

9. West Boulder Campground

The price is $5 memorial to labor day otherwise free

Mc Leod, Montana
GPS: 45.54823, -110.30685
Elevation: 5541′

The road in is Gravel. West Boulder Campground is open All year. There are 6-15 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 25 feet. You may stay 16 days at West Boulder Campground.

Big Hole National Battlefield

Montana National Park - Big Hole National BattlefieldMontana National Parks – Big Hole National Battlefield (edited) Photo by J. Stephen Conn 

Location:

16425 Hwy 43
West Wisdom, MT 59761
406-689-3155

About the Park:

About 80 miles from Butte, in southwest Montana, sits the Montana National Parks at Big Hole National Battlefield. Visitors can explore the visitor center and trek the battlefield trails at the site, which is accessible all year.

In 1877, five bands of Nez Perce escaped the government’s efforts to relocate them to a reserve. The Nez Perce War was a series of conflicts between US Army troops and the Nez Perce people.

On August 7, the Nez Perce established a camp in Big Hole Valley because they thought they were distant from the US troops. Unfortunately, on the morning of August 9, Army scouts discovered them, and soldiers attacked the Nez Perce.

The Montana National Parks at Nez Perce National Historical Park includes the Big Hole National Battlefield. A fantastic movie describing what happened to the Nez Perce is available at the visitor center. To the campground where troops awoke the dozing Nez Perce, there are hiking trails.

Things To Do:

Visitors Center – The Montana National Parks visitor center offers museum exhibits, a film, and a book sales area. The award winning film Weet’uciklitukt: There’s No Turning Back, Battle at Big Hole provides an introduction to the Nez Perce Flight of 1877 and the battle that took place at this site. The film is shown throughout the day and is close-captioned. Audio and braille guides are available upon request.

Observation Deck – The outside observation deck provides an opportunity to explore the battlefield year round. Viewing scopes allow close inspection of the tipis, the 1883 granite monument, and the howitzer cannon from afar.

Hiking Trails – Experience the sacred nature of this battleground by hiking a trail out to the camp where the Nez Perce lay sleeping when the battle began, over to the grove where the Nez Perce warriors held the soldiers and Bitterroot volunteers under siege, or up to the site where the Nez Perce warriors capture the army’s mountain howitzer cannon.

Top Tips:

Allow 1 day for your visit to the site.

When To Visit:

The best time to visit the park is in early spring from mid April through May and then in late fall in October. There are not large crowds and virtually anytime that it is warm enough for your tastes will be perfect.


The Free Boondocking Locations List


1. Forestry Cutoff Free Boondocking

Wisdom, Montana
GPS: 45.65718, -113.792638
Elevation: 6362′

Management – Forest Service

Nice BIG free boondocking open space off of 43 in Montana Take the 93 to 43 (Lost Trail Pass)and go about 10 minutes

2. Wisdom Veterans Memorial Park Free Boondocking

Wisdom, Montana
GPS: 45.618663, -113.45899
Elevation: 6047′

Management – Private

The road into this free boondocking is Paved. Wisdom Veterans Memorial Park is open Year round. There are 6-15 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 35 feet. You may stay 15 day at Wisdom Veterans Memorial Park. Located on HWY 43 one half mile west of Wisdom. Well water, shelter, pit toilets. Access to Big Hole River and center of Big Hole Valley

3. Chief Joseph Pass Trailhead Free Boondocking

Gibbonsville, Idaho
GPS: 45.68589, -113.933374
Elevation: 7283′

Management – Forest Service (Official)

The road into this free boondocking is Gravel and 1/4 miles from a paved road. There are 1-5 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is unlimited. You may stay 14 at Chief Joseph Pass Trailhead. Parking lot for Trailhead. 7000′ elevation. Open to solar / satellite. Vault toilet. Any size rig. 45.685890, -113.933374

4. Lost Trail Pass Snowpark Free Boondocking

Sula, Montana
GPS: 45.694094, -113.947347
Elevation: 7034′

Management – Forest Service (Official)

The road into this free boondocking is Gravel and 1/4 miles from a paved road. There are 1-5 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is unlimited. You may stay 14 at Lost Trail Pass Snowpark. Open parking area just off hwy. at top of pass 7000′ elevation. 45.694094, -113.947347

5. NFS – Lost Trail Ski Area Free Boondocking

Sula, Montana
GPS: 45.693244, -113.951793
Elevation: 7051′

Management – Forest Service (Official)

The road into this free boondocking is Gravel and 1/4 miles from a paved road. NFS – Lost Trail Ski Area is open summer. There are 6-15 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is unlimited. You may stay 14 at NFS – Lost Trail Ski Area. Parking lot for ski area. Accessible for RV in summer. Up hill to right of rest area just off hwy. 93. Any size rig. No facilities.


The Paid Campgrounds Locations List


1. Tower Rock Campground BLM Campground

The price is $5.00

Carmen, Idaho
GPS: 45.312502, -113.906174
Elevation: 3760′

Management – Bureau of Land Management (Official)

The road in is Paved. There are 1-5 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 45 feet. You may stay 14 at Tower Rock Campground BLM.BLM campground with 4 RV sites and 2 tent areas. $5.00 night 1/2 s/a pass. All nicely paved and just off Hwy. very easy access.

No elec./water or dump but nice vault toilet and water access for swim / boats. 15 min. north of Salmon. 45.312502, -113.906174

2. Morgan Bar Campground

The price is $5/night

Diamond Creek Road
Salmon, Idaho
GPS: 45.253549, -113.90716
Elevation: 3835′

Management – Bureau of Land Management

Morgan Bar is open May-Sep. This free campsite is located within the Bureau of Land Management Salmon District. Morgan Bar CG is great for RV’S of any size. There are only 8 sites and 7 of them are good for rv’s. The road in is maintained dirt and gravel. 3 of the sites are river front. There is a host on site. Vault toilet is clean, group day use covered area is nice. There is water available. No dump.

3. Twin Lakes Campground

The price is $7/night

Twin Lakes Road
Wisdom, Montana
GPS: 45.411146, -113.688708
Elevation: 7251′

Management – Forest Service

Twin Lakes Camp is open Jun-Sep. The maximum RV length at Twin Lakes Camp is 25 feet. Twin Lakes Cabin is located in a scenic evergreen forest in the Beaverhead Mountains of western Montana. It was built in the 1920s to provide housing for trail crews, smoke chasers, timber cruisers and grazing inspectors who worked in the area.

Guests have access to a number of recreational opportunities, including hiking and mountain biking in the summer and fall, and snowmobiling, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing during the winter.

4. Price Creek Campground

The price is $8

Polaris, Montana
GPS: 45.486517, -113.096984
Elevation: 7695′

Management – Forest Service

Excellent Forest Service campground. Huge trees, lots of space between sites. The roads and sites are all paved and are mostly pull throughs. Off of Pioneer Mountain Scenic Byway.


Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area

Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area free boondockingMontana National Parks – Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area (edited) Photo by Jocelyn Catterson 

Location:

Fort Smith, MT 59035
406-666-2412

About the Park:

The Montana National Parks at Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area competes with the well-known Yellowstone Montana National Park and Glacier Montana National Parks but is mainly unknown.

The Recreation Area offers equally amazing scenery to explore, including deep gorges, high desert plains, and broad valleys, for anyone looking to discover a beautiful place that is off the beaten path.

The establishment of the Montana National Parks at Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area in 1966, when Bighorn Lake was formed as a result of the construction of the Yellowtail Dam, makes it one of Montana’s newest parks. The North District of Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, which is on the side of Montana, and the South District, which is on the side of Wyoming, both offer plenty of opportunities to hike, kayak, canoe, and take in breathtaking scenery.

The Beaver Pond Nature Trail, Bighorn Head Gate, and Three Mile Access are three stunning walks that can be reached from the North District, one of the Recreation Area’s 120,000 acres of scenic routes. Choose the lovely Three Mile Access Trail, which follows the Bighorn River to a grove of cottonwood trees, if you only have time for one hike.

Things To Do:

Bicycling – Ride the South District park road where you can parallel the ancient Bad Pass Trail or in the North District pedal the Ok-A-Beh road for an intense workout!

Boating – Float the waters of Bighorn Lake beneath towering walls up to a thousand feet in height.

Camping – Bighorn Canyon offers five camping areas with over 100 spots. Best of all, the majority are surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery in the west.

Fishing – The Bighorn River is a world class trout fishery, unrivaled even in Montana. Bighorn Lake allows anglers the opportunity to catch a diverse variety of fish, including large walleyes.

Hiking – Choose from over 27 miles of trails, ranging from short walks to dramatic overlooks or longer hikes that can take you to a historic ghost town.

Historic Ranches – The park has an amazing collection of ranches still kept in their original state. These tell the stories of open range, family and dude ranching.

Top Tips:

Allow 1 day for your visit to the site.

When To Visit:

The best time to visit this Montana National Park is in early spring from mid April through May and then in late fall in October. There are not large crowds and virtually anytime that it is warm enough for your tastes will be perfect.


The Free Boondocking Locations List


1. Deaver Reservoir Boondocking Locations

Deaver, Wyoming
GPS: 44.898686, -108.63353
Elevation: 4327′
Get Directions
Management – Bureau of Reclamation (Official)

You may stay 14 days at Deaver Reservoir into this free boondocking. Located off Wyoming State 114, 3 miles northwest of Deaver. Popular local warm and cold-water fishery includes trout, walleye, and catfish. Fishery open year-round with Wyoming State fishing license. Approximately 800 surface acres. Boating with motors less than 10 horsepower.

Available services include restroom, picnic tables, primitive boat ramp, primitive camping. No drinking water. Other activities include watchable wildlife and waterfowl hunting in season with Wyoming State license.

2. Lovell City Campground Boondocking Locations

40 Quebec Ave
Lovell, Wyoming
GPS: 44.842278, -108.383621
Elevation: 3822′

Management – City Park (Official)

Lovell City Campground is open year round. You may stay 3 days at Lovell City Campground into this free boondocking. East 2nd Street off 14A and 310. Has a creek. Local deputy lives across the street. Very quiet. Red Apple grocery store 5 blocks away. You can weigh your vehicle for $1 at the grain mill.

Liquor store behind Red Apple. On Main Street is a small cinema. UPS at Red Apple. Quaint mid-west town with friendly atmosphere! Great stop before going into Big Horn Canyon. Listed in Woodhauls.

3. Dayton Gulch Gravel Pit Dispersed Boondocking Locations

Forest Road 15
Dayton, Wyoming
GPS: 44.844038, -107.755242
Elevation: 8199′

Management – Forest Service

Free boondocking in the Bighorn National Forest’s Medicine Wheel Ranger District. This campsite does not use a reservation system. First come, first served. This is a high elevation location. Didn’t camp at this site as shown on the map. Camped off of Forest Road 15.

There are many, many places to pull off and camp off the side of Forest Road 14 or Forest Road 15. Some of them are in relatively open meadows and can accommodate large rigs and low-clearance sedan

4. Boyd Ridge Dispersed Boondocking Locations

Forest Road 110
Lovell, Wyoming
GPS: 44.899013, -107.852332
Elevation: 9511′

Management – Forest Service

Free boondocking in the Bighorn National Forest’s Medicine Wheel Ranger District. No reservations. First come, first served. This is a high elevation location.


The Paid Campgrounds Locations List


1. Sage Creek Campground

The price is $5

Bridger, Montana
GPS: 45.214014, -108.555023
Elevation: 5528′

The road in is Gravel and 25+ miles from a paved road. Sage Creek Campground is open All Year. There are 6-15 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 35 feet. You may stay 10 days at Sage Creek Campground. Sage Creek Campground is the only campground in the Pryor Mountains.

It is located along the banks of Sage Creek. Big Ice Cave Picnic Ground, and the Bureau of Land Management Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range are also located in the Pryor Mountains. Numerous motorized trails are located in the Pryor Mountains.

There are 12 campsites. Maximum stay is 10 days.

2. Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area – Barry’s Landing

The price is $10/night

Montana
GPS: 45.10272, -108.223643
Elevation: 3684′

The road in is Gravel and 100 ft. miles from a paved road. Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area – Barry’s Landing is open All Year. There are 6-15 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 45 feet. You may stay 14 days at Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area – Barry’s Landing.

Barry’s Landing Campground is located within the Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area. Barry’s Landing offers handicapped accessible restrooms and 15 designated campsites, 5 are tent only sites. Fishing and swimming access are available. A boat launch is provided for boating.

There are also scenic trails for hiking. There is no drinking water or RV hookups. The campground limit to stay is 14 days.


3. Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area – Horseshoe Bend Campground

The price is $10 dollars/night for an undeveloped site and $20 dollars/night for sites with utilities
Address
Lovell, Wyoming
GPS: 44.962932, -108.263102
Elevation: 3737′

The road in is Gravel and 1 mile miles from a paved road. Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area – Horseshoe Bend Campground is open All Year (though utilities are turned off September through May). There are 30 or more campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 45 feet.

You may stay 14 days at Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area – Horseshoe Bend Campground. Uphill from the Horseshoe Bend Marina and picnic area north of Lovell, Wyoming are 48 campsites of the Horseshoe Bend Campground overlook the Bighorn Lake and the red sandstone cliffs of Sykes Mountain. The campground is located 14 miles north of Lovell via WY Highway 37.



Fort Union Trading Post Historic Site

Fort Union Trading Post Historic Site - Montana State ParksMontana National Parks – Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site (edited) Photo by Jasperdo

Location:

15550 ND-1804
Williston, ND 58801, USA
701-572-9083

About the Park:
The Montana National Parks at Fort Union Trading Post NHS is situated close to the border between North Dakota and Montana. In 1828, the American Fur Company built Fort Union. In the middle of the 19th century, furs such as beaver and buffalo robes were in high demand. The fort was constructed in order to trade furs for goods including knives, firearms, blankets, wine, and more with the tribes of the Northern Plains.

Of all the fur trading hubs along the Upper Missouri River, Fort Union had the longest operational history. The huge fort that formerly stood here has been recreated for visitors to explore. The visitor center is housed in the Bourgeois House and features historical life-style displays.

There are hiking trails that lead around the Fort and great interpretive panels.

Things To Do:

Watch the Fort Union Trading Post Orientation Film – Learn how Fort Union Trading Post became an epicenter for trade between the Assiniboine and other Northern Plains Tribes and Euro-American fur traders.

Visit Fort Union’s Trade House – The Trade House was one of the most important buildings at Fort Union. It was in the Reception Room where Tribal leaders met with the American Fur Company Traders to discuss the terms of the trade and also where stories were told, and small feasts were held. Today it is open seasonally as a stage for third person living history interpretation.

Become a Jr. Ranger and Jr. Trader at Fort Union – Kids of all ages are invited to explore Fort Union Trading Post NHS through the Junior Ranger & Junior Trader programs! Pick up a free Junior Ranger booklet at the Bourgeois House Visitor Center. The program typically takes around 1 hour to complete.

Top Tips:

Allow 1 day for your visit to the site.

When To Visit:

The best time to visit this Montana National Parks is in early spring from mid April through May and then in late fall in October. There are not large crowds and virtually anytime that it is warm enough for your tastes will be perfect.


The Free Boondocking Locations List


1. Bruegger Centennial Park Boondocking Locations

218-410 3rd Ave E
Culbertson, Montana
GPS: 48.145817, -104.512734
Elevation: 1916′

This is a decent city park that allows free boond0cking just a few blocks off Highway 2 in eastern Montana. There is a ‘camping’ symbol sign on Hwy 2 as you go through Culbertson that will point you south to the park. It’s on 4th Ave E a few blocks south of Hwy 2 in Culbertson.

It is quiet (except for the massive wind that picked up through the night) with nice grass to sleep on. One small restroom, no showers.

2. Silver Wolf Casino Boondocking Locations

Wolf Point, Montana
GPS: 48.091579, -105.636452
Elevation: 1998′

Management – Casino



Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site

Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site - Montana State ParksMontana National Parks – Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site (edited) Photo by Ken Lund

Location:

266 Warren Lane
Deer Lodge MT 59722
Phone: 406-846-2070

About the Park:

About 45 miles west of Helena, in Western Montana, sits the Montana National Parks at Grant Kohrs Ranch NHS. Visitors can experience a working cattle ranch at the park, which is accessible from Spring through Fall.

The early livestock activities in this region of Montana were the centerpiece of this spectacular National Park site. The ranch, which is still in operation today, maintains the history of the cowboy and the function of cattlemen in America.

The historic ranch house with its original 18th-century furnishings is one of more than 80 houses and buildings in the area. The bunkhouse, blacksmith shop, horse barns, cow sheds, and outbuildings from the 1860s are additional structures.

In addition to horse-drawn carriage rides, chuckwagon discussions, blacksmithing demonstrations, and cowboy presentations, the main ranch home is open for tours. In addition, the park has seven miles of walking routes, including a nature trail.

Things To Do:

Explore Historic Buildings – Step back in time as you walk around some of the 88 historic structures at Grant-Kohrs Ranch.

Join a Guided Tour – Experience the Victorian elegance of the Ranch House or the wide-open spaces of the ranch through a guided tour.

Experience a Ranger Program – Chat with a park ranger to deepen your understanding of the Open Range Cattle Era and how it helped shape the nation.

Top Tips:

Allow 1 day for your visit to the site.

When To Visit:

The best time to visit this Montana National Parks at is in early spring from mid April through May and then in late fall in October. There are not large crowds and virtually anytime that it is warm enough for your tastes will be perfect.


The Free Boondocking Locations List


1. Racetrack NF Campground & Picnic Area Free Boondocking

Deer Lodge, Montana
GPS: 46.280684, -112.939235
Elevation: 5410′

Management – Forest Service (Official)

The road into this free boondocking is Gravel and 12 miles from a paved road. Racetrack NF Campground & Picnic Area is open Open May 15 through September 15, weather permitting.. There are 6-15 campsites at this location. You may stay 16 days at Racetrack NF Campground & Picnic Area.

The campground is located along Racetrack Creek and is pack it in, pack it out. Some sites are open and others are shaded by mature, tall Douglas Fir trees. NF website states 22ft RV length, but larger rigs can fit into many, not all, sites. Bear country, bear boxes on site. Local ATV usage.


2. RV Parking by Old Prison Free Boondocking

Deer Lodge, Montana
GPS: 46.390821, -112.736314
Elevation: 4528′

Management – Unknown

The road into this free boondocking is Paved. The maximum RV length at Rv Parking by Old Prison is unlimited. We stayed in the rv parking lot behind Old Montana Prison. This is a dirt lot with some grassy patches. There are no signs that say you cant park here and no one to ask. We stayed 2 nights in our 37 ft trailer and no one said anything.

3. Gravel lot behind Exxon Town Pump Free Boondocking

6940 MT-1, Anaconda, MT 59711
Anaconda, Montana
GPS: 46.12742, -112.92265
Elevation: 5190′

Management – Gas Station (Unofficial)


The Paid Campgrounds Locations List


1. Washoe Park

The price is $10

Anaconda, Montana
GPS: 46.134848, -112.959849
Elevation: 5302′

The road in is Gravel and 100 yards miles from a paved road. Washoe Park is open April 15 to November 1, though water is only on from Memorial Day to Labor Day. There are 6-15 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 45 feet. You may stay Unlimited at Washoe Park.

Washoe Park is a city/county park in historic Anaconda, Montana, which is managed by Deer Lodge, County. There are approximately 10 parking spots in the city park for RVs. Cost is $10/night.
The park features a swimming pool, showers, drinking water, picnic tables, trash cans, and much more.



Ice Age Floods National Geological Trail

Ice Age Trail - Montana State ParksMontana National Parks – Ice Age Floods National Geological Trail (edited) Photo by Bureau of Land Management 

Location:

1008 Crest Drive
Coulee Dam , WA 99116
509 237-9722

About the Park:

At the end of the last Ice Age, 18,000 to 15,000 years ago, an ice dam in northern Idaho created Glacial Lake Missoula that stretched 3,000 square miles into Montana. The dam burst and released flood waters across Washington, down the Columbia River, back flooding into Oregon, before reaching the ocean. This happened perhaps 100 times and changed the lives and landscape of the Pacific Northwest.

The Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail is a collection of Montana National Parks and facilities as well as those in other states operated and owned by a variety of partners. Hours of operation and season will vary from site to site. Please check each respective site for more details and information.

Things To Do:

Idaho
Museum of North Idaho

Montana
Montana Natural History Center

Oregon
Columbia Gorge Discovery Center
Museum of Natural History, University of Oregon
Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
Beacon Rock Beacon Rock near the Columbia Gorge in Washington

Washington
Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center
Fort Spokane Visitor Center
Grand Coulee Dam Visitor Center
Hanford Reach Interpretive Center and Museum
Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center

Top Tips:

It is hard to give top tips to these Montana National Parks sites since it is so large but try to see as much of the route as possible as your travel time allows.

When To Visit:

The best time to visit the park is pretty much any time the weather allows since they are all indoor facilities.

Boondocking and Campground Locations:

Area to Large to Cover



Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail

Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail - Montana State ParkMontana National Parks – Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail (edited) Photo by Bureau of Land Management 

Location:

601 Riverfront Drive
Omaha, NE 6810
402 661-1804

About the Park:

The Lewis and Clark Expedition played a significant role in the development of Montana. A fantastic way to explore the state as Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark did more than 200 years ago is to follow the path and visit its sights.

Retrace Lewis and Clark’s steps and travel parallel to the Missouri and Yellowstone Montana National Park rivers during a five-day circle across the state’s northeastern badlands and open plains. This off-the-beaten-path trek crosses the Fort Peck Indian Reservation and travels through former dinosaur habitat.

Things To Do:

Hike – Lewis and Clark National Historical Park offers 14.5 miles of trails that follow similar routes to those taken by the Corps of Discovery.

Paddle – Launch your non-motorized boat at Netul Landing.

View Wildlife – With a variety of trails, there are plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife.

Go Fish – Check out fishing regulations and locations here.

Fort Programs – Experience Fort Clatsop come alive during summer and winter ranger programs. Rangers in costume lead demonstrations and tell stories.

Ranger Guided Canoe & Kayak Tours – Kayak & canoe tours are free with park admission. The park will provide water craft, paddles, and life jackets. Reserve ahead of time.

Become a Jr. Ranger – Complete a series of activities during your park visit, share your answers with a park ranger, and receive an official Junior Ranger badge!

Top Tips:

It is hard to give top tips to this site since it is so large but try to see as much of the route as possible as your travel time allows.

When To Visit:

The best time to visit these Montana National Parks is in early spring from mid April through May and then in late fall in October. There are not large crowds and virtually anytime that it is warm enough for your tastes will be perfect.

Boondocking and Campground Locations:

Area to Large to Cover



Nez Pierce National Historic Site

Nez Pierce National Historic SiteMontana State ParkMontana National Parks – Nez Pierce James McKenzie (edited) Photo by Bureau of Land Management 

Location:

83365 Joseph Hwy
Joseph, OR 97846
208-843-7001

About the Park:

For the purpose of narrating the history of the Nez Perce (Nimiipuu) people, the Nez Perce National Historical Park was created in 1965. This park, which is spread over four states and retraces the path of the 1877 fight, has something to offer everyone.

This Montana National Park is surrounded by Nez Perce history and culture. Learn how the Nimiipu adapted and are still claiming the land now. The visitor center for the Nez Perce National Historical Park is in Spalding.

Things To Do:

Visit the Nez Perce NHP Visitor Center – Plan your trip to the park’s main visitor center, headquarters, and several other historic sites in Spalding, Idaho.

Visit Big Hole National Battlefield – Plan your trip to the battlefield and visitor center that commemorate the Nez Perce Flight of 1877’s August 9th and 10th battle.

Visit the Bear Paw Battlefield – Plan your trip to the site of the Nez Perce Flight of 1877’s final battle. Located near Chinook, MT.

Visit Buffalo Eddy – Plan your visit to a site that contains hundreds of ancient, unique petroglyphs. Located near Asotin, WA.

Visit Canoe Camp – Plan your trip to the site where Nez Perce helped Lewis & Clark carve canoes that took them to the Pacific Ocean. Located near Orofino, ID.

Visit the Heart of the Monster – Plan your visit to the site where Coyote created the Nez Perce people. Located near present-day Kamiah, ID.

Visit the Old Chief Joseph Gravesite – Plan your visit to the site where Tıwi·teqıs’s remains are buried. Located near Joseph, OR.

Visit Weippe Prairie – Plan your visit to the site where the Nez Perce met Lewis and Clark in 1805. Located near Weippe, ID.

Visit White Bird Battlefield – Plan your trip to the site of the Nez Perce Flight of 1877’s first battle. Located near Whitebird, ID.

Top Tips:

Nez Perce National Historical Park is big – – thirty-eight sites in four states that encompasses 11,000 years of history. If you only have a few hours or a few days, you can learn about a people and places who have called this home since the beginning of time.

Visit the park Welcome and visitor center at the Spalding site. See the park film, “Of One Heart”, tour the exhibit, and see the historical area.

Take the Idaho loop via Hwy 12 and 95. There are many sites to visit. Some are pullouts with signs, others are places to visit and walk like the Whitebird battlefield, the Heart of the Monster, and Canoe Camp. From Lewiston, the Wallowa Valley is just a few hours a way. On the way is an overlook at Joseph Canyon, close to the traditional birth site of Chief Joseph. Near the town of Joseph is the cemetery where Chief Joseph’s father is buried.

Drive east over Highway 12 to Montana and follow the route of the Nez Perce National Historic Trail and the battlefields of the 1877 conflict. There is a visitor center at Big Hole with a film and walking trails.

When To Visit:

The best time to visit these Montana National Parks is in early spring from mid April through May and then in late fall in October. There are not large crowds and virtually anytime that it is warm enough for your tastes will be perfect.


The Free Boondocking Locations List


1. East Havre Pulloff Free Boondocking

U.S. Highway 2 East of Havre
Havre, Montana
GPS: 48.564815, -109.548001
Elevation: 2466′

Management – Rest Area (Unofficial)

The road into this free boondocking is Paved. East Havre Pulloff is open Year round. There are 1-5 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 35 feet. You may stay 1 at East Havre Pulloff. This is a small 1.5 acre tract owned by the State of Montana.

Is it a small paved pullout along U.S. Highway 2. There are no services or amenities on site, but RVers and campers use it to spend the night quite frequently. The area has trees and it is free.

;

2. Town Pump Free Boondocking

Chinook, Montana
GPS: 48.594182, -109.232624
Elevation: 2411′

Management – Gas Station (Official)

The local gas station offers free boondocking and is situated on a very large lot right on U.S. Highway 2 and it often hosts semi trucks and trailers at night who are looking for a place to rest on an otherwise desolate Montana highway. I asked if it was OK if a RV or camper could also spend the night and was told “of course.”

In October when ranches are shipping cattle the lot can be quite busy though with cattle trailers, which can smell, so beware.

3. Harlem City Park Free Boondocking

10 1st Ave. SW Harlem, MT
Harlem, Montana
GPS: 48.532026, -108.786758
Elevation: 2365′

Management – City Park (Official)

The road into this free boondocking is Paved. Harlem City Park is open All Year. There are 1-5 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 45 feet. You may stay 1 to 2 nights (more if you ask city hall for permission) at Harlem City Park. Harlem City Park is a nice little park in downtown Harlem, Montana near the community’s outdoor swimming pool and city hall.

Overnight curbside parking is allowed. There is a picnic shelter with picnic tables, trash cans, playground, and swimming pool. There are also restrooms available inside city hall and the swimming pool building (and showers there too), but those are only open during normal business hours.


The Free Campgrounds Locations List


1. Zurich Park

The price is $10

Blaine County Clerk & Recorder (420 Ohio St Chinook, MT 59523)
Zurich, Montana
GPS: 48.599283, -109.01956
Elevation: 2408′
Zurich Park is a hidden gem few outside of Blaine County, Montana know about. it is located approximately 1.5 miles north of U.S. Highway 2 between Chinook and Havre, Montana…north of the small unincorporated town of Zurich, Montana on Park Road. There are approximately 6 to 10 camping spots, which have electrical power available.

Potable water and vaulted restrooms are also available onsite, along with one of the few places along the U.S. Highway 2 corridor with shade trees. There is also a nice playground, picnic area, fire pits, ballpark, and a Community Hall that can also be rented out for special events.



Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument

Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument - free boondockingMontana National Parks – Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument (edited) Photo by Michael B. Location:

I-90 Frontage Rd
Crow Agency, MT 59022
406-638-2621

About the Park:

At this Montana National Park at Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, we honor all who participated in the 1876 battle at which Lakota and Cheyenne warriors defeated the 7th U.S. Cavalry in one of the most famous and decisive encounters in American history.

This hallowed ground holds a unique place in the national consciousness as the high-water mark in the 400-year struggle of American Indians against the encroachment of European Americans. Yet the battlefield’s cultural legacy far transcends its military significance.

Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument preserves and interprets a near-pristine field of engagement that includes critical combat sites, archaeological artifacts and numerous monuments commemorating the combatants.

Completed in 2013, the congressionally authorized Indian Memorial honors the many American Indian perspectives and interpretations of the battle and its outcomes, their heroic sacrifice and their struggle to preserve and defend their homeland and traditional way of life.

Things To Do:

— View the 25 -minute orientation video.
— Explore the museum exhibits.
— Walk up to “Custer’s Last Stand”.
— Visit the Indian Memorial.
— Walk the Deep Ravine trail, 1/4 mile self-guided walking tour.
— Walk through the National Cemetery.
— Drive the 4.5 mile tour road to the Reno-Benteen Battlefield, the second stage of the Battle of the Little Bighorn.
— Do an audio tour by purchasing a CD or drive out on your own, self guided tour.

Top Tips:

Visit the “Peace Through Unity” memorial commemorates Native Americans who battled at Little Bighorn.

The Bighorn River cuts through the area, providing opportunities for outdoors adventure.

Traditional Crow singing and dancing, an Indian rodeo, horse racing and a parade are among the highlights. Visitors interested in learning more about the Crows can visit Chief Plenty Coups State Park, which has exhibits on tribal artifacts and history.

When To Visit:

The best time to visit these Montana National Parks is in early spring from mid April through May and then in late fall in October. There are not large crowds and virtually anytime that it is warm enough for your tastes will be perfect.


The Free Boondocking Locations List


1. White Arm Park – Lodge Grass Free Boondocking

Lodge Grass, Montana
GPS: 45.3118, -107.363244
Elevation: 3369′

Management – City Park (Official)

The road into this free boondocking is Paved. White Arm Park – Lodge Grass is open Memorial Day to Labor Day. There are 1-5 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 45 feet. White Arm Park is a city park in Lodge Grass, Montana off of exit 530 on I-90. It has a playground, restrooms, and a water hydrant. There is room for one (maybe two) RVs on the east side of Main Street along the west side of White Arm Park.

2. Charging Horse Casino Free Boondocking

Lame Deer, Montana
GPS: 45.62505, -106.659706
Elevation: 3366′

Management – Casino

3. Town Pump – Hardin Free Boondocking

1010 N Crawford
Hardin, Montana
GPS: 45.738845, -107.613342
Elevation: 2904′

Management – Truck Stop (Official)

The road into this free boondocking is Paved. Town Pump – Hardin is open All Year. There are 6-15 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 45 feet. You may stay 1 night at Town Pump – Hardin.

The Town Pump is another truck stop in Hardin, Montana located south of I-90 at exit 495. Smaller than the Flying J truck stop and with fewer amenities, the benefits of this truck stop over the Flying J are:


The Paid Campgrounds Locations List


1. Two Leggins Fishing Access

Hwy 313
Hardin, Montana
GPS: 45.644947, -107.659694
Elevation: 2940′

The road in is Gravel and 100 yards miles from a paved road. Two Leggins Fishing Access is open All Year. There are 6-15 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 45 feet. You may stay 2 nights at Two Leggins Fishing Access.

2. Bighorn Fishing Access

The price is $7 with a fishing license and $12 without a fishing license

Saint Xavier, Montana
GPS: 45.414725, -107.789778
Elevation: 3074′

The road in is Gravel and 1 miles from a paved road. Bighorn Fishing Access is open All Year. There are 6-15 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 45 feet. You may stay 7 days at Bighorn Fishing Access.

3. Afterbay Campground

The price is $10/night

Fort Smith, Montana
GPS: 45.315452, -107.941495
Elevation: 3202′

The road in is Paved. Afterbay Campground is open All Year. There are 30 or more campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 45 feet. You may stay 14 days at Afterbay Campground.


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