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8 Great Giant Springs Boondocking Locations

Giant Springs Boondocking Locations

It is sad that there aren’t Giant Springs Boondocking or Camping areas inside the park but, that doesn’t mean you should overlook this wonderful place. Experience the Giant Springs State Park, the springs are one of the largest freshwater springs in the county, producing over 156 million gallons of water each day. Dip your toes in the bubbling pool on a hot summer day or witness the foggy mist rise off the water in the depths of winter. Listen to the tranquil sounds of the water cascading into the Roe River, once listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s shortest river.

Visit the Giant Springs Fish Hatchery and take a walk through the visitor center or feed the fish in the show pond. Find a place to picnic among the towering silver poplars, mature blue spruce or on the manicured lawn. Bring your binoculars or camera and enjoy the park’s exceptional birding opportunities.

Giant Springs State Park - Great Falls, Montana

8 Giant Springs Boondocking Locations

1. Giant Springs State Park Boondocking – Wood Bottom Recreation Area

Fort Benton River Management Station
Loma, Montana
GPS: 47.911426, -110.493289
Elevation: 2562′

Management: Bureau of Land Management

Stayed here for 2 nights while bird hunting in mid September while visiting Great Falls and the Giant Springs State Park fish hatchery. Site is easily accessed from a good gravel road and on the banks of the Missouri river. Although the weather was good this is considered to be off season so there were no other campers, just a couple of people using the boat ramp. Little or no vehicular traffic and you can fall asleep to the sounds of geese and coyotes. The road in is Gravel and 2 miles miles from a paved road. Wood Bottom Recreation Area is open All Year. There are 1-5 campsites at this Giant Springs State Park Boondocking location and the maximum RV length is 45 feet. You may stay 14 days at Wood Bottom Recreation Area.

Amenities:

Boat Ramp
Fire Ring
Near Water
Picnic Tables
Restrooms

2. Giant Springs State Park Boondocking – Freezeout Lake WMA

Fairfield, Montana
GPS: 47.677293, -112.043886
Elevation: 3766′

Management: Montana Fish and Wildlife

This is a free dispersed Giant Springs State Park Boondocking spot. First come -> first camped. No reservations are accepted.

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3. Giant Springs State Park Boondocking – Freezout

Fairfield, Montana
GPS: 47.669746, -112.015255
Elevation: 3799′

Management: Montana Fish and Wildlife

The road in is Gravel and 1000 feet miles from a paved road which provides a good spot for Giant Springs State Park Boondocking. Freezout Lake Wildlife Management Area is open 1/16 to 9/30. There are 16-29 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 45 feet. You may stay 2 days at Freezout Lake Wildlife Management Area.

Excellent spot for Giant Springs State Park Boondocking and to visit Great Falls! Breathtaking sunset views of the mountain. Beautiful birds everywhere, but unfortunately the mosquitos are too. Would definitely stay here again when traveling from GNP to Great Falls. Worthy to note no camp fires allowed.

Amenities:

Picnic Tables
Restrooms
Trash Cans

4. Giant Springs State Park – Walmart

701 Smelter Ave NE, Great Falls MT 59404
Great Falls, Montana
GPS: 47.524778, -111.295589
Elevation: 3366′

Management: Retail Store

We stayed here for one night and it was… a Walmart stay. This location clearly embraces RVers as we were one of 9 RVs spending the night here. It is open all night and many of the locals have loud old cars in addition to the road being a trucking road. If you are OK with above average noise for a Walmart then you’ll need to also be OK with the smell… there is an oil refinery right across the street, not too pungent but luckily it was cool enough for a windows closed evening. Ok for a stop in Great Falls and spot to visit Giant Springs State Park which you do not want to miss.

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5. Giant Springs State Park Boondocking Locations – Walmart

5320 10th Ave S
Great Falls, Montana
GPS: 47.49078, -111.218779
Elevation: 3507′

Management: Retail Store

The road in is Paved. Walmart is open all year round. There are 6-15 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is unlimited. You may stay 3 days at Walmart. Ok for a stop in Great Falls and spot to visit Giant Springs State Park which you do not want to miss.

6. Giant Springs State Park Boondocking Locations – Armington Junction Rest Area

Belt, Montana
GPS: 47.349788, -110.896534
Elevation: 3591′

Management: Montana Fish and Wildlife

The road in is Paved. Armington Junction Rest Area is open All Year. There are 1-5 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is unlimited.

This is a rest area adjacent to a weigh station. Unlike other rest areas, this one has 24 hour surveillance (i.e. cameras). Located near Belt Creek. Has a nice picnic area. Potable water spigot is available near the entrance to the restrooms, but a wrench with a square fitting is required to turn it on. Can give you access to Giant Springs State Park but, that is about it.

Amenities:

Drinking Water
Picnic Tables
Restrooms
Trash Cans

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7. Giant Springs State Park – Hughsville Road

Monarch, Montana
GPS: 47.093664, -110.820881
Elevation: 4644′

Management: Montana Fish and Wildlife

The road in is Gravel and 3 miles from a paved road. Hughsville Road is open Year round but trecherous in winter. There are 16-29 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is unlimited. You may stay 14 days at Hughsville Road.

Many spots to choose from along this road. My family camped in our 22 foot bumper pull camper with our truck. Camp spots vary in size from tent/car camping to spots where multiple RV’s could fit! Some entrances are rough getting into with a camper even though the main gravel road is well maintained. Love this area and is a great spot Giant Springs State Park boondocking spot for a visit to Giant Springs State Park !

8. Giant Springs State Park Boondocking – Lion Park/American Legion

Cascade, Montana
GPS: 47.276356, -111.703224
Elevation: 3413′

Management: City Park

Minutes off Interstate 15 located three blocks from Main Street of Cascade next to the city park and swimming pool. Several back-in sites with room for two or three fifth wheels to park without unhooking. Donation box next to the dump site. There is a screened-in cabana. GPS approximate.You may stay 3 days at Lion Park/American Legion. Good spot to stay if you are visiting Giant Springs State Park.

Amenities:
Dump Station
Electricity

Paid Boondocking and Camping Options for Giant Springs State Park

1. Giant Springs State Park Campsties – Choteau County Fairgrounds – Canoe Launch CG

112 2nd Street
Fort Benton, Montana
GPS: 47.805191, -110.681318
Elevation: 2638′

County fairgrounds

Cost $10 Day

Choteau County Fairgrounds – Canoe Launch CG is open May-Sep.

Amenities:

Drinking Water
Dump Station
Restrooms
Showers

2. Giant Springs State Park Campsties – Thain Creek Campground

Highwood, Montana
GPS: 47.475548, -110.58541
Elevation: 4534′

Management: Montana Fish and Wildlife

Cost $5 Day

The road in is Gravel and 18 miles miles from a paved road. Thain Creek Campground is open All year, but access will of course be limited in the winter.. There are 6-15 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 35 feet. You may stay 16 days at Thain Creek Campground. Thain Creek Campground is located in the Lewis and Clark National Forest and Giant Springs State Park Campsties section at an elevation of 4700 feet. The campground is a “pack it in, pack it out” campground and it is located on a hillside above Thain Creek among lodgepole pines and aspen trees.

Amenities:

Drinking Water
Picnic Tables

3. Giant Springs State Park Campsties – Pelican Point

716-798 Sheep Creek Road
Cascade, Montana
GPS: 47.196899, -111.772619
Elevation: 3379′

Management: State Park

Cost $12 Day

Pelican Point is open all year and is a sister site to Giant Springs State Park Campsties. This is a dispersed campsite. Reservations are not accepted at this campsite.

Amenities:

Restrooms

4. Giant Springs State Park Campsties – Prewett Creek

2 Seibold Lane
Cascade, Montana
GPS: 47.171299, -111.826768
Elevation: 3399′

Management: State Park

Cost $12 Day

Prewett Creek is open all year and is a sister site to Giant Springs State Park Campsties. This is a dispersed campsite. Reservations are not accepted at this campsite. Good location right on the river the campsite is well used but worth it
hiked in and stayed here with a tent.

Amenities:

Restrooms

5. Giant Springs State Park Campsties – Mid Canon

29 Golden Eagle Drive
Cascade, Montana
GPS: 47.124752, -111.884952
Elevation: 3428′

Management: State Park

Mid Canon is open all year and is a sister site to Giant Springs State Park Campsties. This is a dispersed campsite. Reservations are not accepted at this campsite.

Amenities:

Restrooms

6. Giant Springs State Park Campsties – Spite Hill

3471-3485 Spitehill Road
Wolf Creek, Montana
GPS: 47.120943, -111.934639
Elevation: 3442′

Management: State Park

Spite Hill is open all year and is a sister site to Giant Springs State Park Campsties. This is a dispersed campsite. Reservations are not accepted at this campsite.

Amenities:

Restrooms

7. Giant Springs State Park Campsties – Craig

133 Frank Road
Wolf Creek, Montana
GPS: 47.073136, -111.96301
Elevation: 3461′

Management: State Park

Cost $12 Day

Craig is open all year and is a sister site to Giant Springs State Park Campsties. This is a dispersed campsite. Reservations are not accepted at this campsite.

Amenities:

Drinking Water
Restrooms

8. Giant Springs State Park Campsties – Dearborn

4938 Craig Frontage Road
Cascade, Montana
GPS: 47.126342, -111.908263
Elevation: 3484′

Management: State Park

Dearborn is open all year and is a sister site to Giant Springs State Park Campsties. This is a dispersed campsite. Reservations are not accepted at this campsite.

Amenities:

Restrooms

9. Giant Springs State Park Campsties – Wolf Creek Fishing Access

Wolf Creek, Montana
GPS: 47.01955, -112.010985
Elevation: 3484′

Management: Fish and Wildlife

Cost $7 Day

The road in is Gravel and 100 yards miles from a paved road. Wolf Creek 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 14 days at Wolf Creek Fishing Access.

Amenities:

Boat Ramp
Picnic Tables
Restrooms

History of Giant Springs State Park

Giant Springs State Park was discovered by the Lewis & Clark Expedition in 1805 and is one of the largest freshwater springs in the county. The spring flows at a rate of 156 million gallons of crystal clear water from the Madison Aquifer per day, the water originates from the Little Belt Mountains and takes approximately 26 years to reach the springs. Amazingly the water is a constant 54 degrees year round, during the cold winter months water vapor covers the air and soaks the trees in the park, which then forms beautiful ice covered trees shining in the sunlight.

Giant Springs, as it is called by the locals, was established in the 1970’s as a state park. It was discovered by the Lewis and Clark Expedition in 1805 and is one of the largest freshwater springs in the world. This is also the site of the Roe River, once listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s shortest river. Giant Springs flows at an astonishing 156-190 million gallons of water per day. The water stays at a constant temperature of 54 degrees and has been carbon-dated to be about 3000 years old. It bubbles up into a crystalline pool, which then flows 201 feet via the Roe River into the Missouri River.

More than a quarter of a million people, visit Giant Springs State Park each year. Many come to marvel at this remarkable feature, or to view the variety of bird life. Some come to visit the nearby Rainbow Falls Overlook, the visitor center, and the fish hatchery for rainbow trout and salmon. The fish hatchery raises and distributes about 1.3 million fish annually, most within a 150-mile radius of the hatchery .

The area is also a haven for at least 80 species of birds, mammals, and reptiles. Interpretive walks and programs are offered each summer. A group picnic site is also available.

Activities Inside Giant Springs State Park

Activities:

Bicycling
Bird Watching
Children’s Activities
Exhibit
Fishing
Hatchery
Heritage
Hiking
History
Lewis And Clark
Nature Tours
Photography
Picnicking
River Overlooks
Wildlife Viewing

Amenities:

Some amenities are seasonal. Check with the park for availability.

ADA Accessible
BBQ Pits or Grills
Gift Shop
Group Use Rentals
Interpretive Display
Maps
Parking
Pets Allowed
Picnic Shelters
Playground
Public Restroom
Toilet (flush)
Toilet (vault)
Trails
Trash Removal
Water

Things To Do Near Giant Springs State Park

1. Explore the River’s Edge Trail

The River’s Edge Trail is the main pedestrian corridor of the city. It follows both banks of the Missouri River for 60 in-town miles and connects natural spaces, the historical downtown district, and several cultural attractions.

Of the many city parks connected by the River’s Edge Trail, Gibson Park is considered the crown jewel of the city park system. This public space is within walking distance of downtown and features bountiful gardens and reflective ponds. It’s a popular place to start the day exploring the River’s Edge Trail on a bicycle.

Statue along the River’s Edge Trail
Statue along the River’s Edge Trail | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane
Other notable attractions along the route include Giant Spring State Park and the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. In the same area, northeast of downtown, pedestrians also get a great view of The Great Falls of the Missouri. And smaller attractions, like Warden Park or the several pieces of public art lining the pathway, are other fun places to pull over on the trail.

Any time of the year, expect joggers, cyclists, rollerbladers, or snowshoers sharing the River’s Edge Trail. Benches, picnic tables, and drinking fountains are also interspersed along the route, as well as established single-track mountain biking trails.

2. Dive into History at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center

Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane
Lewis and Clark made their way along the Missouri River and through the modern-day city of Great Falls in 1805. And the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, located within Giant Spring State Park and operated by the United States Forest Service, provides deep historical insight into the path of these two famous explorers.

The Interpretive Center encompasses over 25,000 square feet, including permanent galleries, an educational movie theater, and an interactive space for hands-on learning activities. Outside the interpretive center and connecting to the surrounding state park, interpretive trails literally let tourists follow in the path of Lewis and Clark.

3. Hike the Interpretive Loop at First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park

Fifteen minutes west of the city of Great Falls, First Peoples Buffalo Jump is an archaeological site believed to be one of the country’s largest ancient buffalo jump sites. Over 1,000 years ago, the indigenous population used this mile-long sandstone cliff to stampede buffalo over the edge. And evidence of this ancient hunting tactic can still be found today.

The park provides two different ways to experience the top and bottom of the sandstone cliff. The recommended route is a three-mile hiking trail that traverses the cliffs and back. Interpretive markers along the route correspond to a trail guide, available at the trailhead. For those not interested in hiking, a gravel road also leads to the top of the cliff with parking available.

The first place to check out, however, is the 6,000-square-foot education center near the park’s entrance. This interactive education space offers detailed information about the cultures that came before Lewis and Clark. The education center also details the prominence and demise of the buffalo in the American West.


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