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Planning your next wilderness adventure? Montana, bordering the U.S’ friendly neighbor Canada, has everything for your next camp trip. The state is most often associated with its wildlife and remoteness, making it already near perfect for a camping trip. From state parks to national parks, to small campsites in between, you’ll find cabins, a place to park the RV or a spot to pitch a tent amongst the greens of the trees and blues of the mountains. Check out our picks for the best five spots to go camping in Montana.
1. Red Cliff Campground, Gallatin Gateway
Spend your nights under the star-studded skies at the Red Cliff Campground in the Gallatin Canyon. The area sits just south of Big Sky, Montana, the popular resort and park atop the towering Rocky Mountains. While there is no camping in Big Sky itself, you can get as close as possible with Red Cliff Campground, elevated at 6500 feet. The camping season here runs from May to September and you can stay for up to 16 days and nights on the grounds for about $15 per night. The campground comes fully equipped with firewood for purchase, handicap-accessible toilets, fire pits, picnic tables, and fishing spots, amongst other perks. The campground is in the Gallatin Forest, right along the Gallatin River, giving you shade and water to cool down in the heat.
2. Glacier National Park, Rocky Mountains
Head up to the north of the state, toward the Canadian border to spend some time in the famous Glacier National Park. The stunningly beautiful area is home to towering snow-capped mountains, alpine lakes, and vibrant greens from the grass-covered floors to the tree covered ceilings. The park has various campsites to choose from, including lakeside spots like Kintla Lake and Bowman Lake, Many Glacier, St. Mary, Rising Sun, Quartz Creek, Logging Creek, and more. If you want to camp at Many Glacier, Fish Creek, St. Mary, and parts of Apgar, you’ll need to reserve ahead of time, however for the other sites, it’s a first-come-first-serve basis. The campground has no hookups to sewage or electrical outlets for RVs, and each space has room for eight people and two vehicles. Rules regarding firewood, pets, and prices vary depending on which site you’re staying in, so be sure to check the website for more info.
3. Bannack State Park, Dillon
You’ll really hit the jackpot with this campsite. The site of Bannack State Park is a National Historic Landmark — it was the first spot where gold was discovered in the state of Montana during the 19th-century gold rush. The small town is quaint and charming, but the real draw, of course, is the campsite in the park. With cabins and structures that look like they haven’t left the year 1862, you’ll get the full Wild West experience. Camping at Bannack State Park comes with cabins, picnic tables, parking spots, fire pits, and of course, hiking trails and swimming holes to be uncovered during your trip.
4. Great Falls KOA, Great Falls
Open all year round, Great Falls, in the northern part of the state, is perfect for any camping and outdoor adventure. The campsite comes ready for your visit with top-of-the-line amenities, including hot tub access, snack bars, firewood, bike rentals, WiFi, pool access, a dog park, and a kitchen. The site is also home to dozens of hiking trails perfect for a beginner or an expert hiker alike, as well as s’mores and campfires at night, and playground and water activities for kids. With so much fun packed into one space, Great Falls is ideal for a family vacation, offering something the adults and kids will both love.
5. Whitefish/Kalispell North KOA, Whitefish
Between May and September, you can enjoy a taste of the wilderness at Whitefish/Kalispell North KOA campsite. The site has been given the President’s Award for their high standards, according to guests. The campsite comes with tons of amenities and activities for everyone to enjoy, including a pool and hot tub, saunas, WiFi, picnic space and pavilions, and even mini golf, all in a spot up north surrounded by towering pine trees and mountains in the distance. Pull up in your own camper, or rent out one of the park’s cabins for your stay.