10 Best Montana Campgrounds: The Ultimate Outdoor Recreation In Montana (2022)
If you are someone who loves camping, tenting, RVing, and similar affairs, you are going to fall in love with Montana. Under an unbelievably big and stary sky, your stay in one of Montana Campgrounds will turn into an experience. This state includes 55 State parks, 11 National Forest, and 7 National parks. Some are home to forested peaks, some to snow-covered glaciers, though whatever the features are, 90% of the public park/ forest land in Montana offers camping. Most of it is basic, free to access camping, some specific asks for a day pass.
Montana campgrounds range from tiny ones to large, offering different vibes from the first. Apart from the State/ National Parks/ Forest, you will campground in even town, cities, down dirt roads, and almost every corner of the state. So why wait? Pack all your camping and tenting essentials and head for your next outdoor adventure in Montana.
10 Best Montana Campgrounds: The Ultimate Outdoor Recreation In Montana
We are sure that you will love your stay in one of these ultimate Montana Campgrounds.
1. Lewis and Clark Caverns Campground
Home to the largest known limestone caverns in the Northwest, Lewis and Clark Caverns is the first and best-known state park in Montana. The biggest draw here is the limestone caverns guided tours (from May through September). Though what adds right next to the list is the cavern campground. The cavern campground includes more than 40 sites spread either through grass valleys or flats throughout the year. Travelers can camp, tent, RV, or rent one of the three cabins on the grounds. Camping here operates through the reservation, especially during the peak summer season. Facilities like flush toilets and showers are available year-round, though drinking water is only available during summers. Considering all the underground and aboveground wonders Lewis and Clark Caverns State Parks offers, a day camping here is a must.
2. Apgar Campground
The most popular camping space in Montana, the Apgar Campground, deserves only praises. Apgar is the biggest amongst the thirteen campgrounds in the Glacier National Park and, of course, the best as well. Travelers can access it via Going-to-the-Sun Road less than three miles from the West Entrance, after a short walk from the Apgar village. This campground operates from June through August, operating 194 camping sites. While all campsites operate on a first-come, first-serve basis, five group sites require advance reservation. Camping enthusiasts can either plant their tent or go RVing. Apgar campground is within proximity to Lake McDonald, which adds highly to travelers’ interest. And travelers who aren’t lucky enough to find a camping spot here can head to the St. Mary Campground on the east side of the park, the opposite end of Going-to-the-Sun Road.
3. Holland Lake Campground
The Holland Lake Campground is a 24 acres campground situated at an elevation of 3,500 feet. On the grounds, there are 40 campsites spread through two different loops. Travelers visiting here can either go for tenting or RVing, as preferable. Though no electricity or water hook-ups are available, flushing restrooms and potable water come as amenities here. For added fun, there are several picnic tables and fire rings as well. Considering the campground stays packed during the summer season, one can book for the majority of the sites six months well in advance. What attracts camper here the most is the proximity and views of the marvelous Holland Lake. During sunny hours one can go boating, fishing, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, and once it is dark, a leisurely lakefront stay is all that comes to life.
4. Big Arm Unit Campground
The Big Arm Unit Campground on the west side of Flatland Lake is one of the most popular campgrounds in Montana. There are 40 campsites and three yurts on the grounds, all of which are nicely settled across the shoreline. It offers amenities including flushing toilets, washing up facilities, and restrooms with showers. All of the sites are reservable ahead of time. The stunning vistas from the towering Mission and Swan Mountains attract campers and travelers here the most. And for individuals who are also adventure junkies, the campground allows access for swimming, boating, kayaking, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, etc. The list doesn’t actually end here as the site also offers windsurfing and water-skiing opportunities. Big Arm Unit also allows boat launching for trips to Wild Horse Island, a popular day visit place.
5. Bozeman Hot Springs Campground
The Bozeman Campground is located right next door to the Bozeman Hot Springs. This award-winning hot springs campground offers multiple sites for tenting and RVing. Stay back options here further expand to overnight cabins, which have all modern amenities on their own. However, amenities like electrical and water hook-ups, flushing toilets, coin-operated laundry services, and hot showers are available for all. Other added amenities here include ladder golf, horseshoes, a children’s playground, a clubhouse, a games room, and even an outdoor chessboard. Or, if you are more of an adventure junkie, you can go swimming and fishing in the river, soak into the hot spring, or hike and bike in the mountain range around. Bozeman Hot Springs Campground is more of a modern and leisurely place to stay at.
6. Mammoth Campground
Located inside the famous Yellowstone National Park, the Mammoth Campground is a designated and licensed space. Travelers in Montana can access it through nearby Gardiner though it also lies only over state lines in Wyoming. Operating year-round, the Mammoth campground features 85 camping sites available for tenting and RVing. Due to the high crowd, reservations here are a must, though during winters, finding a place here is easy. What attracts travelers here the most is the nearby Mammoth Hot Springs. The springs are defined by a unique steamy atmosphere, boardwalk hiking routes, and the travertine terraces. Mammoth Campground is also the only campground in Yellowstone National Park that operates during winters.
7. Bannack State Park Campgrounds
Located in the southwestern area of Montana, the Bannack State Park Campgrounds are unique from the above ones. Inside this National Historic Landmark, there are two campgrounds and one tipi. Travelers can come and choose from 24 campsites on a first-come, first-serve basis. Both Vigilante Campground and Road Agent Campground are close to the main street and several historic structures. On your stay here, you can use running water and vault toilets. Other campground amenities include fire rings, horseshoe pits, retail stores, hiking opportunities, picnic opportunities, and photography opportunities. Reservation here is recommended during summers, especially during the peak tourism season. Staying at the Bannack Campgrounds is definitely different from camping in another Montana wilderness.
8. Bad Medicine Campground
The Bad Medicine Campground is an 18-site camping space located in the Kootenai National Forest. Each campsite is spacious and caters to tenting and RVing. For your overnight stay here, secure your campsite on a first-come and first-stay basis. What attracts travelers and campers the most here is the Ross Creek Cedars Scenic Area, Bull Lake, and other modes of outdoor fun. It is the closest campground that opens up ways to the groves of ancient red cedars, the biggest and the oldest in Montana. The campground also offers a boat ramp and dock for enjoying water sports and adventures with Bull Lake’s proximity.
9. The Afterbay Campground
A stay at the Afterbay Campground in Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area offers unparalleled beauty of Montana wilderness. The campground is located on the northern end of the recreational region, close to the banks of the same-named lake. Travelers can choose to stay from 12 RVing sites and 28 camping sites. There are near potable water and vault toilets on the site. Though travelers come here just to enjoy the unique landscape views, they can also enjoy water activities like fishing and boating. If not the Afterbay Campground, campers can also visit the Trail Creek Campground nearby. Or, from the Wyoming portion of Bighorn Canyon, one can access the Horseshoe Bend Campground.
10. Some Additional Campgrounds In Montana
- Camping at Makoshika State Park (24 campsites ranging from rustic to regular ones. The best part is that every campsite is spread afar for maximum privacy).
- Crystal Lake Campground (It has 28 first-come, first-serve campsites. Located on Crystal Lake’s banks, this is one of the hidden campsites in Montana).
- Spire Rock Campground (It has 19 camping sites, all settled in the lush private forest setting. The campground operates from May through September on a reservation basis only).