Forested peaks rise over snow-covered glaciers in Montana. Under an unbelievably starry sky, raging rivers split wide-open grasslands. This is “Big Sky Country”, and it certainly lives up to its name.
Home to some of the most stunning mountain landscapes in the world, Montana includes fifty-four state parks and vast national forests. Glaciers and lakes are also within driving distance of over a thousand camping and RV park sites.
Nature trekkers can take advantage of the 700 miles of hiking paths that snake through intriguing woods and across windswept peaks.
Many Montana excursions include dispersed camping, and the State’s national forests allow free, basic camping throughout. The National Forest Service also manages several constructed campsites with running water and basic toilets.
10 Best Campgrounds in Montana
- Apgar Camping Ground, Glacier National Park
- Many Glacier CampGround
- Big Arm/Flathead Lake State Park
- St. Mary Campground
- Lewis and Clark Cavern Grounds
- Holland Lake Campground, Flathead National Forest
- Kintla Lake Campground
- Two Medicine Campground
- Mammoth Campground, Yellowstone National Park
- Bannack State Park
These sites simply cannot be missed. Now, let’s take a detailed look for your next excursion.
1. Apgar Campground, Glacier National Park
Since we’ve raved about it above, how can we not start with Apgar Campground, Glacier National Park? Glacier National Park offers you thirteen campsites to select from and is perhaps the most popular bucket-list destination for camping. The campsites highlight the numerous gleaming elements that have made “Glacier” a popular worldwide camping destination.
Known popularly as The Crown of the Continent, Glacier National Park in Northwest Montana features numerous breathtaking glaciated landscapes.
As it lies less than three miles from the West Entrance on the Going-to-the-Sun Road and a short walk from Apgar Village, which has restaurants, souvenir stores, and camping supplies stores; it’s not just beautiful but convenient too.
Other amenities nearby include a tourist center and Ranger Station, as well as concessionaires offering services like guided horseback rides and kayak rentals.
Being one of the most popular campsites in Montana, you’re likely to find all hundred and ninety-four campsites fully taken between June and August. Tents and RVs are welcome at the campsite, and virtually all sites are assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Apgar Campground has five group sites that may be requested ahead of time.
2. Many Glacier Campground
Many Glacier Campground is located on the east side of Glacier National Park, surrounded by huge mountainous views, day hikes, and wildlife. It’s adjacent to the “Swiftcurrent Motor Inn”, which serves as a gift store, restaurant, and accommodation option.
Designed for camping and camper cars, with a few exceptions for RVs larger than 21 feet, the Many Glacier Campground is the starting point for several of the greatest hiking trails, including treks to renowned locations like Grinnell Glacier and Iceberg Lake.
The best part is, Many Glacier Hotel is also close to a beautiful view of Swiftcurrent Lake.
Located in Browning, Montana, Continental Divide Trail, the park service has made the entire campsite reservation-only in 2021.
Reservations can be made up to six months in advance now and we’d suggest you get on to booking it because it fills up way ahead of time, and is considered to be on top campsites in Montana!
3. Big Arm/Flathead Lake State Park
Flathead Lake is one of the country’s biggest freshwater lakes, with over 150 miles of shoreline. Boating, fishing, and the seasonal cherries that thrive in the lake-effect environment draw campers to this mountainous region of northwest Montana.
Flathead Lake State Park also provides several great camping opportunities for visitors.
This Park has six sections that encircle the lake. The Big Arm State Park unit on the west side of the lake has one of the largest and most popular campgrounds around. From the campsite, the towering Mission and Swan Mountains give a stunning vista over the lake.
Moreover, Wayfarers Campgrounds and Finley Point State Park are two of Flathead Lake State Park’s most popular camping sections.
Not only this, but the site also offers Windsurfing and water skiing, so if you’re not big on camping, you can always choose other means of entertainment.
4. St. Mary Campground
St. Mary Campground is the largest campground on the park’s east side. The campground is located near the shores of St. Mary Lake, and a short hiking route connects it to the St. Mary Visitor Center. Visitors may pick up the free Going-to-the-Sun Road shuttle at the Visitor Center and tour the remainder of the park.
St. Mary Campground can accommodate both tents and RVs, and also offers conveniences such as bathrooms, water, and showers, so all you need to bring is a bag full of snacks and beverages and a zest for adventure.
The campsite is open year-round and offers shuttles that transport you to Glacier and the town of St. Mary’s. It also offers scenic bus tours, hunting opportunities, and horse riding, for sports enthusiasts.
Though we think you’ll enjoy these spots so much that you’ll spend a whole day lying in a field of flowers beneath the towering Singleshot Mountain. At this campsite, ultimate convenience and comfort are the watchwords.
5. Lewis and Clark Caverns Campground
Lewis & Clark Caves State Park is Montana’s earliest and most well-known state park, including one of the Northwest’s most ornamented limestone caverns. Located about an hour west of Bozeman and conveniently located off Interstate 90, this campground is an experience you cannot miss.
These beautiful caverns at the Lewis and Clark Caverns Campground, which are lined with stalactites, stalagmites, columns, and helictites, are electrically illuminated and safe to enter. A self-guided nature walk above ground allows you to learn about your surroundings and explore nature like never before.
Ten miles of hiking trails are also available, as well as a forty-space campground, picnic sites, three camping cabins, firewood, a tipi, showers, flush and vault toilets, an RV dump station along with grills/fire rings and picnic tables, trash cans, drinking water, and a food/beverage and gift concession. What more does one need?
6. Holland Lake Campground, Flathead National Forest
The Holland Lake Campground and Group Site are located on the shores of Holland Lake in Northwest Montana’s Swan Valley.
Along with the 400-acre lake which is a sight in itself, The Holland Lake Campground is an excellent location for exploring the Flathead National Forest. It has clean campsites with wonderful lake access. It’s also popular for boating and fishing and plenty of hiking options are available along the beautiful Holland Falls National Recreation Trail.
The campground also offers amazing hunting opportunities and horse riding!
Lake Alva Campground, located a little over ten miles from Holland Lake, has thirty-nine first-come, first-served campsites.
Another popular spot to stay in Swan Valley is Seeley Lake, which has a large day-use area and a campground with twenty-nine campsites. Placid Lake, and Salmon Lake State Parks, located at the southern end of the Swan Valley; both include about sixty campsites.
7. Kintla Lake Campground
Kintla Lake, which is surrounded by high mountains, is nearly 8 miles long and up to a mile broad, making it the park’s fourth biggest lake. Activities also include picnics, swimming
Kintla Lake is a canoe and kayaker’s paradise; keep in mind, no motorized vehicles are permitted. Kintla Lake is especially popular among anglers because of the trout population found there.
If you enjoy hiking, don’t forget to bring your boots because day treks and longer journeys into the backcountry may be found near the campground. Kintla Lake campsite is the most distant front country and vehicle camping area in Glacier National Park.
It is located in the park’s uppermost northwest part known as the North Fork, some forty miles from the West Entrance and the Canadian border.
Because of its remoteness and lack of recreational vehicles, Kintla Lake is popular for campers wanting to avoid the throng at Glacier. Between June and September, running water is accessible.
8. Two Medicine Campground
Two Medicine Campground and its one-hundred campsites are located in one of Glacier National Park’s less congested areas; in the southeast. Due to its first-come, first-serve nature, the Two Medicine campgrounds are a desirable location for campers without reservations. Opportunities like canoeing, kayaking, and many other activities for families make it one of our top 10.
The ruins of an ancient railway chalet exist on the lake’s banks, and both boat and bus trips depart from here. To preserve the peace, one whole area of the campsite has been designated as no-generator, making it an ideal place for tent camping!
9. Mammoth Campground, Yellowstone National Park
The Mammoth Campsite is Yellowstone National Park’s northernmost licensed campground. The campsite is only over state lines in Wyoming, although the most common way to get there is through nearby Gardiner, Montana. If you’re driving through Montana, the route to Gardiner takes you through Paradise Valley, which is worth the journey in and of itself.
The campground’s massive perk is its closeness to the park’s Mammoth Hot Springs region. This rugged terrain is defined by travertine terraces, boardwalk hiking routes, and a unique steamy atmosphere. This adds up to be the perfect spot for painting and photography, cycling, backpacking, and skiing.
10. Bannack State Park
Bannack State Park features two campsites that are likely to meet your requirements. Gorgeous views, a picnic table, and a fire ring at each campground are not to be missed. Moreover, there is firewood available, as well as garbage disposal. Old cottonwood trees shade the Road Agent Campground 8 campsites. The restroom is open as this campground is on a first come first serve basis and not reservable through the reservation system.
The Vigilante Campground which has sixteen campsites is the larger of the two and is better suited for large RVs. The tipi may be found in the Vigilante Campground and water is available.
Bannack State Park is also considered one of the best campgrounds in the state because it offers Ice skating, in addition to other amenities, necessities, and fun activities.
Montana State Parks provide campsites ranging from luxury to rustic. You may also stay in ranch camps or cabins, which are warm all year round. The greatest Montana campsites have a breathtaking view. Several of these well-established sites are to pitch a tent or park an RV and are tucked among the State’s numerous National Forests, State Parks, and National Parks.
And they’re all within striking distance of classic Montana scenery like glacial lakes, snow-capped mountains, and trout-filled rivers.