Beaverhead Rock State Park, Montana

Beaverhead Rock State Park is a famous rock formation overlooking the Beaverhead River in Southwest Montana. Sacajawea, the young Shoshone guide with the Lewis & Clark Expedition, recognized the rock as a sign they were close to her relatives. 

She stated that her nation calls the large formation Beaverhead, as it resembles the head of a swimming beaver. Beaverhead is also referred to as Point of Rocks because it was used as a landmark for early settlers passing through the area. 

The information placards at the site state: “Many of the rangelands in this valley still look largely as they did even before the Lewis & Clark Expedition walked here. Yet people and animals have traveled through and used the lands around you since prehistoric times.”

Captain Meriweather Lewis, William Clark, and fur trapper Warren Angus Ferris noted in their journals the significance of the rock to the Shoshone people and other Rocky Mountain tribes.

Beaverhead is a sign that lets you know you are heading in the right direction, that you are close to your people. 

Beaverhead Rock State Park Facts

  • Size: 240 acres
  • Site elevation: 4,949 feet
  • Discovered: 1805 by the Lewis & Clark Expedition
  • Location: Madison County, Montana
  • Nearest City: Dillon, Montana
  • Date added to National Register of Historic Places: February 11, 1970
  • Season: All Year
  • Parks fees: $8 for cars, $4 for walk-ins, free for Montana residents that pay the State Park fee during registration

Main Attractions

Beaverhead Rock State Park is undeveloped land and does not offer much in the way of attractions and activities. The park is mainly used to gain information about the land and view nature.

Beaverhead Rock Viewpoint

The viewpoint offers visitors a place to look at the Beaverhead rock formation. Unfortunately, the rock is not accessible directly, and you can only view it from a distance.

The viewpoint is a lovely spot to stop and take pictures of nature and wildlife. 

Historical Marker and Informational Placards

You can read about the history of Beaverhead State Park from the informational placards dispersed along the trail and at the viewpoint. 

Learn about how the Natives used the land and what the Beaverhead rock meant to them. Also, discover how early settlers used the land and the formation as a landmark, leading them where they needed to go. 

Recreation Activities at Beaverhead Rock State Park

recreation activities

Beaverhead Rock State Park is a delightful area for sightseeing, photographing, and leisurely walking. 



The Beaverhead area does not provide much hiking opportunity, but it’s a nice casual walk in nature. There is a short dirt trail around the formations, perfect for a quick exercise after being in the car.

The hike is a quiet stroll near a flowing creek. When the skies are clear and the sun is beaming, bring plenty of water and sun protection. 

Nature viewing and Photography

Beaverhead Rock is an excellent area for viewing nature and photography. There is plenty of wildlife to see and many photo opportunities.

Take in the entire scene from the viewpoint, or hike on the trail and get up close to some of the rock formations. 

Trail Routes

trail routes

Beaverhead Rock State Park has one small trail for walking and sightseeing. 

Point of Rocks and Beaverhead Rock View Point

This state park offers only one trail leading from the viewpoint to the Point of Rocks. The path is a 0.3-mile out and back trail and is considered an easy hike.

You can use the trail for walking, and it only takes around five to ten minutes to complete. Also, dogs are not permitted. This area is generally quiet, and you shouldn’t expect to see many people. 

Nearby Trail Routes

Find other trails nearby for hiking, biking, and other recreational activities. 

Hollow Top Lake Hollow Top Lake is a challenging out and back trail near Pony, Montana. Many people use the area for backpacking, horseback riding, and hiking.

The path is 10-miles and takes around 5-hours and 30-minutes to finish. It’s a perfect spot for a brutal and secluded workout. 

Ruby Reservoir OHV Trail This 18-miles point-to-point trail is perfect for those who want a moderately challenging off-road driving experience. You can also use the route for bird watching and some hiking. 

Jefferson River Canoe Trail The Jefferson River is an easy route for fishing and paddle sports. The area is relatively secluded, and it takes around 3-hours by canoe to complete (out and back). 

Peacock Creek Trail Peacock Creek Trail is a popular area for hiking and birding. It is a moderately challenging 2.4-mile hike (out and back) and takes under 2-hours to complete.

You can also bring your dog and let them off-leash, especially during quieter times. 

Clark’s Lookout Mountain Loop Visit Clark’s Lookout Monument and hike the short 0.2-mile loop around the park. You can use the area for casual, easy walking and nature viewing.

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