Montana Camping

Fun Affordable Family Vacations

You really need this lantern for your camping outings. 

The super bright LED lights can be used as full 360 or half.

It can be recharged from a USB port or a solar panel.

You can even recharge your phones or tablets with this cool lantern.


Montana Camping - what could be better?      Magical campfires - sparkling clear rivers and lakes - magnificent evergreen forests - some of the best trout fishing in the world - awesome wildlife sharing their space with you. 

Plus a huge bonus - camping in Montana will give you unforgettable family vacations without the high prices of staying in motels and eating in expensive restaurants!

Whether you like remote, undeveloped camping, or luxurious rv resorts - there is something that will be just perfect for you. 

Check out all these campgrounds in Montana and find ones that will be perfect for you:

Beaverhead Forest Campgrounds

Bitterroot Forest Campgrounds

Custer Forest Campgrounds

Flathead Forest Campgrounds

Gallatin Forest Campgrounds

Helena Forest Campgrounds

Kootenai Forest Campgrounds

Lolo Forest Campgrounds

Glacier Park Campgrounds

Yellowstone Park Campgrounds

Montana RV Parks

All Montana Campgrounds

Dispersed camping is allowed anywhere in the National Forests unless there are signs prohibiting camping.  Sometimes you will find a fire pit and a table, but many times there are no facilities.

Maybe you would like to have a unique, unforgettable vacation - rent one of the forest service fire lookouts or a cabin!  These are usually in remote areas - sometimes you can't even drive to them, but you are sure to love them.

One of the best things about Montana camping is that it costs very little - Even if you have to buy some camping gear, it won’t break the bank!


You can get a good family tent for $200 or less and medium weight sleeping bags run around $50.  Then a camp stove and a grill would be about another $100.  So you can see, it doesn't cost a lot!


And the good thing about buying camping equipment is that you can use it over and over.


Plus you can cook all your meals - it won't cost you any more for food than you would spend at home!



All in all, Montana camping allows you to have inexpensive family vacations.


A Splendid Montana Ospre

How many times have you sat on a lakeshore and watched an osprey circle and circle high above the water -

Then all at once - almost faster than you can see - he dive bombs into the water and comes up with a fish?

We have observed this many times when camping in Montana and it never ceases to amaze us!

One of the campgrounds where we have seen lots of ospreys looking for fish is
McGillivray campground on Koocanusa Lake.

Enjoying a Montana Lake

Montana camping - Enjoying a Montana Lak

Montana lakes are a paradise for water recreation - they are sparkling clear, and though they are usually cool, they are so refreshing.

Kids have so much fun playing in a lake - be sure to bring lots of blow-up floaties and lots of sunscreen!

Many times we have camped at different lakes in Montana and it is 2 weeks of non-stop fun in the water.

We would go fishing - boat riding - floating on inner tubes - catching frogs - water skiing - and whatever else we would find to do.

One year when our son Mark was 6 years old - he and his cousin Jess organized a boat tour with a rubber raft - what fun ideas kids can dream up!


One of our favorite lakes for Montana camping is Hungry Horse Reservoir.  Kids - and adults too - have so much fun here.  It is just perfect for water activities.  Our favorite campground is Lost Johnny Point.  You should try it!

Montana trout for supper

montana camping - trout for uppe

As you can see, we had plenty of fresh trout for supper that night - maybe even some for breakfast.

My favorite way to cook trout is to wrap them in foil and cook them over the coals - mighty good!

Montana rainbow trout Fishing is a popular pastime for Montana camping. The lakes and rivers are full of delicious trout - rainbow, brown, cutthroat, brook.

Some Montana lakes and rivers also have walleye, perch, mountain whitefish - just to name a few different kinds of fish.

No matter what age - it is a thrill to catch some of these fish and then cook them for dinner.

A good place to camp and catch fish for supper or breakfast is Red Cliff Campground in the Gallatin Canyon between West Yellowstone and Big Sky.

If you have a boat, Hebgen Lake is a wonderful place to catch trout.  Some people have good luck fishing from the shore too.  Yellowstone Holiday and Madison Arm Resort are two great camping places on Hebgen Lake.  You can rent boats at both places also.  In the northwestern part of the state, you have Lake Kookanusa - a fantastic place for catching kokanee salmon.

Catching frogs is special

Montana Camping -Catching Frogs Is Specia

Were you fortunate enough when you were a child to spend hours catching frogs and playing with them?

Catching frogs is special for kids of all ages - when our kids were small, they caught lots of frogs and made houses for them. They even caught bugs to feed them and they all had names!

Camping with kids in Montana can be so much fun!

Fresh-picked Montana Berries

Montana Camping - Fresh-picked Montana berrie

Montana hillsides are full of wild raspberries and huckleberries the first part of August. They are so tasty and so much fun to pick if you can beat the bears to them.

One time when we were picking huckleberries, they were so thick we just sat down and picked all around us - what fun!

Have you ever had huckleberry pie or just picked raspberries on pancakes? - Out of this world!

What a special treat when you are Montana camping if there are some wild berries close by.

There are lots of huckleberries in the Columbia Falls area - especially close to the campgrounds on Hungry Horse Reservoir.  Good ones are Lost Johnny and Lid Creek.

Another good place is Big Creek campground north of Columbia Falls.

Campfires are Special

Montana Camping - Campfire Singin

Our family was really fortunate because the dad - Arn - played the guitar and sang, so our kids grew up singing songs around the campfire - The Bear Song, My Little Playmate, She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain, The Happy Wanderer - just to name a few

Learning how to build a campfire is always a treat for everyone - really good treats and the little ones would go to sleep wrapped up in a blanket and sitting on someone's lap.

Many times Arn's brother, Ben and his family would be camping with us and that was really special.

Everybody always had so much fun together and Ben played the guitar and sang too. We even made song books with our favorite campfire song lyrics.

Today, kids and even grandkids are playing and singing and enjoying it as much as we did. What a great thing to pass down for the next generations to enjoy when camping in Montana or anywhere.

Magnificent Montana Moose

Montana Camping -Magnificent Montana Moos

Have you ever seen a moose up close - they are big!

A moose is an incredibly graceful wild animal in spite of being huge. It is so much fun to watch them - but don't ever get between a mamma moose and her baby!

One place where we camp quite often, the moose frequently come down to the lake shore for a drink - or if it is hot, to wade in the water for a cool-down.

A moose is my favorite animal to watch in the wild - it always excites me to see one. Seeing a moose in the wild when camping in Montana is an experience you'll never forget.

Some places where you are likely to see moose in or near the campgrounds, are:  Rainbow Point Campground at Hebgen Lake, Madison Campground in Yellowstone Park, Big Creek Campground north of Columbia Falls, Seeley Lake Campground, Big Larch Campground and River Point Campground near Seeley Lake.

Mama Bear and Her Cub

Montana Camping -Mama bear and a cu

A special part of Montana camping is being close to a wide variety of wildlife. You can almost always count on having a deer come to visit and it isn’t uncommon to see bears, moose and elk too.

One time we were singing songs around the campfire after dark when a deer came and just stood at the edge of the firelight. She stayed there for about an hour just watching us - what an incredible experience!

It is so much fun to throw out sunflower seeds for the squirrels and chipmunks - and they like it too. These curious little creatures can keep you entertained for hours!

Then there are the bears! Camping with bears can be a fun and exciting experience -- just remember they are wild animals!  And never, ever feed them!!! 

Camping in a black bear campground requires some extra vigilance, but it isn’t difficult. The forest service campgrounds have bear regulations posted if they are needed.

Most of the campgrounds in Montana mountains have the possibility of bears being there, or close by - especially the ones close to Yellowstone Park.

Montana Camping in the Rain

An afternoon shower can be a common experience in the Montana mountains.

But it isn't a problem if you are prepared.

A rainfly and seam sealers will protect your tent and keep it from getting wet inside.

It's a good idea to have waterproof tarps with you - cover up your woodpile, cover bicycles or motorcycles and anything else you dont want to get wet.

A camping canopy is a really good thing to have too - keeps your food and picnic table dry.  You can cook under it , play games, or read a book too.

Montana camping in the rain can actually be fun when you know what to do!

Don't Forget Those Camping Necessities!

An important part of your Montana family camping vacation is making a camping pack list. A lot of stress can be avoided if you have a simple list of things to take camping.

You might be able to bring out your innovative talents and make do for something you forgot to pack...

Some things, though, might be vital and it could even mean making a trip back home!

Just ask me!

It’s much better to have a list of what to bring camping by making a camping trip checklist.

Different Ways to Camp in Montana

There are many different ways of camping in Montana - from a simple pitching of a pup tent in the wilderness to parking a motor home in a luxurious RV resort -- and everything in between. They all have their advantages and disadvantages.

But what is important is what fits your needs and personalities!

Some of the different types of Montana camping are…

  • Pop Up Camper Trailers have a base unit that looks like the bottom half of a travel trailer complete with a stove, sink, refrigerator and bathroom. The top cranks up, and the beds pull out with soft sides of canvas and screening. Because they are lightweight and have a low profile, they are easily pulled by a car.

  • Camping in a car is a very popular form of camping. It can refer to having a tent that fits on the back of an SUV or using a free-standing tent. Either way, it is an inexpensive way to enjoy the outdoors. You do have to pack all your supplies like cooking equipment, sleeping bags and everything else that you need, so space can be an issue. Car camping doesn't just mean going in a car - it could be a truck, pickup, van, etc.  It just means you have to bring everything with you.

  • Camper Van Conversions is another variation with a bed being inside the vehicle. Sometimes there are minimal accessories like a stove, sink, refrigerator and bathroom. If you don’t care to sleep in a tent, this is good alternative.

  • Truck Camping can mean camping in two different ways. Sometimes it refers to a camper that fits on the bed of the pickup and extends over the cab with all the amenities included. The bed is over the cab with the table making another bed. They are tight, but very comfortable. It also means putting a topper on your truck and fitting it with a mattress and other convenient items. There is also a tent that fits on the back of a topper to make more room.

  •  Montana RV Camping is the most convenient way of camping and refers to pull trailers, 5th wheel trailers and motor homes. The big advantage to these is that everything is there- you only have to pack food and clothes to be ready to go. Of course, you have to fill with water, dump the holding tanks and make sure the batteries are charged and propane tanks are full. This type of Montana camping is also quite a bit more expensive for the original investment.

  • Montana Tent Camping is without a doubt the most popular type of camping and is a lot of fun. It does require more preparation and packing however. With the numerous kinds of tents, camp stoves, lanterns, and other camping items you can be very comfortable. Once you have the necessary equipment, it is the most reasonable way to go.

  • Motorcycle Camping offers some advantages that other methods of camping don’t, mainly for where you can go. You have to be a really good packer and get everything you need in a very small space. There are some motorcycle camping trailers which help a lot and allow you to take more than you could otherwise.

  • Backpacking in Montana is also referred to as primitive camping. You only take what you can pack on your back, so you are really limited. There are many light weight camping supplies available for backpacking that make it easier than you might imagine. This is an awesome way to experience the wilderness!

Montana Camping Creates Lifetime Memories

You will take home many special memories from your Montana camping trips!

Be sure to capture them on film -- it will be so much fun looking at the pictures and recalling those special occasions.  There are just so many memorable things to do while camping!

Here’s hoping that your Montana camping trip is everything you imagine it to be!



Explore these camping pages:


Camping in Yellowstone Park :Everything you need to know for a fun vacation.

Great Tips for Enjoying RV Campers

Rent One Of The Forest Service Cabins Or Fire Lookouts For An Incredible Experience

The Best Grilled Salmon Recipe Ever - Which One Will Be Your Favorite?

Tent Camping Tips : Your Must-Know Guide for Camping in a Tent

Are You Looking for Cheap Family Vacations?  Discover the fun world of camping in Montana

Discover the Many Benefits of Having A Screen Tent when you are camping

Learn Why the Weber Q 100 Grill is the Most Popular Grill for Camping

Coleman Speckled Enamelware Dishes : Campers everywhere want these!

› Montana Camping Tips





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Here's hoping you enjoy your Montana camping trip!

Montana Camping

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