Overview of Crystal Lake Campground
Longest RV Reported: 32 feet
Reported by NomadicNeighbors on 9/7/2016
Number of Sites 28
Open Seasonally Yes
Elevation 6,003 ft / 1,829 m
Max Stay 16
Tent Camping Yes
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Reviews of Crystal Lake Campground 1 person has reviewed this location.
“Great USFS campground in the Big Snowies”
This campsite is a real gem in an eastern enclave of the Lewis & Clark National Forest - The Big Snow Mountains. It is a typical USFS campground in the sense that it is first come first served and you pay ($10 per night) via an envelope and lock box. The road in involves a good amount of gravel driving through surrounding farmland, but we found the turns well marked for the campground and the local farmers very friendly and used to the traffic on their roads. Once you are inside the national forest, the road is paved but becomes a narrow one lane as it winds up the mountain. We had no problem driving our 32' Class C up, but you definitely want to watch your outside wheels and be mindful of where the double wide zones are for when you come up on traffic going the other way. That being said, despite the listing saying maximum RV length 45', a rig that big might have trouble with some of the tight turns on this road - not saying it's impossible, just might be uncomfortable.
We arrived at the site at 4pm on a Thursday and found it to be only 1/3 full, so we did a lap and decided on #16, a nice double wide. It was hard to tell how many of the sites were doubles, but maybe about a third, they are the same price and not necessarily larger, just more pavement to less grass. Most sites looked pretty level and some had more sun than others. What surprised us was that after only being there for a few hours the camp was full; from 4pm to 7pm at least twenty more campers showed up and by the end many were leaving without a site. Now we did notice that two of those campers decided to set up in the boat launch area, which is clearly signed no camping, but we never saw anyone stop them - not to endorse breaking the rules but those were the facts of what we saw.
As for activities, they were plentiful. The lake is stocked with trout every spring and you are allowed to put non motorized boats in the water. The trails were fantastic and we highly recommend the Ice Caves Trail. You can stop by the Camp Host in the cabin to get some maps and materials about the trails, trees, and things like that.
The one downside is that there is absolutely no cell service, even with a booster. Definitely the kind of place that deserves to be enjoyed without connected distractions, but as full timers this only allowed us to stay for two nights.
This review is the opinion of a Campendium member and not of Campendium.com
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The Hunt for Ice and Snow: Crystal Lake Campground, Lewis & Clark National Forest — Nomadic Neighbors
Once we got settled, we started to explore. Crystal Lake is a beautiful, snowmelt lake that is deepest in the spring, then slowly sinks down into the rocks below. They stock it with lake trout each sp...
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- dry camping
- picnic area
- recreation trail
- swimming beach
- water access
- fire ring
- picnic table
- restrooms: vault
- water available
Great overnight spot!
Would stay here again. Dog Friendly.
Nice quiet city park...
Hidden gem in Central Montana
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