Best Camping in Montana

Camping in Montana

Montana entices campers with serene lakes, daring roads (the Beartooth Highway), varied ecosystems, and unique landforms. Because of its breathtaking beauty, Montana remains a popular camping destination for both RV and tent campers.

See a map of all camping in Montana.

Can you camp anywhere in Montana?

You can camp at public campgrounds in Montana, or if you seek more amenities, you can stay at a privately run RV park; however, you are likely to have a more rustic adventure at a state or national park with limited amenities.

Both private and public options are popular and book up quickly; consider making reservations at least one year before travel when possible.

Dispersed camping is available on BLM land, which spans several million acres across the state.

Montana National Parks

Montana has good reason to be proud of its national parks! The views are so striking that you’ve probably bought a scenic calendar or jigsaw puzzle at one point in your life, featuring a scene from one of these parks.

Montana State Parks

In addition to camping, Montana state parks offer various recreational activities, including hiking, wildlife viewing, and water sports.

A few of the popular state park options include:

  • Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park is known for a mammoth limestone cavern; over 40 campsite options are available for RV and tent campers. Be sure to register for a candle-light tour of the cavern.
  • Big Arm State Park is a favorite for anglers hoping to catch the “big one” at Flathead Lake, the largest freshwater lake in the western United States! Other campers might like the wild-life viewing, water sports, and extensive hiking trails.
  • Whitefish Lake State Park has both RV and tent camping available. Nearby activities include hiking, biking, and watersports. WLSP is also a short drive from a ski resort. The lake is known for great fishing and perfect weather for water skiing.

Other popular state parks include Makoshika State Park and Bannack State Park. Learn more about Montana State Parks.

RV Parks in Montana

There is no shortage of options for RV parks in the state. RV camping in Montana can afford both stunning views and the comfort of your home on wheels. Make sure to read reviews and check if full or partial hookups are available.

Learn more about RV Parks in Montana.

Montana National Forests

Free camping (dispersed, no amenities) is located within Montana’s National Forests.

Gallatin National Forest and the Flathead National Forest consists of 2.4 million acres just south of Canada. No cost camping is available at Billy Garret Memorial Bridge Access and Upper Twin Creek Access; keep in mind that the free camping is considered dispersed (primitive, no amenities) and requires setting up a no-trace campground.

Kootenai National Forest, spanning both Idaho and Montana, houses beautiful scenery that might take your breath away! Fisher River Area and Koocanusa Area offer free primitive (dispersed) camping.

Helena - Lewis & Clark National Forest contain six varied dispersed camping areas: Castle Mountain Range, Elkhorn Mountains, Rocky Mountain Range, Snowy Mountain Range, Forest Lake Camping Area, and Haymaker Dispersed Camping Area.

More National Forests in Montana

Free Camping in Montana

Besides the free camping located within the national forests, those who would like to camp on a budget have several other options.

Dispersed camping is available on BLM land in the state. While there are some paid campgrounds within BLM boundaries, these are typically not free. Boondocking on these public lands must be away from the developed campgrounds to be considered dispersed. Make sure to follow posted signs and obey the time frames allotted for camping.

Lastly, RVers may may camp overnight in parking lots where permitted. Make sure to check with the manager and always get permission for overnight stays.

Learn more about free camping in Montana.

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Recent Montana Campground Reviews

Nov 24, 2022

"Community feel unbeatable location"

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Lots of people, some long termers, all respectful and plenty of space to share. Location is crazy awesome. Something like 10-15 minutes to Columbia Falls and pretty much same to Glacier NP entrance (not main entrance so still 35-45 mins to main area GNP but still) NF right there and loaded with hikes and cool spots. River access within...
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ML
13 reviews
Sheridan, MT

Mill Creek Campground

Nov 23, 2022

"Nice but way too much trash left at just about every site!"

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We were there in August 2022. The campground was empty but people left lots of garbage! Sad! None of the sites were large enough for our 32 foot class C. We have a mining claim farther up Mill Creek and stay there every summer. I agree with the other commentor that you do not want to take a car or anything small much further than the Old...
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Ktazz
2 reviews
Nov 10, 2022

"Awesome Place To Camp"

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Great place to camp, there are around 20 spots. Each spot has a picnic table that is covered, and vault toilet… would have paid for this place, it’s nice!!!

camper-693440
3 reviews
Nov 08, 2022

"Awesome free site & amazing sunset!"

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We stayed here for two nights in July of 2022 and loved it! The Fishing Access Sites are great! We pulled in and just grabbed the first site we saw - level enough, long enough to not have to disconnect and free! Seems a lot of people pull in for a few hours, then leave. Incredible views of lake, mountains, sky and had a deer walk through our...
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Nov 06, 2022

"Easy access off Freeway, Friendly Owner "

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We just needed a refuge from the 40+mph wind gusts and found this little spot to rest. Owner was very welcoming; gave us our own trash can, door mat, a coupon to a local gift shop ( bought some local lotions and GF baking mixes), some eggs for breakfast, and a morning paper. Level sites, full hookup, strong wifi. I would definitely stay there...
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mbruchet
1 review