Park Lake

Helena National Forest

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Unnamed Road Clancy, MT 59634 406-449-5490 406-449-5201

GPS: 46.443, -112.169

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  • Q&A
  • Cell Service
  • Reviews (1)
  • Amenities

Overview of Park Lake

Number of Sites 24

Elevation 6,364 ft / 1,939 m

Max Length 25 ft

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Reviews of Park Lake 1 person has reviewed this location.

Ratings Summary

Overall Rating
Site Quality

Cell Phone Coverage

Verizon 3G
Confirmed by 1 User
Last reported 8/23/2020
Wolf Creek 850
Chevrolet 2500 Long Bed
61 reviews
“Rough road, very little shade, very busy and noisy”

Reviewed 8/23/2020

Nightly rate: $15
Days stayed: 2
Site Number: 7
Overall Rating

First, the road to get here. It starts out OK, paved, then turns to an oiled dirt road, then the last 10 miles or so are rough wash-boarded dirt - the intersection of Travis Creek and Lump Gulch is where the "good" road ends. Got to go under 10 mph with any camper or you're going to rattle yourself to death. The route is not well marked. Lots of intersecting roads and no brown signs directing you to the camp. Check out the route on Google Earth, lots of intersections that aren't mentioned in the step-by-step G Maps directions. The side roads are either private property or primitive roads so just hope that you pick the right route or you may not be able to turn around. About 3/4 mile before the camp there is a section of road with a lot of deep mud holes - it was mostly dry this time of year but if you come up here after a good rain the potholes will be filled with water and you've got to pray you chose the path that won't end up dragging bottom or hitting a rock.
Next, the camp itself. The camp is paved which seems odd to me after being on 10 miles of dirt. The sites along the outer perimeter have more shade than those on the inside of the loop. About 20 years ago the Forest Service came and clear cut out all of the dead/dying trees and things haven't quite recovered. If you wonder why they did that just look to the surrounding mountains and the heaps and heaps of dead and fallen timber. Each site has a table and fire ring. There are three bathrooms - one at the day-use area/camp entry, one just to the left of the camp entry, and one about 1/3 of the way around the camp loop. There are two water pumps - one at the entry and one just after site #5. The water is really rusty, refer to the pic uploaded with this review. Since trees are few and there is no background noise from water or birds or anything the camp only offers moderate privacy and quiet. Sites #9 and #17 are probably the most secluded - 9 being larger.
And the pros and cons. Pros - Park Lake offers a great opportunity for fishing, there are wild raspberry bushes all over the shore, there are lots of 4x4 trails in the area to explore, and if you come here mid-week you could expect to have a peaceful stay. Cons - there is a lot of traffic from 9 am til 7 pm. Lots of folks from the surrounding towns come up here for the day, play on the lake, get drunk, and head home. I'd use extreme caution if you're heading up late in the day, could come head-on with a drunk driver. Camp was relatively quiet in the day, getting busy at night as everyone filed back in from the lake. Friday night was great and I didn't have any issues. Saturday was busier and I ended up getting woken up not once but twice by my drunk neighbors arguing. Another camper finally intervened and they quieted down. Some campers were trying to cram 3 and 4 rigs into a single site. No sign of any FS staff at all the whole weekend. There was a seal on the payment box that stated they had collected the fees on 8/15 and I was there 8/20-8/22 so I guess they only come through once a week.
Not sure I'll stay here again. Without a host to keep the peace this place is a bit out of control. Between the obnoxious day-use people and the rowdy campers, I think I'll look elsewhere.

Site Quality
Verizon 3G

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  • dry camping
  • restrooms: vault
  • water available


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