Camping in Montana

There is beautiful camping throughout the state of Montana. Many places are lost cost ($10 or less) to FREE. We spent over a week of tent camping at several different locations while we were rock hounding.

  • Quartz Flat – off I-90 by Lolo National Forest. Cost $10. This camp ground is located on I-90 at the rest stop in Lolo National Forest. Once at the rest stop follow the signs to the campground. There are nice trails to the river and piles of firewood for a nice campfire. Camping spots have picnic tables and fire pits. It has pit toilets,  drinking water available and dumpsters.
  • Flint Creek – just a few miles south of Phillipsburg, Mt. Cost – FREE. This campground has several camping spots, with fire rings and picnic tables, next to a beautiful little creek.  There is no water taps. We used water from the creek that we boiled. There are a couple of pit toilets. You are in bear country so be sure to keep all food in vehicles when not eating and do not keep any food items in your tent. Pack in, pack out.
  • Pettingill Campground -by Wise River, MT. Cost – $6. This camp ground has just three camping spots. It is next to a fast flowing river.  Nice camping spots with large picnic tables and fire rings. You will need to bring your own firewood. Pack in, pack out. Here you are also in bear country.
  • Barnetts Park – Barretts, MT – off I-15 just south of Dillan, MT. Cost – FREE. This is a nice little stop. There is a grassy area for tent camping next to the river. It is next to some large rock monoliths. This was a stopping place for Lewis and Clark and later for stage coaches. It is filled with a lot of history. There are pit toilets, drinking water and dumpsters.
  • Lolo National Forest – Schely Mountain, Lolo Pass. – Cost – FREE Off of I-90 take the exit for Fish Trap Creek Road. It is a well maintained gravel road that runs for 33 miles to I-12 that runs to Idaho. Take the road to Schely Mountain off of Fish Trap Creek Road. It is 12 miles to the top of the mountain. Very beautiful place with changing scenery the whole way to the top. At the top of the mountain there are lots of miniature noble fir trees – they grow much smaller and slowly because of the altitude and because it gets too much snow in the winter. There are a few fire rings, a pit toilet and an area to tie up your horses. There is lots of space to move around and park a horse trailer up there. Wonderful trails throughout the mountains. You are in bear country so take precautions with food storage. Bring in your water because there are no water taps or nearby rivers. There are a few lakes around up there.

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