Catching air off of the rolling wake behind a cruising boat, hearing the pinecones smack the ground as they fall from a lodgepole pine, and feeling the warmth from a burning, crackling campfire are all things that make outdoor recreation different than a workweek. Enjoying time outdoors is fulfilling, it is exciting, and it is different. The state of Montana offers so much in the way of outdoor recreation: camping, hiking, and fishing. Planning for and finding the place for your next RV, Boat, and Camping adventure is always fun.
We’ve written this article to help those who may be unfamiliar with popular and beautiful places in Montana. Whether Montana is where you live or you’re traveling here from thousands of miles away, it’s undeniable that this whole state and these camping spots in particular are extremely beautiful. We feel very happy to call this state our home and we invite you to come enjoy the great outdoors here! Here’s a graphic and more info, below, about five Montana camping spots that we love and know you will too!
Glacier National Park
Montana is home to Yellowstone National Park in the southwestern part of the state, as well as Glacier National Park in the northwest part of the state. Since 1910, Glacier has been an established National Park that starts in Montana and continues into Canada. With over 1 million acres of mountains and gorgeous scenery, Glacier is a must-see. The popular Going-to-the-Sun-Road winds you through high passes, over the Continental Divide, and to various trailheads and visitor centers along the way.
Camping in Glacier’s campsites is an amazing experience and there are plenty of places where you can park your RV, hook up to services, and enjoy the beauty of this area. Note that bears do frequent the sites, thus correct food storage and being bear-aware is critical. A nice site to consider parking your RV and enjoy time camping in Glacier is at the Apgar Campground. Given that this National Park is very busy during the Summer months, you’ll want to be sure to plan your trip and book your site well in advance. Here is a visitor’s photo of their Little Guy teardrop trailer in the Apgar Campgrounds. Shop our inventory of Little Guy travel trailers.
Phillipsburg / Georgetown Lake, MT
Georgetown Lake is a popular camping, fishing, and boating area situated in between Missoula and Butte. Nestled in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, at about 6,500 feet above sea level, is a lake spanning over 3700 acres and a surrounding mountainous, recreational area. Whether you’re looking to land trophy brook and rainbow trout or you are seeking a place to practice your waterskiing, this lake is a wonderful place that anyone can enjoy.
The campground at Phillipsburg Bay is open from May 15th – September 30th most seasons. This is a large campground, hosting over 60 sites with services, bathrooms, and long-length (16 day) stay limits. This area is conviently located within 10 minutes of services, restaraunts, and more. For the most up-to-date information on open sites, current camping fees, area news, and more, refer to the Phillipsburg Bay Campground recreation website. Here is a photo of Georgetown Lake, courtesy of georgetownlakemt.com
Northwest / Whitefish Montana
One of the most beautiful areas in the state of Montana is the Flathead Valley and the area’s towns like Whitefish, MT. Whitefish Lake State Park had to make our cut for the list of the best Montana camping spots. Just outside of the artsy town of Whitefish, this park and campground has a well-maintained beach, clean and improved camping sites, views of the area’s popular ski mountain, and more. It’s rarely windy in this area, thus waterskiing is great here and boaters love to take advantage of the lake’s offerings. Browse our inventory of boats, you’ll want to have one if you’re going up to this area!
Being just outside of Glacier National Park’s west entrance, makes this camping spot ideal for those who are wanting to travel to Glacier, yet are wanting to avoid busyness and large crowds. We’re not saying that these spots are always open though, be sure to check out the website for this State Park to learn more about the campgrounds, view a campground map, and even book your site. Click here to go to the Whitefish Lake State Park website.
Fort Smith, MT
Heading to the other side of the state, we come to a truly unique area: the Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area. It is located near the Montana and Wyoming border, near Fort Smith, MT. There are multiple campgrounds and camping sites in the area, yet the best options for RV camping would be either the Afterbay Campground or the Horseshoe Bend Campground. This side of the state is less mountainous and it’s landscape is rolling plains, hills, and of course, the massive canyon. Afterbay is currently only $10 per night for a camping spot and there are over 25 RV sites.
This will be more of a rustic camping trip though, as there are currently no RV hookups available there. Water, RV dump, and composting vault toilets are available here, though. Horseshoe Bend on the other hand, does offer fully developed RV sites with utilities for $20 per night. Visit the Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area’s website to learn more, view area maps, and book your stay. Here are some more things to know before you come to the area.
West Yellowstone, MT
Just miles outside of the West Yellowstone National Park entrance is Rainbow Point Campground, situated on Hebgen Lake in southwestern Montana. With 20+ sites for RVs, including electric utility services at sites and additional vehicle parking room, this campground is waiting for you and your RV! Currently, the fees are as follows: $16.00/ night + the optional $7.00 additional for electric sites + the optional $7.00 for each additional vehicle. The nearest dump station is about 9 miles away in West Yellowstone, MT. It is so convenient being within such a short distance to the Yellowstone National Park entrance, where you can easily access famous areas like Old Faithful.
If you’re looking for a place to go boating, fishing, swimming, or if you’re simply looking to enjoy the outdoors and some of Montana’s most beautiful country, then this is it. Even though Rainbow Point is number five on our list of Montana camping spots, it is by no means the last destination we’d choose. We think all of these campgrounds are equally great and do encourage you to see for yourself. Learn more about and plan your trip to Rainbow Point Campground, just outside of West Yellowstone.
There’s a reason we choose to live in Montana and operate our Bretz RV and Marine Headquarters in Missoula, MT. There is so much camping, hiking, boating, fishing, and more to be had in this state. We hope that this list has helped you understand and learn more about some of the areas to camp in Montana. Again, we think all of these campgrounds are equally enjoyable and do offer something for anyone and we do encourage you to visit them all and see for yourself. As the weather continues to get nicer, we’re looking forward to being out on the water, hiking through the tall pines, and catching fish in the lakes and rivers around Montana. We hope to see you out there too!
Bretz RV and Marine’s Camp Club offers amazing benefits and value to it’s members. Also, it’s absolutely FREE to sign up. After you’re a part of the Camp Club, be sure to stop by the nearest Bretz RV and Marine location on your way out of town. As a member, you’ll get $0.99 Propane Fill up, 24/7 RV Dump, Members only discounts on parts and more, Service specials, and much more. Click on the photo above or here to become a Bretz RV Camp Club Member today, for FREE.
*Some photos in this article are shared under Creative Commons (CC BY-ND 2.0).