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Old 03-09-2014, 11:18 AM   #1
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camp site recommendations in Montana?

We're planning our summer odyssey, and we're looking at a couple of nights in south western Montana (after Glacier, before Yellowstone).

We're thinking one night in Bannack State Park (hopefully with good weather, so we can get some sunset or sunrise photos in the ghost town).

And we're thinking a couple of nights somewhere that gives us easy access to Virginia City, Nevada City, maybe Lewis & Clark Caverns, Butte, Bozeman (yeah, that's a lot of stuff for a couple of days, but we're travelling with 3 other families; the variety lets different groups do different things).

Any suggestions for a good campground in this vicinity?

Thanks, all.
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Old 03-09-2014, 11:55 AM   #2
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Montana Parks

I've been gathering information about Glacier and Montana -- we're looking more in the Helena area. I'm also posting some info I've gathered about parks in Glacier, although if you already know where you're staying i'd love to hear about your choices. (I can't vouch personally for the descriptions of the parks in Glacier -- it's what I've gathered from the web and would like to know if anyone disagrees or agrees)

GLACIER NATIONAL PARK U.S.


Rising sun -- mosquitoes can be bad. The western loop near the cliff area is a good place. The sites are well spaced.

Fish Creek - West Glacier. Loop C has minimal mosquitoes. Sites are small and close. There is a view, but not the most scenic. It's a good place to start out

Two Medicine - There are bugs, a lake and it's near good hikes.. Remote and quiet.

Many Glacier -- First Come -- it's beautiful, convenient, bears, a little larger.

Apgar --Could be noisy because it's close to towns.

MONTANA

devil's elbow

Devil's Elbow Campground on Hauser Lake offers a wealth of water-based recreation opportunities and is located about 15 miles east of Helena and adjacent to Clark’s Bay Day-use Area and Two Camps Vista Interpretive Site. This popular 42-unit campground is located mid-way along the shore of Hauser Lake. The lake (actually a reservoir) provides year-round opportunities for fishing (trout, walleye and kokanee salmon) along with excellent boating and wildlife viewing.
Activities: Camping, fishing, boating, swimming, picnicking and hiking.
Facilities/Services: 42 camping units, boat dock, boat slips, fish cleaning station, swimming area, restrooms, drinking water, group picnic shelter, tables and fire-rings, garbage collection and on-site manager. All facilities are universally accessible.
Location/Access: From Helena take Exit 193 (Cedar Street) from I-15. Travel on Washington Street (past airport entrance), turn right on Custer Road (Canyon Ferry Road) for 1/2 mile, then turn left on York Road for approximately 12 miles through Lakeside until you reach the Devil’s Elbow entrance sign.
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Old 03-09-2014, 04:19 PM   #3
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Thanks Ruthe. I had hoped to stay in Glacier, but they don't have any reservable sites available that can handle an 18' truck plus 19' trailer. And given that we're travelling with 3 other families, we definitely want to reserve... So now we're looking for sites close but outside the park.

The Helena area is a little far north for us. I'd like to be down around Virginia City for that part of our stay.
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Old 03-09-2014, 05:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbailey View Post
Thanks Ruthe. I had hoped to stay in Glacier, but they don't have any reservable sites available that can handle an 18' truck plus 19' trailer. And given that we're travelling with 3 other families, we definitely want to reserve... So now we're looking for sites close but outside the park.

The Helena area is a little far north for us. I'd like to be down around Virginia City for that part of our stay.
Try St Mary's Campground in Glacier. They have reservable spots.

ST. MARY CAMPGROUND, MT - Campground & Camping Details - ReserveAmerica - [NRSO]
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Old 03-09-2014, 06:41 PM   #5
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Reserve America shows reservable sites for 20ft+ "equipment" at Fish Creek Campground also; that's on the west side of Glacier NP at Lake McDonald.
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Old 03-09-2014, 06:54 PM   #6
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There are several KOA's in that area, a little pricey but you can make reservations.
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Old 03-09-2014, 07:17 PM   #7
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We stayed at Fish Creek in 2008 and had a great time. The park is beautiful, well kept, and very clean. It stays that way because they're very strict, bear country and all, and they will confiscate your stuff if left out while you're gone. I don't remember mosquitoes being a problem, but that could be seasonal. They state that they have 18 sites that will take equipment (truck and trailer up to 35'). We had our truck and Casita, along with my son's VW buss parked in one site with no problems. Our friends had their truck and a 26' 5th wheel with no problems.

The sites do fill up fast, but just outside the entrance there's some, what looked like, very nice campgrounds.

If you want to see animals, big horn sheep, mountain goats, dear, and sometimes elk, be at the ranger station at the summit (I think it's on the Highway to the Sun road) at 7pm. The animals know that the rangers close at 7 and go home, so they're not there to shoo them away. They love to lick the anti-freeze off the parking lots and they're not afraid of humans. Getting close up (for pictures) is very easy.
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Old 03-09-2014, 07:20 PM   #8
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We stay at San Sue Ed near the West Gate of Glacier NP. This is a nice lean older RV park. They serve Breakfast and bake fresh cinnamon rolls every day.
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Old 03-09-2014, 07:21 PM   #9
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Thanks, all. I think we'll try to grab spots in St. Mary's KOA.

Since we're travelling with 3 other families, we're hesitant to take a chance and reserve a site rated for less than our total -- if it were just me I could take the chance and figure something out if problems arose. But it would be a much bigger problem if it meant finding 4 more sites, or splitting our group, or whatever.

Now, any recommendations for south west Montana? There's a KOA listed right near Virginia City. Does anybody have any experience with it?
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Old 03-09-2014, 10:53 PM   #10
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10 years ago we stayed a couple nights at Many Glacier Hotel on Swiftcurrent Lake, east side of Glacier NP. Do not pass up a chance to walk inside that interior lobby.
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