RV park in Montana with mountains in the distance

Wild Adventures: Camping In Montana

Taking a camping trip to Montana should be on everyone’s bucket list. The state has a low population, stunning terrain to explore, and plenty of historical and cultural experiences that are unlike other tourist destinations.

Planning an RV trip to Montana or tent camping from your car will be much easier when you use our comprehensive guide to the best campgrounds in the state. Inside, we detail what makes these camping locations worthy of your visit and all the info on rates, amenities, and nearby attractions.

If Montana is on your camping destination radar, please check out our helpful information to make planning a trip much easier.

Reasons to Camp in Montana

Montana is popular for outdoor enthusiasts as a camper’s paradise, especially if you love to hike, fish, boat, mountain bike, climb, horseback ride, explore, or just sit back, relax, and drink in the fantastic views.

Apgar Campground in Glacier National Park in Montana

Most of Montana’s camping locations are in state or national parks and forests, but there are plenty of other opportunities on BLM land and in private RV parks. Dispersed camping is commonplace, with rustic campsites the norm.

Montana is home to abundant free camping options across the US. You can stay in the heart of the wilderness with dispersed camping inside the thousands of acres of national forests, giving budget-conscious travelers a way to enjoy low-cost vacations.

The Glacier National Park is a top destination. Still, there are hidden gems where you can camp close to natural hot springs, ghost towns, secret caverns, mountain ranges, and pristine lakes full of hungry trout, among many other unique attractions.

Between the ever-changing terrain and close encounters with wildlife photographers love, the opportunity to learn about early American history, or partake in a kayak ride down secluded waterways or other outdoor sport, Montana has it all.

Camping in Montana is fun all year long, with the most popular camping season being June through August, when schools are on break, and the weather is the nicest. December through March is another peak time when people enjoy skiing, ice fishing, taking a dip in the hot springs, and other winter activities. For a different Montana camping experience, visiting in the spring and fall will have fewer crowds, allowing you to explore the sites more peacefully.

10 Best Montana Campgrounds

Planning a Montana camping trip should start by booking a stay at any of these highly-rated campgrounds:

1. Apgar Campground, Glacier National Park


Location: US Hwy 2, West Glacier, MT 59901
Camping Season: Open all year (random closures may happen due to weather)
Campsites: 194 RV or Tent
Rate: $23 standard/$10 primitive during peak season. Free from November 1–March 31 with a valid entrance pass
Reservation Requirement: Must now reserve campsites during the summer months – first come, first serve begins September 12 through October 4.


  • Food storage boxes
  • Camp store (seasonal)
  • Trash recycling
  • Dump station (seasonal)
  • Potable water (seasonal)
  • Amphitheater (seasonal)
  • Toilets and showers (seasonal)
  • Campsite fire ring and picnic table

Camping on the west side of Glacier National Park in the Apgar Campground will place you in a fantastic location to explore the wonders of the landscape and wildlife that abounds in this area. Glacier has over 700 miles of trails with the Apgar campground close to the always-popular Going-to-the-Sun Road that crosses the park.

Apgar is Glacier’s largest campground, giving guests a better chance to snag a spot, even during the high season from June through August. In addition, Lake McDonald is a short walk away, where you can view spectacular sunsets over the water.

Apgar Campground (Video)

2. Southside RV Park


Location: 104 E Poindexter St, Dillon, MT
Camping Season: Open all year
Campsites: 40 RV plus Cabin rentals
Rate: $50 Full Hookup
Reservation Requirement: Call to book – 406-683-2244


  • Restrooms and hot showers
  • Laundry
  • Room for reading/games
  • FREE Wi-Fi and DVD Library
  • Campsite picnic table

Southside RV Park is another camping location in Montana that will provide full hookups and place you near the natural hot springs found in southwest Montana, the ghost town in Bannack State Park. In addition, it is only a ten-minute walk into the historic downtown Dillon where you can find an array of shops, eateries, and cultural events.

The campground offers spacious campsites and the pleasure of having Blacktail Creek flowing right through the center of the park to increase the serenity of your stay.

3. Lewis and Clark Caverns Campground


Location: 25 Lewis & Clark Caverns Road, Whitehall, Montana
Camping Season: Open all year
Campsites: 40 RV or Tent with electricity – plus cabins or tipi
Rate: $14-$28 Tent or RV/$26-$42 Tipi/$50-$66 Cabin
Reservation Requirement: Reserve up to six months in advance through the Montana State Parks website, off-peak season allows walk-ins (January 1 – May 18)


  • Firewood, ice, and a kennel are available
  • Camp host
  • Comfort station
  • Playground
  • Dump station ($5 fee)
  • Potable water (seasonal)
  • Amphitheater
  • Flushing toilets and hot showers
  • Campsite fire ring and picnic table

Lewis and Clark Caverns Campground is a must-do Montana camping experience, with access to one of the largest limestone caverns in the northwest US. If touring the caverns is a top priority, book your stay between May and the end of September, when the park has different guided tour options to take guests to see the interior (you cannot go into the caverns without a guide).

The campsites are very spacious, with wide-open views of the grassy countryside to take in stunning sunrises and sunsets. Trails for hiking or mountain biking are nearby. There is a visitor center at the highway entrance and the cave entrance with details on the terrain and local culture. Insiders say visiting the first and last week of the peak season is the least crowded yet allows you to tour the caverns.

Lewis and Clark Caverns (Video)

4. Spire Rock Campground – Custer Gallatin National Forest


Location: Storm Castle Rd, Bozeman, MT
Camping Season: Open May 15 – September 15
Campsites: 20 rustic RV or Tent
Rate: $16
Reservation Requirement: Reserve up to 6 months in advance through Recreation.gov


  • Food storage boxes
  • Firewood available
  • Trash pickup
  • ATV trails
  • Toilets
  • Campsite fire ring and picnic table

Spire Rock is a great campground to check out if your travels take you near Bozeman. Part of the US Forest Service, each campsite is very private and sits along Storm Castle Creek. The views of the surrounding mountains are what guests rave about, with stunning scenery in every direction.

Hiking from the campground is a favorite activity, with the Storm Castle Peak trailhead under a mile away and other iconic trails like Beehive Basin or Lava Lake.

Please note no drinking water is available and that most campsites are suitable for RVs under 32 feet. However, navigating the gravel roads in larger RVs will be very stressful, if not impossible.

Spire Rock Campground (Video)

5. Holland Lake Campground – Flathead National Forest


Location: 7 miles south of Condon, Montana off Holland Lake Road
Camping Season: Open mid-May through late September
Campsites: 38 rustic RV or Tent
Rate: $20
Reservation Requirement: Reserve up to 6 months in advance through Recreation.gov for 24 sites, with 14 first-come, first-served


  • Boat ramp with trailer parking
  • Beach access
  • Food Storage Locker (bears are present)
  • Dump station within 1/4 mile
  • Potable water
  • Toilets
  • Campsite fire ring and picnic table

Holland Lake Campground is great for camping and sits in the Swan Valley in northwestern Montana along the banks of a 416-acre lake full of trout and Kokanee salmon. While the excellent boating and fishing opportunities are enough reason to visit, there is also convenient access to the 1.6-mile Holland Falls National Recreation Trail that climbs 750 feet to the base of Holland Falls waterfall.

The campsites are surrounded by Ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, and Tamarack trees, with abundant wildlife to observe during your stay. In addition, Holland Lake offers rentals of kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards if you want a bit more excitement.

Holland Lake Campground (Video)

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6. Bad Medicine Campground – Kootenai National Forest


Location: 2395 Bull Lake Road, Troy, Montana
Camping Season: Open all year (camp host on site May-Sept.)
Campsites: 18 RV or Tent
Rate: $16
Reservation Requirement: First come, first served (busiest June-August)


  • Boat ramp with dock
  • Potable water
  • Toilets
  • Campsite fire ring and picnic table
  • Security gate (locked from 10 PM-7 AM

Bad Medicine campground is a tranquil hidden gem that sits on the banks of Bull Lake. Each rustic campsite is spacious and wooded, making it a true camping adventure. Because this location is off the beaten path, you can enjoy more solitude if you prepare and pack accordingly.

If you love to fish, kayak, paddleboard, or just float, this is a great place to unwind and enjoy a different take on the Montana wilderness. With the Ross Creek Cedars Scenic Area adjacent to the park, you can view Montana’s oldest red cedar trees, with some specimens over 1,000 years in age.

Bad Medicine Campground (Video)

7. Makoshika State Park


Location: 1301 Snyder Street, Glendive, Montana
Camping Season: Open all year
Campsites: 28 rustic RV, Tent, Tipi, Yurt
Rate: $18.00-$28.00 standard/$12.00-$20.00 rustic/$30.00-$66.00 Tipi/$54.00-$72.00 Yurt
Reservation Requirement: Reserve campsites up to 6 months in advance through the Montana State Park portal

Amenities (some are seasonal):

  • Outdoor amphitheater
  • Disc Golf
  • Potable water
  • Toilets
  • Campsite fire ring and picnic table

Makoshika is the largest park in state lands Montana set aside for camping and exploration. The highlights of staying here include the badland formations and fossil remains of dinosaurs like the Tyrannosaurus Rex and other prehistoric plant and animal life.

The park entrance features a visitor center with informative exhibits, a gift shop, and access to miles of hiking trails.

Makoshika State Park (Video)

8. West Glacier RV Park


Location: 350 River Bnd Dr, West Glacier, MT 59936
Camping Season: Open May 6th – October 2nd
Campsites: 102 RV plus cabin rentals
Rate: $105 Full Hookup
Reservation Requirement: Call to book – 844-868-7474


  • Laundry
  • Restrooms and showers
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Dog Park
  • Playground
  • Propane and camp sundries are available
  • Campsite fire pit and green space

The privately-owned West Glacier RV Park is an excellent option if you want a more comfortable Montana camping experience. You’ll have plenty of sights and experiences to enjoy during your stay at this campground nestled within West Glacier Village and close to the Glacier National Park.

West Glacier RV Park (Video)

9. BLM Camping Montana

Montana state land is vast, with plenty of BLM dispersed camping opportunities. Head to the Bureau of Land Management website to learn more about the rules and feel involved when staying on their land holdings, along with specific information on where to find BLM campsites in Montana.

You can also check out the USDA Forest Service website for dispersed camping districts across Montana.

If you are looking for other free camping options, go online and type freecampsites net Montana into the search bar. Then, click on the freecampsites.net website, where you’ll see a map of Montana with all the locations of free camping highlighted in green with details about each site.

Montana Camping Wrap Up

Montana’s dramatic landscape changes as you move across the state, giving each region a distinct camping opportunity and experience. No matter what outdoor activities you enjoy, from skiing to hiking to fishing, Montana will deliver it to you with miles of breathtaking terrain as a backdrop.

We hope you enjoy using the guide to camping in Montana to plan your next RV or tenting adventure. Whether you choose free dispersed camping, rustic state or national park campgrounds, or RV parks with all the amenities and mountain views, your Montana vacation is sure to be memorable!

Related Questions

  1. What are the unique attractions near each of the top 10 campgrounds in Montana?
  • Glacier National Park: Near the campgrounds in this park, you can explore the Going-to-the-Sun Road, a marvel of engineering that crosses the Continental Divide at the 6,646-foot-high Logan Pass.
  • National Forests: Montana is home to seven national forests, offering a wide range of outdoor activities. Campgrounds in these areas provide easy access to hiking, fishing, and wildlife viewing.
  • Big Sky Resort: If you’re camping near Big Sky, you can enjoy some of the “Biggest Skiing in America,” with an average of 400 inches of snow per year.
  • Fly Fish Blue Ribbon Waterways: Campgrounds near the Blackfoot and Gallatin Rivers offer excellent opportunities for fly fishing.
  • Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center: If you’re camping near West Yellowstone, this center offers a chance to see grizzly bears and gray wolves in a natural habitat.
  • Museum of the Rockies: Campers near Bozeman can visit this museum, renowned for its excellent displays of dinosaurs and dinosaur eggs.
  • Yellowstone National Park: Campgrounds near the West Entrance and the North Entrance of Yellowstone National Park offer access to over two million acres of exploration.
  • World Museum of Mining: If you’re camping near Butte, this museum offers a deep dive into the city’s mining history.
  • State Capitol in Helena: Campers near Helena can tour the state capitol building and explore the surrounding Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest.
  • Flathead Lake: The largest natural freshwater lake in the American West outside of Alaska, Flathead Lake offers boating and hiking opportunities for campers in the area.
  1. What are some tips for first-time campers in Montana?

For first-time campers in Montana, it’s crucial to be prepared for diverse weather conditions, so pack layers, rain gear, and sturdy footwear.

Additionally, remember to respect the wildlife by maintaining a safe distance, storing food properly to avoid attracting animals to your campsite, and adhering to the “Leave No Trace” principles to preserve the natural beauty of Montana’s outdoors.

  1. What are the best times to visit the different campgrounds in Montana?

The best times to visit different campgrounds in Montana vary depending on the activities you’re interested in. Generally, the summer and fall seasons, particularly late summer and early fall, are considered the most favorable for camping due to cooperative weather and the availability of various activities.

However, it’s important to note that campgrounds can be extremely busy during these periods, so early reservations are recommended. For a quieter experience, September is ideal as parks, trails, lakes, rivers, and mountains are less crowded than during the peak summer months of June, July, and August.

  1. What are the options for campers on a budget in Montana?

Budget campers in Montana have a variety of options including numerous public campgrounds in national forests and state parks, which often offer affordable rates.

Additionally, dispersed camping, which is free and allowed in many areas of national forests, is another great option for those on a tight budget, though it comes with fewer amenities.

  1. What wildlife can campers expect to encounter in Montana’s campgrounds?

Campers in Montana’s campgrounds can expect to encounter a diverse array of wildlife, including grizzly and black bears, elk, moose, mule deer, and various bird species such as eagles and hawks.

Smaller creatures like squirrels, chipmunks, and a variety of insects are also common, and in the rivers and lakes, you might see beavers, otters, and a variety of fish species.

"Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt."
-- John Muir

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