This week’s focus takes us an hour outside of Jordan, Montana to the most heavily fished water in Montana, Hell Creek State Park. You’ll reach Hell Creek, near the end of a 25-mile-long gravel road, through the spectacular scenery of the Missouri Breaks landscape.
On the Hell Creek Arm of Fort Peck Lake, this park provides facilities for most water sports as well as excellent walleye fishing. Fort Peck boasts 1,500 miles of lake shoreline (longer than the entire California coast) and features the surrounding hills of the C. M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge and the Missouri Breaks.
This week’s featured park is brought to you by the Miles City Chamber of Commerce.
While the road to reach Hell Creek State Park is long, the drive is well worth it! As you travel along a 25-mile gravel road to get into the park, you’ll encounter beautiful, rugged terrain.
Be sure to allow 1-2 hours to travel from Jordan to Hell Creek State Park. And please note, traveling the road between Hell Creek State Park and Jordan is only recommended during dry conditions. Check current and upcoming weather prior to travel.
Did you know?
Lewis & Clark and the Corps of Discovery encountered a grizzly bear near here in 1805.
You won’t be bored at Hell Creek State Park! You can:
✅ Spend your day on the water boating, water skiing, or windsurfing!
✅ Summer? Fish from the shore or out on the water!
✅ Winter? Go ice fishing!
✅ Lounge by the lake and take a swim!
✅ Hike through the rugged hills surrounding the park!
✅ Plus so much more!
Located on the Hell Creek Arm of Fort Peck Lake, you’ll find excellent facilities for water sports as well as a bounty of walleye, lake trout, northern pike, and small-mouth bass to fish. Plus, there is a fish cleaning station.
Hell Creek Marina, a private marina located within the park, offers bait, groceries, gas, and other camping and fishing equipment.
The park also serves as a launching point for boat camping in the wild and scenic Missouri Breaks.
Hell Creek State Park offers 71 campsites, 44 of which have electrical hookups. A group facility is available to reserve for special events
Looking for a hike? You’ll find plenty of trails throughout Hell Creek State Park including the 1 ½ mile loop Mule Deer Trail and the Paleo Trail.
The Paleo Trail is a 3-mile roundtrip hike into the Hellcreek Formation, known for its dinosaur fossils.
Hunting enthusiasts will find their fun at Hell Creek as well! Depending on the season, you’ll find hunting for antelope, elk, mule, and white-tailed deer.
DID YOU KNOW?
In 1902, Barnum Brown discovered the world’s first Tyrannosaurus Rexwithin the park, and a few years after that a full skeleton was found, including its 6-inch teeth!
The “badlands” surrounding Fort Peck Lake (and Hell Creek State Park) is known as the highly fossiliferous Hell Creek Formation and is a paleontologist’s dream. The soil is composed of freshwater clays, mudstones, and sandstones deposited during the last part of the Cretaceous and the Maastrichtian period.
Paleontologists have discovered invertebrates, plants, mammals, fish, reptiles, and amphibians – and dinosaurs as large (and in-tact) as Tyrannosaurus and Triceratops.
During 1999-2010, Jack Horner (Museum of the Rockies, Bozeman, Montana), Bill Clemens and Mark Goodwin (University of CaliforniaMuseum of Paleontology), and Joseph Harman (University of North Dakota) organized a collaborative, multi-institutional field study program, called The Hell Creek Project.
All the findings from that project, which included 18,000 cataloged specimens, are conserved in perpetuity for the public trust at the Museum of the Rockies and the UC Berkeley Museum of Paleontology.
Hell Creek State Park Quick Facts:
Park Open Year-Round
Campground Open Year-Round
Park Office Open May 15 – October 1, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Additional Information: No potable water before May 15 or after October 1
Location: 2456 Hell Creek Road Jordan, MT 59337
Toilets (Flush & Vault)
RV Dump Station
How Does the Foundation Help State Parks Like Hell Creek State Park?
As Montana State Parks’ only statewide fundraising partner, the Foundation helps to raise awareness, education, and most importantly support boots-on-the-ground improvement projects for users and supporters like you.
As an agency faced with a $22 million maintenance deficit, our work and collaboration help to ensure continued access and solutions currently inside our state park system.
Because in the end, we envision state parks that reflect Montana’s renowned outdoor recreation and heritage for all… forever.
Other Ways to Support Montana State Parks
A simple way to help Montana State Parks, each and every year, is through our branded Montana license plates. These feature the famous Monte Dolack Fine Art painting, Placid Lake Sunset, and are an effective way to say “yes” to protecting Montana’s public lands by doing what you’d be doing anyway by registering your vehicle.
Ask your local DMV today for your Montana State Parks license plate.