Fly Fishing

Smith River State Park

Smith River State Park

Smith River State Park

Smith River State Park

The Smith River is mostly known for being a wonderful 59-mile long river full of natural beauty, with great boating, fishing, and photographic opportunities.

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Download Campsite Map

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Looking to float?

Permits to float the river are highly sought after and distributed through a lottery system similar to hunting licenses for certain big game species in Montana.
The due date for permit applications is February 13th! Its the perfect Valentine's day gift for that river loving partner of yours!

If you weren't lucky enough to win a permit during the annual lottery system, you can still enjoy the Smith River by visiting Camp Baker west of White Sulphur Springs or Eden Bridge 59 miles downriver and just short drive south of Great Falls.

At Camp Baker, you'll find a campground with primitive campsites, latrine facilities, and a busy boat ramp for the lucky folks who won launch permits.

After the floating parties have launched for the day Camp Baker becomes quiet for a few hours and visitors will enjoy great access for fishing, birdwatching, and even swimming in the summer months.

At the other end of the park is Eden Bridge, the normal take out for Smith River float trips. Eden Bridge is a minimally developed day-use site with latrine facilities, a boat ramp, and day-use access to the river.

While there are few amenities at Eden Bridge, it does make for a nice day trip destination from Great Falls where visitors have a chance to spend time on the banks of one of Montana's most iconic waterways. The float season varies widely depending on snow-pack, rainfall and the amount and timing of irrigation.

The “typical” float season runs from mid-April through mid-July, with occasional floating opportunities in September and October.

Many find Smith River State Park a place of peace because a permit is required to float the Smith River. This permit requirement means visitors can expect to have a quality, multi-day float with relative solitude and excellent trout fishing opportunities.

Of course, you don't need a permit to access the campground and enjoy all the natural splendor of the area.

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Curious what other visitors have had to say about the park?

"Lots of fun things to see and imagine. Have fun exploring, we did."

"My favorite vacation to date."

"The trip was absolutely perfect for our honeymoon! Protect the Smith!"

"Luckily we can still do this, best therapy around!"

 

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    Park

    Open Year-Round

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    Location

    791 Clear Range Road White Sulpher Springs, MT 59645

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Travelers’ Rest State Park

Traveler's Rest State Park

Travelers’ Rest State Park

Both a state park and a National Historic Landmark, Travelers’ Rest is filled with historical significance. In 2001 the land that Travelers’ Rest State Park resides on was donated to the State of Montana.

After an archeological investigation in 2002, it was discovered that this location was used as a campsite by Lewis & Clark and the Corps of Discovery on two occasions, first from September 9-11 in 1805 and then again the year after from June 30-July 3 in 1806.

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Download Campsite Map

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Interested in the history of the park?

During the archeological investigation of the site, archeologists discovered a trench latrine tainted with mercury (a common prescription for many ailments used by the Corps of Discovery), hearths and traces of lead (used in the repair and making of firearms).

The way the camp was set up also led the archeologists to believe that this was the campsite of the Corps of Discovery. The placement of the hearths, latrines and other aspects of the camp were taken from a military manual Lewis & Clark were known to have relied on.

The trace elements in the lead found at the campsite were traced back to elements in Kentucky where Lewis & Clark would have likely gotten their lead! The items found paired with the setup of the camp allowed investigators to come to the conclusion that this was, indeed, the campsite of Lewis & Clark.

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    The park may be called Travelers’ Rest, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be active! Take a hike along Lolo Creek.

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    Learn more about Native American culture from Native storytellers who bring their history and culture to all as part of the programming at Travelers’ Rest.

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    Western Montana is a great place to fish and Travelers’ Rest is no exception! Try your hand at stream or fly fishing in Lolo Creek.

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    History buff? Spend some time in the museum where you’ll find Lewis & Clark Expedition replicas, Salish cultural exhibits, Native American handcrafts, a frontier Main Street and much more!

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    Have a large group? There is a pavilion available to rent! Simply contact the park to make a reservation. Phone: 406-273-4253 Email: [email protected]

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    Looking to enjoy the wildlife? Go bird watching to see how many of the 115 recorded species you can find!

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    Plus so much more!

Travelers’ Rest was also used by Native American tribes in the area. The Salish, Pend d’Oreille and Nez Perce used the area as a campsite and trail junction.

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Curious what other visitors have had to say about the park?

"Wonderful state park with great historical significance regarding Lewis and Clark journey of discovery and marvelous natural beauty. If you are near, do not miss this delightful park. Make time for the informatics museum and fun short hikes. I look forward to coming back."

"The kids were brought out here every year by their school, it was always fun and informative of the days gone by. They have Lewis and Clark artifacts that were found on-site for viewing and then some things, just from the era, both give you a nice perspective of how things used to be. The kids and I live close so it's always just a nice place to come hike around check out the creek. It's a great place also for taking photos. I've taken a lot of family photos in this area for people."

"If you're traveling through it's pretty cool place to stop and get educated on the Lewis and Clark travels."

"Great historical park of Lewis and Clark and native Indian camp. Go and walk their trails and learn about their camp. The exhibit at the travelers rest museum is excellent to see their tools, camp life, cooking, wild edibles, and friends. Our family was here for an afternoon and really enjoyed the experience. "

 

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    Park

    Open Year-Round Daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    Closed Thanksgiving Day & December 25

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    Visitor Center 

    Winter Hours September 4 - May 1: Wednesday - Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    Closed Thanksgiving Day, November 25, December 24 & 25 and January 1

    Summer Hours May 2 - September 2: Open Daily 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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    Location

    6717 Highway 12 W Lolo, MT 59847

Beavertail Hill State Park 1

Beavertail Hill State Park

Beavertail Hill State Park

Beavertail Hill State Park

This park has a one-half mile of Clark Fork River frontage that provides fishing and floating opportunities. Boating is carry-in only. There are 24 developed campsites and 2 tipi rentals.

There is a walking nature trail through a thick canopy of cottonwood trees that takes about an hour from start to finish. The park has an elevation of 3,615 feet and is 65 acres. RV and trailer units have a limit size of 28 feet. 

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Download Campsite Map

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Download Park Map

Beavertail Hill is one of Montana's busiest state parks based on the number of nights people camped at the park.

During the summer, free interpretive programs are hosted in the amphitheater on Saturday evenings.

Park Rangers and other outdoor professionals use these programs to teach park visitors about the history, geography, geology, and other nature-based topics throughout the summer months.

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Curious what other visitors have had to say about the park?

"First time staying here. Great little campground. Well maintained. Hosts were very pleasant and helpful. Will be staying here again in the future."

"Spent one night and enjoyed our stay. Sites were level and very large with tree-privacy. We spotted 17 bird species, elk and ground hogs."

"What a beautiful, secluded camp ground on the river! We just stopped in to have a picnic lunch. It is only a half mile from I-90, but it is so quiet!"

"Tipi rental was very clean, functioning and authentic. Dogs must be on a leash but there are fully functioning bathrooms and readily accessible potable water. Plenty of memories were made and we will definitely do this again."

 

"Nice quiet place to take a hike, or you can go camping or go fishing in the river."

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    Park

    Peak Season

    May 1 through October 31

    Open 24/7

    Off-Season

    November 1 through April 30

    Day use only

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    Campground

    Open May 1st through October 31st

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    Location

    29895 Bonita Station Road
    Clinton, MT 59825

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