Hunting (shotgun or bow)

Sluice Boxes State Park

Sluice Boxes State Park

Sluice Boxes State Park

Sluice Boxes State Park was created in 1974 and included significant historic structures and remnants of the abandoned towns of Riceville and Albright that once existed for the purpose of mining limestone in the canyon.

Belt Creek which formed the canyon that is the centerpiece of the park, has long been popular for outdoor recreation. Citizens of nearby Great Falls began visiting the area for fishing, camping, hunting and other activities as early as 1889 when the railroad connecting silver mines in the Barker and Hughesville mining districts to smelters in Great Falls was completed.

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Things to do:

The park is now popular with local visitors, history enthusiasts, fishermen, hikers, and others. The rugged landscape creates dramatic scenery as it contrasts distinctly with the rolling hills and rounded mountains of this part of central Montana.

A walk down the old railroad grade trail will bring you to fishing access, floating, swimming and wildlife viewing. Be aware: steep cliffs, rugged terrain and cold, swift water can pose a risk to visitors, so be sure to take caution!

If you’re looking to camp, you’ll need a Backcountry Campsite Permit. You can contact Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks headquarters in Great Falls to do so.

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The Barker Mines and the Montana Central Railroad are part of the history of Sluice Boxes State Park.
Carved by Belt Creek as it comes down from the Little Belt Mountains, the large limestone cliffs and steep ledges are the signatures of Belt Creek Canyon.

By September of 1890, the Central Montana Railroad dropped off fisherman at various locations along Belt Creek in what is now Sluice Boxes State Park. When Belt Creek was named a blue ribbon trout stream in the 1920s, the railroad ran special “fishing trains” on Sundays.

This area was once home to prospectors searching for precious metals, miners, muleskinners, smelter men and railroaders building bridges. Today, visitors can find the remnants of mines, cabins and a railroad along the banks of Belt Creek in the park.

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

"We stop every trip because the view is gorgeous no matter what the season."

"Beautiful place. Be prepared if you plan on hiking the trail. Lots of river crossings."

"A great place to hike if you don't mind crossing the river several times. It is best to go in the late summer when the river is at its lowest point so that you can cross safely. There is an old homestead to explore as well."

"Family & pet friendly hike. Beautiful for pictures and swimming. There is a spot where you can do a cliff jump into the lake."

 

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    Park

    Parking/Trailhead
    Open Sunrise to Sunset

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    Backcountry

    Open 24/7

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    Pets Allowed

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    Toilets (Vault)

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    Campground

    Backcountry Campsite

    Permit required

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    Location

    38 Evans Riceville Road Belt, MT 59412

Rosebud Battlefield State Park 6

Rosebud Battlefield State Park

Rosebud Battlefield State Park

Rosebud Battlefield State Park

The location of the Battle of Rosebud, is an incredible and historical location that shouldn’t be missed!

We are able to bring you valuable information about this amazing state park thanks to the support of:

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The Park History

One of the largest battles of the Indian Wars, the Battle of Rosebud, or “Where the Girl Saved Her Brother” as referred to by the Northern Cheyenne, lasted for eight hours. Because Crook’s troops had been withdrawn from the war zone in order to resupply, they were not there to support Colonel Custer at the Battle of the Little Bighorn one week later.

The battlefield is still used throughout the year by U.S. Armed Forces to study military strategy, including how troops take on an enemy who is familiar with the landscape.

The park includes Kobold Buffalo Jump, a cliff once used by Native Americans and marked with petroglyphs. A short hike within the gap to the cliffs will allow you to see these.

The use of metal detectors, digging and the collecting or removal of artifacts is restricted and bikes are allowed on existing roadways only. Be very cautious while in the park as rattlesnakes reside in the area!

Although camping isn’t available at Rosebud Battlefield, there is camping available at Tongue River Reservoir State Park only 13 miles south.

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Rosebud Battlefield is one of the most undeveloped, pristine battlefields in the nation. While looking for the Sioux and Northern Cheyenne villages of Chief Sitting Bull, Brigadier General George Cook, along with 1000 troops and Crow and Shoshone scouts, were unprepared for an organized attack.

On June 17, 1876, an equal or greater number of warriors led by Sioux Chief Crazy Horse and Cheyenne Chiefs Two Moon, Young Two Moons, and Spotted Wolf, attacked the band of soldiers.

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

"What a unique piece of Montana history! The story of the young Cheyenne woman saving her brother against the US Army happened here."

"Great experience. Largest battle in the Indian wars. Very interesting presentation."

"This is the battle that preceded the battle of little big horn by a few days and would have saved Custer if it did not happen. A must see!"

"This is part of our western history few people know of. It was over looked becsuse of Custers actions eight days later."

 

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    Park

    Open all year/Day Use Only

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    Location

    42 HC Busby, MT 59016

Pirogue-Island-State-Park

Pirogue Island State Park

Pirogue Island State Park

Pirogue Island State Park

Pirogue Island State Park just a mile north of Miles City, Montana, a little more than two hours from Billings, Montana by way of Interstate 94, and on the north side of a bend in the Yellowstone River.

In addition to extensive hiking, birding, and wildlife viewing, the island is a possible site where the Corps of Discovery and Capt. Clark camped in 1806 on the return voyage of their famous expedition.

Pirogue Island State Park
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Looking to hike?

For visitors who enjoy hiking, Pirogue Island features 2.8 miles of designated hiking trails with interpretive signs offering insights on the history and wildlife of the island. Looking for more than 2.8 miles? You’re in luck!

As a very level site, visitors will find an easy walk throughout the 269 acres and when the water isn’t flowing, visitors can take a walk along the tree-shaded side channels and wade through the pools of water that form during hot weather.

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The island boasts prominent plant life with more than 140 species of plants including a healthy population of cottonwood trees, peach-leaf willow, green ash, and red-osier dogwood.

An isolated, cottonwood-covered island located on the Yellowstone River, Pirogue Island State Park is an excellent location for enjoying the natural beauty of Montana. While wading through channels of the Yellowstone River is the most popular way to get to Pirogue Island, others stop by as they float down the river.

Pirogue Island State Park is 500 miles from where the Yellowstone River begins south of Yellowstone National Park and 170 miles from where it ends near Williston, North Dakota.

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

"Growing up in this area I never discovered this until I went back and visited. There is a great trail (about 6 miles) that takes you all around the park and next to the river."

"Good spot for hunting and fishing"

"I love the walking trail and having the chance to see wildlife."

"Great place to view"

 

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    Park

    Day use only

    Open year-round, 7 am to 10 pm.

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    Location

    Miles City, MT 59301

    Travel north on 59N to the Kinsey Rd/Hwy 489.
    Turn right and follow for 2 miles to the turnoff for Pirogue Island State Park.
    Parking and amenities are at the end of the road.

Medicine Rocks State Park

Medicine Rocks State Park

Medicine Rocks State Park

The Medicine Rocks are a series of natural rock formations considered sacred by local Native American tribes. They are covered in Native Rock Art or Pictographs.

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Looking to camp?

Those looking to enjoy the park overnight will find 12 campsites nestled among the Swiss cheese-like rock formations. But be sure to arrive early as all of these sites are first-come, first served.

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  • Hike through the prairie and forest or even climb into caves!
  • Take incredible pictures of the rock formations!
  • Enjoy a picnic and enjoy the ever-changing landscape!
  • Keep your eyes open for wildlife including mule deer, antelope, Woodhouse's toads and sharp-tailed grouse!
  • Camp at one of the 12 rustic campsites!
  • Stargaze on a clear night or plan a visit during a meteor shower! 

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A scenic drive on Montana Highway 7 through rolling hills and prairie, visitors will be amazed by the incredible beauty of Medicine Rocks State Park. As you approach the park you’ll see sandstone pillars, caves archways and towers rising out of the plains with small batches of pine forest in some areas.

But how did these formations come to be?
Around 60-million years ago, the Great Plains were covered by an immense sea. The edges of this sea were swamp-like and forested with a shallow river that cut through carrying sediment from the forming Rocky Mountains. Portions of this sediment were deposited along the path of the river creating sandbars.

Over the years, these sandbars turned to sandstone where wind, water and temperature extremes took their toll.

The stronger materials stayed while the less resistant material was eroded away. The rock that was able to withstand millions of years of erosion now makes up the odd formations found at Medicine Rocks State Park.

Once you’re in the park, a road twists and turns through rock outcroppings taking visitors to the camping and picnic areas. Many of the formations can be viewed from your vehicle, but exploring the park by foot allows visitors to get up close and personal with these rock formations.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Medicine Rocks is also an important cultural site for Native Americans, once used as a vision quest location, meeting place and lookout for bison or enemies.

Many early settlers and cattle drivers carved their names or initials along with the dates they visited into the rocks. You can still find many of these and a complete list of these names can be found in the nearby Carter County Museum!

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    Park

    Open Year-Round 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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    Campground

    Open Year-Round

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    Additional Information

    Water Available Year-Round

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    Location

    1141 Hwy 7 Ekalaka, MT

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

"Really cool, has camping and places to cook out. Hiking is good. The rock formations are great."

 

"Medicine rocks state park is a beautiful and serene place to visit."

"I saw this park when I was en route to Devil's Tower and decided that, should I ever head out that way again, I would visit it. The park preserves a sand prairie with incredible sandstone. The wildlife viewing was good, as I saw several mule deer and rabbit."

"Lovely, quiet and interesting gem of a state park. We made the hour trip south off 94 and stayed near here on our way west to Yellowstone. We hiked both the loop trail and the short out and back, saw interesting flowers and wildlife. Loved it!"

 

"Lovely, quiet and interesting gem of a state park. We made the hour trip south off 94 and stayed near here on our way west to Yellowstone. We hiked both the loop trail and the short out and back, saw interesting flowers and wildlife. Loved it!"

 

"This park is a hidden gem. Very scenic and quiet and peaceful. About 7 camping spots ... my 30' trailer was just about as big as a few spots would accommodate. Clean toilets, potable water. Highly recommend."

"Lovely, quiet and interesting gem of a state park. We made the hour trip south off 94 and stayed near here on our way west to Yellowstone. We hiked both the loop trail and the short out and back, saw interesting flowers and wild life. Loved it!"

"This is an exceptional place to visit. The landscapes are gorgeous and mesmerizing. The quiet walks through the park take you back through the centuries and millennia as you explore the prairies and the sandstone towers. Highly recommend."

"A beautiful place to camp and hike. I am currently attending the Dino Shindig in Ekalaka MT, and this state park is a great addition to the memories I will make in south-eastern MT."

"An unexpected delight! Saw these beautiful rocks while driving by, made a mini detour to drive through the park. Worth the visit!"

Makoshika

Makoshika State Park

Makoshika State Park

Makoshika State Park

Makoshika State Park features spectacular badland formations and the remains of the infamous Tyrannosaurus Rex, as well as other amazing dino fossils.

Makoshika State Park
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Looking to dig for fossils?

The park offers special events throughout the year, including Montana Shakespeare in the Park, Friday night campfire programs and youth programs in summer, and the famous Buzzard Day festival, the second Saturday in June, featuring 10k & 5k races and a fun run, Native American singers & drummers, jumping house, food, disc golf tournament, hikes and more!

Visitors are asked not to bring metal detectors, and no digging, collecting or removal of artifacts is allowed.

Included within the park are an archery site, scenic drives, hiking trails, 28 camping sites, a group picnic area, and an outdoor amphitheater.

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The visitor center at the park entrance has interpretive exhibits that are great for kids.

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

"Really cool rock features. Very easy hikes to see amazing views."

"Never a disappointment. I LOVE Makoshika park. I always stop by to visit the ranger's in the gift shop. They are all so very welcoming."

"The scenic overlooks are awesome. Some of the trails are slightly treacherous. Bring water on your walks. The staff are friendly and helpful. The visitor center has some very cool displays of the archeological finds from the area."

"We loved this park. Great views and hiking- decent privacy for spots even though there aren’t really trees to separate the sites. Lots of things to do nearby since it’s so close to town! Wish we had time to take a longer visit and hike more of the trails! Watch out for cacti!"

 

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    Park

    Open all year
    Open daily 7 am to 10 pm Water available year round

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    Campground 

    Open year round

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    Visitor Center

    Winter Hours 3rd Monday of Sept – 3rd Thursday of May: Open Wed - Sun, 10 am - 5 pm.

    Summer Hours 3rd Friday of May – 3rd Sunday of Sept:
    Open daily, 10 am - 5 pm.

    Closed all federal and state holidays except Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day.

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    Location

    1301 Snyder Avenue Glendive, MT 59330

Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park 1

Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park

Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park

Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park

Located just east of Whitehall, MT, lies the Lewis and Clark Caverns. Discovered in 1892 by local hunters, these caverns went on to become Montana's first state park.

As one of the largest known limestone cavern systems in the northwest, Montanans have been exploring the caves for over 100 years!

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Interested in tours?

Access to the cave is by guided tours only, May through September with limited candlelight tours offered in December. Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park also features camping and a network of trails to hike or bike, a state-of-the-art visitor center, interpretive displays, a gift shop, food and beverage concessions, amphitheater, and interpretive events presented during the summer months.

Looking to camp?

The park has a large campground with 40 campsites, a tipi, and three cabins, which you can reserve online, and a group camping area, which you must contact the park to reserve. There is a $5 charge to use the dump station.

The site encompasses 3,015 acres. The entry area is at an elevation of 4,300 feet and the caverns area is at an elevation of 5,300 feet.

Cave access is only available through the guided tour. You will be asked to please wear a mask. 

Cavern Tours are now being offered. 

The park offers two tours: The Classic Tour which visits the majority of the developed cave but is physically challenging, and The Paradise tour that will guide you to the largest, most decorated rooms of the cave. Tour length is approximately 1 mile and the tour takes about 1 1/2 hours.

The tours are first come, first served.

Tickets are limited.

Get in touch with the park for more information. 

Bring a face covering. Face coverings are required during cave tours.

Although optional for other areas of the park. Park disinfecting procedures involve using a bleach solution.

Visitors should consider wearing new or very clean gloves, especially in the caverns where the handrails are cleaned with bleach solution every tour.

Because of group size restrictions, tours are very limited. Park facilities that are open now are disinfected intermittently. We suggest visitors bring hand sanitizer and/or disinfecting wipes for personal use.

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Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park features one of the largest known limestone caverns in the Northwest.

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

"The caverns are amazing and the tours are fantastic. I have been through several times over the years and always loved the experience. The candlelight tours in the winter are amazing for the experience and historic aspects, but the summer tours really show off the caverns with the lights. All of the guides are passionate about their jobs and the caves, and love to teach. Great place to visit and bring friends and family."

"Absolutely beautiful! The bats are very cool to see as well! Can't wait to see it again."

"These Caverns are a jewel. The drive to the caverns winds along the Jefferson River, with cliffs adorning the sides of the road. Our party were excited to to the Caverns today, as it was the rare tour through the cave system with candles!!! This Candlelight tour is offered only at Christmas. What a treat!! The vision of the fellow participants weaving among the cave features is idyllic. It is surprising how much light the candlelight can make in the total dark. This is a best kept secret. The tour guides are top notch."

"A truly fascinating and unique experience! Amazing formations of nature. A true treasure. Outstanding tour and educational experience. Highly recommend!"

 

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    Park

    Open Year-Round

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    Campground

    Open

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    Water

    Available May 2 - Sept 30.

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    Showers & Comfort Station

    Available May 2 - Sept 30

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    Visitor Center

    Normal hours: Winter hours, October 7 - April 13: Open Wed - Sun, 10 am - 4 pm. Summer hours: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm daily; Open until 6:30pm in mid-summer.

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    Location

    25 Lewis and Clark Caverns Rd. Whitehall, MT 59759

Fish Creek State Park 1

Fish Creek State Park

Fish Creek State Park

Fish Creek State Park

Fish Creek State Park is located at 851 Rivulet Road in Alberton.

Fish Creek State Park provides a large landscape State Park in western Montana with a diverse array of recreational opportunities such as hiking, mountain biking, angling, sightseeing, wildlife viewing, motorized use on open roads, and hunting.

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Looking to camp?

From the lookout atop Williams Peak to the crystal clear blue pools of Fish Creek, this 5,603-acre state park is full of wildlife, beautiful scenery and places to explore.

The Alberton Gorge, with class 3-4 whitewater rafting, is nearby.

This undeveloped park lacks many amenities that other nearby parks feature such as a visitor center, camping facilities, or regular staffing

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The 41,000 acres was acquired by the Nature Conservancy and Trust for Public Lands from the Plum Creek Timber Co. for $17 million. In 2010 the state of Montana officially gained ownership of the land, setting aside a share for the state park.

The topography of the park varies and includes timbered draws, ridges, flat stretches, riparian areas, and steep, narrow canyons.

There are around 60 miles of old logging roads within the park! As one of Montana’s newest state parks, there aren’t many amenities, but you will find plenty of activities! 

You won’t find camping at Fish Creek, yet, but if you’re feeling adventurous, the Alberton Gorge provides first-rate whitewater rafting. You may be looking for something a bit tamer though, in which case fishing is one of the most popular activities at Fish Creek State Park!

Many visitors love to hike up to the Williams Peak lookout which provides incredible views of the Mission Mountains to the northeast and Bitterroot Mountains to the southwest. 

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

"Lots of forested lands. A new park, my first experience was cross country skiing."

"Great boon- docking spot. Lots of wildlife and views."

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    Park

    Open Year-Round

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    Location

    851 Rivulet Road Alberton, MT 59820

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