Outdoor Activity

Yellowstone River

Yellowstone River State Park

Yellowstone River State Park

Yellowstone River State Park

Yellowstone River State Park is just over 200 acres of what used to be the Circle R Ranch, which was purchased by FWP in 2008. Sandstone bluffs, pasturelands, and groves of cottonwood trees surround this unique park.

Unlike many state parks across Montana, you won't find many amenities or visitor information kiosks. This undeveloped park is adjacent to Wildlife Management Areas and BLM property, which allows users to experience solitude and quiet only miles from Montana's largest city, Billings.

34251576110888273
IMG_5965

Download Campsite Map

IMG_5966

Download Park Map

IMG_5970

Watch Park Videos

IMG_5964

Download Brochure

Looking for things to do?

There are many opportunities for recreation along the Yellowstone River.

Gravel along the river from Custer to Sidney often yields Montana agates (inquire locally or through the Custer Country tourism region for guide services or rockhounding tips).

Fishing and floating are two other favorite activities on the Yellowstone. Badlands scenery is abundant in Terry or Makoshika State Park (in Glendive, MT), where you can drive to view impressive rock formations.

The site contains 3,976 deeded acres and includes 5 miles of wooded Yellowstone River shoreline. The acquisition also secured for the public use of 5,450 acres of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and state land that had been difficult to access.

Currently undeveloped, the park provides an ideal spot for hiking the day away. Sandstone bluffs overlook the Yellowstone River while deep canyons and ponderosa pine-lined coulees dot the landscape.

The area provides habitat for mourning doves, meadowlarks, mallards, Canada geese, wild turkeys, pheasants, sage grouse, sharptailed grouse, Hungarian partridge, mule deer, whitetail deer, pronghorn antelope, and even an occasional elk.

The Yellowstone is the last free-flowing river in the lower 48 states. From its headwaters in Lake Yellowstone downstream 670 miles to the Missouri River in North Dakota, the Yellowstone River flows as it has for centuries, in its natural state, undammed and untamed.

Clear, cool, swift and challenging it offers fishermen and river runners some of the best water Montana has to offer.

To fishermen, its blue-ribbon waters are known world round for an abundance of big trout. As it flows through Montana, the big river goes through many changes - from steep-walled canyons where boulders churn its green waters to the eastern part of the state where the river broadens to take a lazy path through fertile farm country.

There are many opportunities for recreation along the Yellowstone River.

 

DID-YOU-KNOW-mtstateparks

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

"Beautiful, spacious, peaceful and fun!"

"It's beautiful here & I heard the fishing is good."

"The only state park in the middle of MT. Nice cottonwoods surround good size lake. Camp spots on the far side are more private and shaded in the afternoon. Beautiful prairie views."

 

"It is a fun place to hang out for the weekend. Great for fishing year-round."

 

Untitled
  • pine icon

    Park

    Open Year-Round

  • pine icon

    Location

    989 Ackley Lake Road Hobson, MT 59452

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.

84671590697935924
IMG_5965

Download Campsite Map

IMG_5966

Download Park Map

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.

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

DID-YOU-KNOW-mtstateparks

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!"

 

Untitled
  • pine icon

    Park

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

  • pine icon

    Campground 

    Open year round

  • pine icon

    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.

  • pine icon

    Location

    1301 Snyder Avenue Glendive, MT 59330

Lone Pine State Park 1

Lone Pine State Park

Lone Pine State Park

Lone Pine State Park

Located just outside of the city of Kalispell to the southwest, Lone Pine State Park is home to 7.5 miles of trails for hiking, biking, snowshoeing, and horseback riding.

The park also features breathtaking scenic overlooks, where you can see Flathead Lake, Big Mountain Resort, Jewel Basin, and Glacier National Park on clear days. 

Lonepine is the second oldest State Park in Montana, dating back to February of 1941.

lone-pine-state-park
IMG_5966

Download Park Map

Looking to camp?

The recently remodeled visitor center has a gift shop and provides visitors with highlights of the wildlife and forest ecology of the park.

A great spot for meetings or social gatherings (can host up to 100 people), the visitor center has a spacious meeting room with audio/visual capabilities and wrap around decks!

7.5 miles of trails can accommodate for short or long hikes where you’ll find great views of wildflowers in the spring and summer and local wildlife throughout the year. 

Activities

Snowshoe rentals are available for $5 per person or $10 per family during the winter months.

With adult workshops, children's activities and interpretive programs throughout the year, Lone Pine State Park is an ideal stop for field trips, out of state visitors or Montana residents interested in learning more about northwestern Montana.

Lone Pine State Park provides incredible views of the Flathead Valley, as well as year-round and wide-ranging outdoor recreation activities.
Originally owned as part of a large sheep ranch by Ernest and Hazel White, in 1941 the White’s donated the land that now makes up Lone Pine State Park, for public use and education.

The Whites stipulated that the land be developed for public use and to teach an appreciation for the benefits of conservation. Lone Pine hosts extensive educational and recreation opportunities throughout the year? From interactive talks about birds of prey, backcountry horse and mule packing, to a bat box building workshop, Lone Pine has an event to interest everyone. 

DID-YOU-KNOW-mtstateparks

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

"This a great little recreation spot. There's hiking, multiple viewing spots, a visitor center, picnic and volleyball area. Additionally one the coolest things they got there is an archery range/course. As a bow hunter I go there often!"

"Great for either short or longer hikes. Very friendly staff. Great views."

"It's very breath taking!! Enjoy the little hike I take with my brother every time I come to Montana!!"

"A great place to go for short or long hikes. Amazing views over the valley. The level of difficulty is very low on most trails, and they are all connected and easy to navigate with clearly marked signs. Will most definitely be returning for more hiking adventures with the kiddos."

 

Untitled
  • pine icon

    Park

    Open all year
    Sunrise to sunset

  • pine icon

    Visitor Center

    Opens June 6, 2020
    Wednesday through Saturday 10am – 5pm.
    Sunday 12:30pm to 5pm.
    Closed Monday & Tuesday.
    Closed November 26, 27, December 24, 25, 31, January 1

  • pine icon

    Archery Trail

    Open for the 2020 season.

  • pine icon

    Location

    300 Lone Pine Rd. Kalispell, MT 59901

Lake Elmo State Park

Lake Elmo State Park

Lake Elmo State Park

Inside the city limits of Billings is Lake Elmo State Park. A large 64-acre reservoir, Lake Elmo is the perfect place to swim, paddle, fish, picnic, bird watch, or hike the 1.4-mile nature trail.  The Lake, originally known as Holling Lake Reservoir, was constructed to provide water to irrigated farmland as part of the Carey Land Act of 1894.  The water that fills the man-made lake is diverted from the Yellowstone River near Laurel, MT, and flows through 63 miles of gravity-fed canals before reaching the lake.

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

image2 (8)
IMG_5965

Download Trail Map

IMG_5966

Download Park Map

Things to do:

Prior to becoming a State Park in 1983, Lake Elmo was once the site of a two-story restaurant and night club known for dancing, big band music, and two-inch thick T-bone steaks.  Nearby property owners created beaches for swimming and even cleared snow from the lake in the winter to host ice skating.  At once point a thriving boat club was formed by local water skiing and motor boating enthusiasts.

The Regional Office for Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks is now located in the park.  The Regional Office houses an impressive collection of taxidermied birds, fish, and wildlife.  You can also purchase conservation licenses and apply for permits at the office which is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A special feature of Lake Elmo is its Dog Park. The 200-square-foot fenced-in area includes a water area and is located on the west side of the lake. Each visitor is allowed a maximum of two dogs in this special area. Dogs must be 4 months or older. Dogs must be on a leash in all other areas of Lake Elmo State Park.

In the 1930s and 1940s, the Lake Elmo Supper Club drew people for dining, dancing, and watching water skiers just out the back door. The Supper Club burned down in 1946, but Lake Elmo continues to be a popular place today.

The reservoir was constructed in 1906 and serves as the storage basin for the Billings Bench Water Association. 

Your four-legged friends will love Lake Elmo State Park as much as you! The dog park at Lake Elmo is a 200-square-foot fenced area that includes access to the water located on the west side of the lake. You and two of your furry friends are allowed to run off-leash in this area, but must be on a leash in all other parts of the park. 

During the summer, the lake is stocked with fish regularly and Roger’s Pier is an excellent fishing spot on the south shore of the lake. And although a popular place to cool off in the summer, the lake can be accessed from many points which means these parks never feel too overcrowded. 

Only non-motorized boating is allowed on the lake though, so you won’t find any water skiing here like you could in the 30s and 40s!

DID-YOU-KNOW-mtstateparks

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

"It's basically on the outskirts of town. Fair sized, man made lake with stocked, variety of fish. No motorized craft allowed on the lake. There are picnic shelters, kids play ground, paved parking and restrooms. The water's edge is a work in progress with some beach areas and a boat ramp. No overnight camping. A great day trip."

"I really like this lake, not only is it large enough to explore it has great picknick areas, walking trails. It's very clean and well taken care of."

"Great family place. Canoeing, swimming, and just fun in the sun with people you care about."

"A beautiful lake right in town and watching the sunset there was breathtaking."

 

Untitled
  • pine icon

    Park

    Open Year-Round

  • pine icon

    Location

    2300 Lake Elmo Drive Billings, MT 59105

Parks That Others Are Visiting