Nature Parks

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.

Things To Do

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    Camping Site

  • Backcountry Camping
  • Bird Watching
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • History
  • Hunting
  • Photography
  • Picnicking
  • Rafting
  • Stream Fishing
  • Swimming
  • Wildlife Viewing

Features

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    Park Amenities

  • Interpretive Display
  • Maps
  • Pets Allowed
  • Pack-in/Pack-out
  • Toilets (Vault)

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
    Backcountry 
    Open 24/7
    Pets Allowed
    Toilets (Vault)
    Campground
    Backcountry Campsite
    Permit required

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    Location

    38 Evans Riceville Road Belt, MT 59412

Sluice Boxes State Park

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Wild Horse Island State Park

Wild Horse Island State Park

Wild Horse Island State Park

Located on Flathead Lake, Wild Horse Island is the largest island in a freshwater lake west of Minnesota.

Accessible only by boat, Wild Horse Island has six boat landing sites, but visitors are welcome to pull their boats to shore on any of the public beach sites.

While most of the island is a state park, be aware as there is still private shoreline, therefore visitors are prohibited from using the boat docks.

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Looking to hike?

Due to the variety of wildlife, Wild Horse Island does not allow camping, pets or bikes as they may spook the animals. Fires and smoking are prohibited anywhere on the island.

What can you do at Wild Horse Island? The question is, what can’t you do?! You can:
Take a hike! The island has four miles of interconnected hiking trails, but visitors are free to explore off-trail as well.

Things To Do

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    Camping Site

  • Try and catch your dinner! Fishing is allowed with tribal & state fishing licenses.
  • Check out the wildlife including bighorn sheep, mule deer, songbirds, waterfowl, bald eagles, falcons and wild horses.
  • Warm day? Take a dip in Flathead Lake!
  • Pack a picnic lunch to enjoy while you enjoy the views.

Features

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    Park Amenities

  • 2,160 Acres
  • Boat Access
  • No Pets Allowed
  • Toilets (Vault)
  • Wild Horses
  • Bighorn Sheep
  • Plus so many more!

Wild Horse Island is said to have been used by the Salish-Kootenai Indians who would pasture their horses on the island to prevent them from being stolen by other tribes!

Wild Horse Island used to be farmed and in the 30s even hosted a lodge. Visitors can still find apple and pear orchards, so if you’re feeling peckish, grab a snack! Besides the great views and interesting wildlife, you can also find rare, endangered plant life on Wild Horse Island. The island even has a Palouse Prairie ecosystem, one of only three of these biomes in Montana!

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

"Beautifully untouched for the most part. There are 5 horses currently on island and 1 bear, that we saw neither of. Lol. However it was abundant with bald eagles, osprey, deer, and bighorn sheep. Most of which you can view from a boat offshore if you have a keen eye. If not get a guided tour. But no tours are given on island, just to and from."

"Great place to boat to and relax. Beautiful water and fun rocks to skip!"

"Beautiful island to cruise around and we caught the 5 wild horses on the Western side!"

"Island in flathead lake with a few hiking trails and animals. Worth a visit during the day, or coming over by boat closer to dusk to see the deer, sheep, and possibly horses as they come down to drink."

 

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    Park

    Open Year Round

    Restrictions/Closures
    Fires & Smoking Prohibited
    Groups 15 and over must have a special permit.

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    Location

    Flathead Lake
    Latitude/Longitude:
    (47.84715/-114.23458)

Wild Horse Island State Park

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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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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."

"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!"

Park

Open Year-Round

7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Campground

Open Year-Round

Additional Information

Water Available Year-Round

Location

1141 Hwy 7
Ekalaka, MT

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.

Things To Do

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    Camping Site

  • 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! 

Features

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    Park Amenities

  • 330 Acres
  • Pets Allowed
  • Toilets (Vault)
  • Water
  • Maps
  • Plus so many more!

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

"Fantastic formations, fun hiking, camping, and picnicking all ages."

"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!"

 

Medicine Rocks State Park

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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.

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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.

Things To Do

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    Camping Site

  • Archaeology
  • Backcountry Camping
  • Bird Watching
  • Bow Hunting
  • Camping
  • Deer Hunting
  • Education
  • Exhibits
  • Group Camping
  • Heritage
  • Hiking
  • History
  • Hunting
  • Mountain Biking
  • Museum
  • Outdoor Activity
  • Paleontology
  • Photography
  • Picnicking
  • RV Camping
  • Sightseeing
  • Tent Camping
  • Visitor Center
  • Wildlife Viewing

Features

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    Park Amenities

  • ADA Accessible
  • Children's Activities
  • Established Fire Pits
  • Firewood for Sale
  • Gift Shop
  • Grills/Fire Rings
  • Interpretive Display
  • Maps
  • Parking
  • Pets Allowed
  • Picnic Shelter
  • Pack-in/Pack-out
  • Public Restroom
  • Toilets (Flush)
  • Toilets (Vault)
  • Trash Cans
  • Plus so much more!

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

    Campground 
    Open year round

    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

Makoshika State Park

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Lost Creek State Park

Lost Creek State Park

Lost Creek State Park

Lost Creek State Park is a public recreation area and campground located six miles north of Anaconda, Montana, featuring limestone cliffs and multi-colored rock formations that rise 1,200 feet (370 m) above its canyon floor.

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Looking to hike?

The 502 acre state park features a short walking trail to Lost Creek Falls, which plunges 50 feet. The park is open year-round for hiking, bicycling, fishing, and wildlife viewing with mountain goats and bighorn sheep commonly seen. The park is open seasonally for camping. 

Things To Do

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    Camping Site

  • Keep your eye out for wildlife which includes mountain goats, golden eagles, bighorn sheep, pika, and elk!
  • Fish for native trout in the tumbling creek.
  • Go mountain biking along a Forest Service trail.
  • Winter? No problem, you can go cross-country skiing or snowshoeing.

Features

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    Park Amenities

  • 502 Acres
  • ADA Accessible
  • Pets Allowed
  • Toilets (Vault)
  • Water
  • Interpretive Display
  • Maps
  • Camp Host
  • Plus so much more!

Wildlife, especially mountain goats, golden eagles, and bighorn sheep are frequently seen on the cliffs above the park.  Pika are often seen and heard in the rocks and talus of the upper portion of the canyon. 

If you prefer a longer hike, US Forest Service trails just north of the falls parking area lead for miles into the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. One such trail winds for several miles along Lost Creek through forests and meadows with great views of the surrounding mountains.

Located in the Flint Creek Mountain Range, Lost Creek State Park is a must for Montanans and visitors alike. With the significant growth of Aspen throughout the park, the colors are brilliant come fall – so be sure to get this on your list!

Grey limestone cliffs rise high above the canyon along with towering 1,200 foot pink and white granite formations.

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

"What an awesome ticked away location! The camping looks really quite and private, tucked in the trees along the creek. Plus the small waterfall is right outside the campsite! There's a great moderate, wide trail that you can hike until you're tired. Just past the first mile you come to the first bridge which is a good turn around, but just another quarter mile is the service bridge which has a cool tiny side stream waterfall. We hiked three miles in to the old cabin and turned around there. Love the place!"

"Clean bathrooms, quiet, nice camping spots, overflow parking, hiking trails. There is a short hike to the waterfalls or you can take the longer hike and look over the falls. Beautiful area, lots of cliffs and if you bring binoculars you can watch the mountain goats traverse the cliffs. Discovery ski area, Georgetown lake, and Granite ghost town are all nearby. The sweet shop in Phillipsburg has the biggest and best candy selection in Montana but they are closed on Saturdays. If you take a left at Porters corner and go 16 miles you can spend the day searching for Sapphires at Gem Mountain."

"Very nice drive. Scenic views. The falls were very easy to walk to."

"Stopped here for a quick hike while driving thru the area. Very nice and peaceful spot, hike was easy and path was well marked. $8 entrance fee for nonresident plates, dog-friendly. I would recommend it!"

 

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Lost Creek State Park

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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.

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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.

Things To Do

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    Camping Site

  • Archery
  • Bird Watching/Wildlife Viewing
  • Cross Country Skiing
  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Horseshoes
  • Mountain Biking
  • Snowshoeing

Features

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    Park Amenities

  • ADA Accessible
  • Archery Trail
  • Children's Activities
  • Equipment Rental
  • Established Fire Pits
  • Gift Shop
  • Grills/Fire Rings
  • Group Use Rentals
  • Holiday Event
  • Interpretive Display
  • Maps
  • Parking
  • Pets Allowed
  • Picnic Shelter
  • Public Restroom
  • Toilets (Flush)
  • Toilets (Vault)
  • Trash Removal
  • Plus so many more!

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. 

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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."

 

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    Park

    Open all year
    Sunrise to sunset

    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

    Archery Trail
    Open for the 2020 season.

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    Location

    300 Lone Pine Rd. Kalispell, MT 59901

Lone Pine State Park

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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. 

Special procedures for the safety of our visitors and staff:

Only Paradise tours offered at this time. The Paradise tour 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.

Pre-registration and pre-payment are required. To reserve tour tickets, learn how to prepare for your visit or discover current Park restrictions, call (406) 287-3541. Tickets are limited. We are only booking tours within a 2-week window from the date you call.

Call for tickets even if it is the day you’d like to take a tour.

Paradise Tours will be offered Friday-Monday, hourly from 9:15am-5:15pm.

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.

Paradise Tour 

Difficulty: Easy
Length: 1 mile / 90 minutes
Schedule: Beginning May 22, 2020 Friday-Monday, offered hourly, 9:15 am-5:15 pm. Cost: $15 / person, 15 years & older; $10 for seniors, persons with a disability, and youth ages 5-14 years; children 4 years & under are free.

Pre-registration and pre-payment required. To reserve tour tickets, learn how to prepare for your visit or discover current Park restrictions, call (406) 287-3541.

Tickets are limited. Call for tickets even if it is the day you’d like to take a tour. Walk a level ½ mile trail to see the Paradise Room, the largest, most active and decorated portion of the cave. Part of the tour is wheelchair accessible.

Things To Do

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    Camping Site

  • Bicycling
  • Bird Watching
  • Camping
  • Canoeing
  • Deer Hunting
  • Fishing
  • Group Camping
  • Guided Cave Tours
  • Hiking
  • History
  • Hunting
  • Lewis And Clark
  • Nature
  • Photography
  • Picnicking
  • River Fishing
  • RV Camping
  • Tent Camping
  • Visitor Center
  • Wildlife Viewing

Features

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    Park Amenities

  • ADA Accessible
  • Camp Host
  • Electricity
  • Established Fire Pits
  • Firewood for Sale
  • Gift Shop
  • Holiday Event
  • Interpretive Display
  • Maps
  • Parking
  • Pets Allowed
  • Picnic Shelter
  • Playground
  • Public Restroom
  • RV Dump Station
  • RV Hookups
  • Shower
  • Toilets (Flush)
  • Toilets (Vault)
  • Tours
  • Trash Removal
  • Water
  • Plus so much more!

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

    Caverns
    Limited tours beginning May 22, 2020.

    Campground 
    Open.

    Water 
    Available May 2 - Sept 30.

    Showers & Comfort Station 
    Available May 2 - Sept 30

    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

Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park

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Greycliff Prairie Dog Town State Park

Greycliff Prairie Dog Town State Park

Greycliff Prairie Dog Town State Park

This black-tailed prairie dog community is protected and preserved through the efforts of Montana State Parks, the Nature Conservancy, and the Montana Department of Transportation.

Features

  • Plus so much more!
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Things to do:

The parking area to watch the prairie dogs is disabled accessible and pets are allowed, but MUST BE ON LEASH.

A golf course is located nearby in Big Timber and also five museums.

This park is day-use only.

Things To Do

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    Camping Site

  • Education
  • Photography
  • Picnicking
  • Wildlife Viewing

Features

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    Park Amenities

  • Interpretive Display
  • Pets Allowed
  • Picnic Tables
  • Pack-in/Pack-out
  • Water

Interpretive displays tell the story of these small, entertaining prairie dogs and their role in the prairie ecosystem. These creatures have great ecological significance because they create patches of habitat that provide prey, shelter, and forage for a diverse number of animals, including burrowing owls, black-footed ferrets, and mountain plovers.

Enjoy the prairie dogs with your binoculars and cameras, but please do not feed them. The digestive tracts of wild animals are specifically adapted to natural foods; human foods can compromise their health and survival.

The site is 98 acres in size and is situated at 3,600 feet in elevation.
Prior to habitat destruction, this species may have been the most abundant prairie dog in central North America. This species was one of two described by the Lewis and Clark Expedition in the journals and diaries of their expedition.

Black-tailed prairie dogs live in colonies. Colony size may range from five to thousands of individuals, and may be subdivided into two or more wards, based on topographic features, such as hills. Wards are usually subdivided into two or more coteries, which are composed of aggregates of highly territorial, harem-polygynous social groups.

Individuals within coteries are amicable with each other and hostile towards outside individuals. At the beginning of the breeding season, a coterie is typically composed of one adult male, three to four adult females, and several yearlings and juveniles of both sexes.

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

"It was amazing if you are driving by, take the time to stop!"

"Quick stop off the highway to see some Prairie Dogs. During the winter the gates are locked but they allow foot visitors to walk on the path. Very windy most days but worth a short stop to see some little furry friends."

"Great road trip stop, bring binoculars to see them up close!"

"It's a brief stop but so worth it! Prairie Dogs are always out and chripin! Picnic benches but no restrooms. Park fee for people out of state. Quick on and off Highway access."

 

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    Park

    Open All Year - Day Use only

    Walk-In access only 
    November 1 - April 1

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    Location

    Old US Hwy 10 Greycliff, MT 59033

Greycliff Prairie Dog Town State Park

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Giant Springs State Park

Giant Springs State Park

Giant Springs State Park

Located just outside of Great Falls lies Giant Springs State Park.

Originally discovered by Lewis & Clark in 1805, Giant Springs is one of the largest freshwater springs in the country.

Come marvel at this day-use park's remarkable features and view the variety of birdlife. Take part in their special events, picnic by the Missouri River, visit the fish hatchery and visitor center, walk along the Rivers Edge Trail, view the nearby Rainbow Falls overlook, or visit the neighboring Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center operated by the U.S. Forest Service.

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Things to do:

The spring flows at a rate of 156 million gallons of water per day and is always 54 degrees Fahrenheit! Multiple bridges cross the crystal clear water the makes up Giant Springs, allowing visitors to peer in and see the growing vegetation and even an occasional fish!

While you won’t find any camping at Giant Springs State Park, you won’t find the park lacking in activities! The Roe River (also found in Giant Springs State Park) was once listed in the Guinness Book for World Records as the world’s shortest river!

Things To Do

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    Camping Site

  • Visit the fish hatchery and visitor center.
  • Take a walk on the Rivers Edge Trail.
  • Go on a hike along the many trails hugging the Missouri River.
  • Take in the Rainbow Falls at the overlook.
  • Visit the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, located nearby and operated by the U.S. Forest Service.

Features

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    Park Amenities

  • Open Year-Round
  • 4,000 Acres
  • ADA Accessible
  • Pets Allowed
  • Public Restroom
  • Maps
  • Interpretive Display
  • Plus so much more!

The water found in Giant Springs comes from the Madison Aquifer under the Little Belt Mountains. Because the water stays around 54 degrees year-round, Giant Springs State Park is great to visit regardless of the season!

In the winter, the steam rises off of the unfrozen water and birds flock around the warm water, while in the summer, the park is, on average, 20 degrees cooler than the nearby city of Great Falls.

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

"Absolutley beautiful place top visit. Especially during spring and summer time. Trail access is easy from here and is a must see for anyone paying through or visiting."

"This is by far the best park in Great Falls and has a lot of good history posted around the park. There is a very clear natural spring, a playground for the kids, lots of barbecues and picnic areas. Just don't leave a mess like some of the tourists do.. throw your trash away and keep this place looking nice."

"Turned out to be a great Sunday to visit the park. Sun was shining, no wind, 38 degrees out but it felt great. Picnickers we're about. Nice "museum" for the hatchery. Got to feed some really big rainbow trout."

"This is a must see attraction if you visit Great Falls. The trout hatchery, the kids pond, the amazing views, and excellent fishing right from the park. We had our engagement photos done here as well. Bring a picnic lunch and spend the day."

 

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    Park

    Open Year-Round, 8 a.m. to Sunset

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    Location

    4803 Giant Springs Road Great Falls, MT 59405

Parks That Others Are Visiting

Giant Springs State Park

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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

Things To Do

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    Camping Site

  • Hiking
  • Hunting
  • Mountain biking
  • Photography
  • Picnicking
  • Snowshoeing

Features

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    Park Amenities

  • Daylight Hours
  • 5,603 Acres
  • Pets Allowed
  • Plus so much more!

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

Parks That Others Are Visiting

Fish Creek State Park

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