Camping, Hiking and Traveling in Montana

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Hike Index
H=Hike   C=Camp   V=Visit     S=Ski

Livingston Area
  Elephanthead Mtn. H

Paradise Valley
  S. Fk. Deep Creek H
  Pine Creek H,C
  George Lake H
  Passage Creek Falls H
  Crow Mountain H

Big Timber Area
  Boulder River H,C,V
  Natural Bridge Falls H,C,V
  Big Timber Creek Falls  H,C,V
  West Boulder Meadows H,C
  Twin Lakes  H,C
  Prairie Dog State.Park   V

Bozeman Area
  
Chestnut Mountain H
  Goose Creek H,S
  Mystic Lake H
  Lava Lake H

Central Montana
  Little Belt Mountains H,C,V,S
  Castle Mountains H,C
  Central MT Railroading V
  Cooney Reservoir C,V
  Crystal Lake H,C,V
  Judith Mountains V
  Judith Gap Wind Farm V
  Moccasin Mountains V

The Yellowstone River
  Upper Yellowstone Floating
  Yankee Jim Canyon

Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness
  Anvil Lake H,C
  Beartooth Lake H,C,V
  Beartooth Highway V
  Island Lake H,C,V

Western Montana
  Painted Rocks Rec Area V,C
  Salmon Lake State Park V,C
  Warm Spring Ponds  V



Camping in Montana

     Camping is a great way to experience Montana's great outdoors. Camping gives you a direct connection to the outdoor world that is not easily achieved through day visits and hotel stays. Cooking, eating, sleeping and living in the outdoors gives you a whole new perspective about our wild places. There are a lot of different ways to enjoy camping in Montana and we will discuss them more fully. 

Car Camping

     Many people car camp as their introduction to other types of camping like backpacking or float camping. However, most car campers for preferring because of all of the advantages car camping offers. Montana has car camping campsites in all parts of the state and you can find the camp sites ranging from totally undeveloped wilderness. To fully developed deluxe campgrounds. Car campers can cover long distances much more easily than any other form of camping. But the biggest advantage is your ability to easily carry large amounts of equipment.

     Even the smallest car provides enough room to pack gear that will allow you to camp in comfort. Car campers can usually pack coolers, chairs, fresh foods, liquid beverages and lots of other large or heavy items that other types of campers cannot. This gives you a lot of freedom to take the items that make a very comfortable camp. Most of the content on this site is geared for car campers.

 Back Packing

     Back packing is both the simplest and most complicated method of going camping. It's the simplest because you don't have very much stuff. You can only take what you can carry and the reality is, that's not very much. For a typical trip you need a tent, sleeping bag, pad, cook stove, cooking gear, food, water, clothing, personal accessories and more. That's what makes backpacking the most complicated way of going camping. You somehow have to figure out how to get all of the above into a small pack that you can reasonably carry out the downtown.

camping_menu
Camping Index
Montana Campgrounds
Selecting a Campsite
Selecting a Tent Site
Selecting a Tent
Sleeping Bags & Pads
The Camp Kitchen
Selecting a Camp Stove
Campfires
Water Supplies

     Well, it can be done and lots of people love it. However, successful backpacking requires skills and equipment that are best acquired through personal experience. This site is primarily geared toward car camping but you will find a lot of practical backpacking advice mixed in throughout the site.

  Float Camping

     Float camping is a great way to experience camping in Montana. There are fantastic opportunities on the major rivers and lakes all across the state. From the wild and scenic Missouri to a wilderness float on the North Fork of the Flathead River. There are amazing float camping opportunities for kayak canoeists and rafters. The type of boat you are in will dictate what type of camping gear you need to take. Most kayaks have little if any space or gear and camping in these boats is similar to ultralight backpacking, unless they have a support boat that carries gear for them. Canoeists can take a fair amount of gear, somewhat more than a backpacker. A raft can often take as much gear as a car campers can, allowing for very comfortable float camping.


     There are a number of great float camping opportunities in Montana some of which are discussed in depth. Although most of our camping advice is aimed at car campers, much of what we discuss can be applied to float camping as well.

 Bicycle Camping.

     Montana's wide open spaces and beautiful back roads provide great opportunities for bicycle campers. A lot of wind and a lot of hilly terrain, as well as roads with narrow to nonexistent shoulders make for some challenging conditions. However, the spectacular scenery and open vistas provide great rewards. I am not a bicycle camper myself, so, rather than try to provide information that may or may not be accurate, I suggest you check out this site for more information about Bicycle Camping.

Next - Selecting A Campground

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