The Palisades Campground is located 1.5 miles from the West Fork Road (West Fork Rock Creek) and just 3.5 miles from Red Lodge, MT. It’s a rather primitive campground with few amenities but there is no camping fee.
|Season||Memorial Day – Labor Day|
|Number of sites||6 campsites|
|Amenities||Vault Toilets, Picnic tables, Fire pits|
|Attractions||Hiking, close to Red Lodge and the Beartooth Scenic Highway|
|Nearest City||Red Lodge, MT – 3.5 miles|
Directions to Palisades Campground
Take us 212 (the Beartooth Highway) south from downtown Red Lodge for 1 mile to the West Fork Road. The turn off for the West Fork Road is just on the edge of town and has signs for the Red Lodge Ski Area. Turn onto the West Fork Road and follow it for 1 mile to a right-hand turn onto the Palisades Campground road. Continue on for about 1.5 miles to the campground.
There are only 6 campsites here and they fill quickly. There is no reservation system so it’s first-come, first-served. Plan to arrive early to secure a site. There is no camping fee! If the Palisades Campground is full continue on the West Fork Road for another 6 miles to the Basin Campground.
Each campsite has a picnic table and a steel fire ring. There are some bear-proof food storage lockers but not at every site. Some sites share a locker and you can always lock your food in your vehicle. The campground has vault toilets but there is no water.
This campground should be avoided by anyone with a long vehicle or trailer. The road in the campground is narrow with little room to turn around – the Forest Service recommends a maximum length of 16 ft.
Hiking Trails at Palisades Campground
There are two popular hiking trails that leave from the Palisades Campground. The Willow Creek trail (trail #105) follows Willow Creek heading uphill for about 2.5 miles until it reaches the Red Lodge Ski Area. The trail climbs about 600 ft in this distance and is a nice walk. However, it doesn’t lead to wilderness and it is a one-way trail.
The Palisades trail (trail #109) is 3.5 miles one-way. It is not too steep and provides a nice hike with good views. It ends by reaching a road so it’s not a trail for wilderness seekers. However, it’s very popular with mountain bikers.
Both of these trails use the same trailhead which is at the end of the west loop in the campground.
For additional information about the Palisades Campground contact:
Beartooth Ranger District
6811 US Hwy 212
Red Lodge, MT 59068