The Woodbine Campground sits in the Beartooth Mountains on the banks of the Stillwater River. Fishing, hiking, whitewater kayaking, wilderness access, and breathtaking scenery are the main attractions. The forested campground has great views in all directions and it’s no wonder this is a very popular site.
|Season||Early-May to Mid-September|
|Number of sites||44 campsites|
|Reservations||Yes – recommended|
|Amenities||Vault Toilets, Picnic tables, Fire pits, Food storage, Water|
|Accessible||Some sites and all latrines|
|Firewood||Yes – Available for purchase|
|Attractions||Hiking, Fly fishing, Kayaking|
|Nearest City||Absarokee, MT – 30 miles|
Directions to Woodbine Campground
It’s quite easy to find the campground as it’s at the end of a paved highway heading into the mountains. The approach is via MT 78 which runs from Red Lodge to Columbus, MT. About 2 miles south of Absarokee there is a well-signed intersection with county road 419 (the Nye Road) which heads west from the highway. Take this road for 28 miles, past the tiny towns of Nye and Roy, to the campground.
Nye Road (CR 419) is very well maintained all the way to the end. About 2 miles before reaching the campground the road passes the Stillwater Mine which is a major enterprise. The mine traffic ensures that the road is well maintained.
Just before the end of the road, the road to the campground turns to the left and crosses the Stillwater River into the campground while the main road continues for a short distance to the Stillwater River Trail trailhead.
Woodbine Campground has 44 campsites for tents or hard-shelled campers. Each campsite has a picnic table, a fire ring, and a bear-proof food storage locker. The campground has vault toilets and water spigots. In addition, there is trash removal and firewood available for sale from the camp host.
All of the Woodbine campsites are available for advance online reservation and I strongly recommend you make a reservation in advance if you hope to camp here. While unreserved sites are offered on a first-come, first-served basis, the campground is often 100% reserved. To check on campsite availability visit Woodbine Campground Online Reservations.
Fees and Payments
There is a nightly camping fee charged for all campers. If you reserve online you will pay electronically when you reserve. If you arrive and find an unreserved site you will have to pay on-site. In this case, payment is by cash or personal check only – no electronic payments.
Firewood is available for purchase from the camp host. Again, you will need to pay on-site and cash works great.
Woodbine Campground is set in the forest and many of the campsites are in wooded areas. However, there are also places to get great views of the scenic mountains that ring the campground. Woodbine Campground is at 5,250 ft making this nearly a mile-high campground.
Two streams pass the campground. The Stillwater River flows under the campground access bridge. There are no campsites right on the river but it’s a short walk from anywhere in the campground. After plunging down Woodbine Falls, Woodbine Creek rushes past the north end of the campground heading toward its intersection with the Stillwater River about 1/4 mile below the entrance bridge.
This is Prime Grizzly bear territory and it’s important to always be bear aware. Keep a clean camp and always carry bear spray. Yellowstone Park offers great advice for camping in bear country.
Recreation at Woodbine Campground
There are a couple of really special hikes at Woodbine Campground. The Woodbine Falls trail departs from the campground and gently climbs for about 3/4 mile to an overlook providing dramatic views of the falls.
The Stillwater River Trail departs from the nearby trailhead and follows the Stillwater River into the Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness. Day hikers, backpackers, and horse packers all use and enjoy the trail. The 6-mile round trip hike to Sioux Charley Lake is especially popular.
The Stillwater River provides great fishing opportunities and the campground is the perfect base to work from. While some sections of the river are too fast and wild for fishing, other sections provide great conditions. Fly fishing is usually the most effective method of fishing the Stillwater.
Check with the fly shop in Columbus, MT for more information about fishing the Stillwater and its tributaries.
The Stillwater River is famous for its difficult whitewater and paddlers come long distances to test themselves on the river. Upstream of the campground is the infamous “Pots” section that features continuous class V+ or VI rapids.
Kayakers launching at the campground face 3 1/2 miles of class IV+ – V rapids. This is expert water only! However, the rest of the river is mostly calmer. Inquire locally for more information about kayaking the Stillwater River.
For more information contact:
Beartooth Ranger District Office
6811 US Hwy 212
Red Lodge, MT 59068