While a majority of Yellowstone National Park lay within Wyoming’s borders, many of the most popular RV resorts for visitors to the park are just across the border in Idaho and Montana. The benefit of choosing a Montana RV park as a base of operations is that it opens you to all that the southwestern corner of the state has to offer. The Custer-Gallatin National Forest are actually two forests combined to protect the northern rim of Yellowstone, and comprises over three million acres of forests, meadows, jagged mountain peaks, and alpine lakes and valleys.
Further to the north, the Lewis and Clark National Forest spreads across nearly 3,000 square miles. The untouched grasslands and forests hide crystal clear streams full of trout that don’t see nearly as many anglers as some of the more popular destinations further west. The area is rich with history, too. There are numerous spots to appreciate the majesty of the land.
Cities like Butte, Bozeman, and Helena have dozens of RV camps to choose from. Because the area is so popular in the summer, it’s wise to make reservations well in advance to ensure you’ll have dibs on an RV site that meets your needs. There are plenty of options running east to west along I-90 and plenty running north to south along I-15. No matter where you decide to set up camp, you’ll never be more than a few miles from adventure in this part of Montana.
The northwest corner of Montana doesn’t see as many visitors compared to the area around Yellowstone to the south. But with a majority of the region falling within protected federal zones, you could spend a lifetime in this wilderness and not be able to see it all. By far the most popular destination in this part of Montana is Glacier National Park. Considered to be one of America’s most picturesque, this park has more than 700 miles of hiking trails, dozens of alpine lakes, and stunning glaciers.
Neighboring Flathead National Forest offers much of the same, but does so within closer proximity to Western Montana’s major cities and towns. The park offers opportunities for fly fishing, river rafting, canoeing, kayaking, snowmobiling and skiing in the winter all within an easy day drive from Missoula RV parks and campgrounds. On your way north, be sure to check out the National Bison Range for a chance to see the resurgent population of noble beasts that make their home here.
Montana’s westernmost attractions along the border with Idaho include Lolo National Forest to the south and Kootenai National Forest to the north. These spots are far less visited than the other neighboring classics. So if you’re looking for a little peace and quiet in the Montana wilderness, collectively, these parks have hundreds of square miles to explore.
Most RVers and RV resorts and campgrounds are focused around the western half of Montana, but the ravines, buttes, and scrublands of the eastern plains are less-populated and the attractions and destinations have much more adventure potential. Take I-94 east of Billings to follow the Yellowstone River and its many bends. Enjoy the superior fishing and remote camping spots, or explore the Tongue River Breaks Hiding and Riding Area just to the south. When you motor north to the east of the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument, there’s even more remote spots sprinkled between the Native American Reservations.
The Missouri River is dammed at Fort Peck, and the UL Bend National Wildlife Refuge protects the natural aspects of the region. In fact, little has changed here since Lewis and Clark paddled through on their way to the Pacific Ocean back in the early 1800s.
Whether you’re in Montana for classic attractions or looking for more off-the-beaten path camping, the “Big Sky Country” state has something for every kind of RV enthusiast.