What’s more American than packing up the family and taking them to a campground during the kids’ summer vacation? Campgrounds have come a long way in the last few years with shower facilities, pools and pool tables. Montana has no shortage of impressive places to camp. Here are just a few.
Greenough Lake, Red Lodge
Greenough Lake hits this list of favorite Montana campgrounds for its proximity to the types of recreation that make us want to leave home in the first place. Greenough Lake is just a quick, easy half-mile walk from the campground. Here you can either go fishing or do like the locals do and feed the fish pieces of cheese! This little mountain lake is situated at the foot of the Beartooth Mountain range, and driving to the top of the Beartooth Pass is a must! This campground sits right on a creek, providing abundant fishing and wading opportunities. It also makes it much easier to extinguish your campfire at the end of the day!
Tongue River Reservoir, Decker
Tongue River Reservoir is loved by locals for its rare boating opportunities and because compared to many campgrounds, it is well maintained. Moms will also love Tongue River for its perpetual summer breeze, proximity to clean restrooms and paved paths. Get up early and enjoy a run or walk for miles in any direction with the beautiful reservoir as a backdrop. One thing to note if you go to “The Tongue” — pack well! As it is miles from everywhere, there is no “running to the store” for forgotten supplies (although campground facilities do sell bait, beer and a few other necessities).
Bozeman KOA, Bozeman
KOAs have really set the bar high in the campground arena. We’ve come to expect new, clean facilities where we can take showers, play pool or go for a swim. What sets this KOA apart is that it is located right next to Bozeman Hot Springs. Bozeman Hot Springs has indoor and outdoor pools fed by local hot springs and is a destination in and of itself, giving campers the ultimate two-fer. Big Sky Montana, a unique mountain resort town, is just 45 minutes away at the end of one of the most scenic roads in Montana. Golf is in every direction and the fly-fishing in Bozeman is legendary. Book this campground for all your one-stop Montana vacation experiences.
Finley Point State Park, Polson
As you drive past the turn to Thompson Falls on Highway 93 North, you ascend a rise. The first thing that will probably catch your eye is a bison or two. As you crest the hill, be prepared to inhale sharply when the Mission Mountains seem to come from nowhere. Even local Montanans who are used to spectacular mountain views are blown away by the Mission Mountains. Keep driving north and soon you’ll be in for another surprise: Flathead Lake. Flathead Lake is not only gorgeous, it is the largest fresh water lake west of the Mississippi. As you come into Polson, you’ll wrap around the lake to Finley Point. Here you’ll find the state park located directly on the water. Let the mountain lake fun begin. You can hike, boat, fish, golf, shop — maybe you’ll even spot the Flathead Monster (Montana’s version of the Loch Ness Monster). Be sure to partake of the famous Flathead cherries, and don’t forget to drive north and check out Bigfork. Flathead Lake is a must-see for any Montana visitor.