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State Park Guide | Montana

Guide to Montana State Parks


Cowboys | Gold Mines | Native American Culture | Lakes | Fishing | Limestone Caverns | Red Rocks | Missouri River | Rock Paintings | Fossils + Find Campgrounds near Montana State Parks

Bannack State Park

Bannack State Park is the site of the first large discovery of gold in Montana. Visitors to this park can learn about the gold rush to the town of Bannack, how the population grew and the town thrived, and how as less gold was found the town started to die. Bannack State Park has over 50 buildings, where have been preserved as they were during the time of the gold rush, but are now just a ghost town. This park also features re-enactments and activities during July each year, and there are also tours throughout the summer season.

Chief Plenty Coups State Park

This park was once home to the important Chief Plenty Coups. Chief Plenty Coups was chief of the Crow or Apsaalooke Nation. Visitors to this park can learn about the importance of this historic chief, including visiting his log home, farmstead, spring and more at the park.

Cooney Reservoir State Park

Located in Central Montana, Cooney Reservoir is a fantastic place to swim and enjoy water recreation in this region of the state. During the warm summer the reservoir is a fantastic place to cool off and enjoy boating, swimming and more. In addition, the reservoir is a wonderful place to go fishing, with populations of walleye and rainbow trout living in the reservoir. Visitors can find recreation at the park year round, including cross-country skiing, hunting, ice fishing, and more.

Lake Mary Ronan State Park

Lake Mary Ronan is just a short distance from the much larger Flathead Lake, but visitors to this park will enjoy the quiet and remoteness of this park. This park is filled with lovely trees and travelers can camp among the boreal forest. In addition this lake are park are great destinations for fishing, as well as hiking, wildlife watching and more.

Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park

This park was the first of Montana’s state parks. It is also a fantastic limestone cavern, filled with different structures. Visitors to this park can explore the caves and see the stalactites, the stalagmites, columns and much more that have grown in the caverns over time. The park provides excellent tours of the caverns, sharing information about the geology of the caverns, how they developed and the history of exploration in the cavern as well. Visitors will also find plenty to do outside of the cavern, including hiking the trails, camping, or even staying in the park’s tipi.

Makoshika State Park

Makoshika is the largest of Montana’s state parks. The land of this park is composed of pine, juniper and badlands formations. Within these formations are fossils of dinosaurs and many other creatures. Visitors to Makoshika State Park can learn all about the fossils found in the land at the Visitor Center. In addition travelers can explore the park on many different trails, which provide a wonderful opportunity to see this unique part of Montana’s geology.

Medicine Rock State Park

Medicine Rock State Park in southeastern Montana is a place with very interesting natural formations. Visitors to the park can enjoy all sorts of recreational activities. During a visit to the park, travelers can learn about the historical significance of the area. Medicine Rock State Park’s most interesting feature are the weathered sandstone rocks throughout the area.

Missouri Headwaters State Park

This park is both a historic destination and an amazing spot to enjoy the natural features of Montana. In 1805 Lewis and Clark stopped at what is the park, and saw the headwaters of the Missouri River. Travelers to Montana can enjoy the same view today that Lewis and Clark saw in 1805. The park is also a wonderful destination for wildlife watching, as the park is home to waterfowl, deer and much more.

Pictograph Cave State Park

Just a short drive from Billings, this park is a wonderful destination to learn about the ancient history of Montana. The caves found at this park were home to prehistoric hunters, and many artifacts have been found here over time. Not only can visitors view the pictographs, also known as rock paintings, but they can also see artifacts and learn about the history of the site at the Visitor Center, and enjoy the wildlife and nature of the park as well.

Yellow Bay State Park

On the southern end of Flathead Lake, in the middle of Montana’s fabulous Cherry Country, Yellow Bay State Park is a wonderful destination within Montana. Visitors can enjoy plenty of water recreation at this park, including scuba diving, swimming, boating, and relaxing on the nice sandy beach. Fishermen will also find plenty to do at this park, but should be sure to get the appropriate fishing license as the park is located on the Flathead Indian Reservation. 

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