RVing and Western Montana’s Glacier Country are a match made in heaven. Road trips—especially RVing road trips—are in demand more so now than ever before. Whether you are an international visitor wanting to take more time to explore the region, or you’re a group tour operator organizing an RV travel group, or you own an RV yourself, traveling with your bedroom, bathroom and kitchen in tow has hit an all-time high in the United States. The wide-open roads, light traffic, scenic beauty, abundance of outdoor activities and plenty of accessible places to overnight make RVing easy in Montana. RVing gives visitors the opportunity to stay near Montana’s many outdoor attractions, including Glacier National Park, Flathead Lake and the endless valleys, rivers and lakes in Western Montana. Whatever your desired campsite needs, you can find just the right place here in Montana. Reservable RV camping options include Montana State Parks, U.S. Forest Service campgrounds, private RV parks and, of course, Glacier National Park.
National Park Service
If Glacier National Park is on your road trip itinerary, and is on your bucket list for overnight camping, plan ahead. With 13 campgrounds to choose from, most in Glacier are first-come, first-served. However, there are a few campsites that can be reserved in advance. Check here for reservations, amenities, location, RV length restrictions and number of sites. If traveling with your pet, click here for pet restrictions in Glacier National Park.
*At the time of this blog post publication, only Fish Creek Campground in Glacier National Park is open to camping due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Montana State Parks
Montana has 55 state parks and 20 of them have campsites that can be reserved up to six months in advance here, or, click the link for frequently asked questions about utilizing one of Western Montana’s state parks. A few of Western Montana’s most popular state parks include Wayfarers on Flathead Lake and off-the-beaten-path parks like Lake Mary Ronan. Reservations can be made from the third Friday in May through the third Sunday in September. Also available at some of the state parks are cabins, yurts and teepee stays.
Western Montana National Forests
The U.S. Forest Service manages four of the national forests in Western Montana including the Bitterroot National Forest (popular camping includes Lake Como, Alta and Indian Trees Campgrounds); Flathead National Forest (popular camping includes Big Creek, Holland Lake, Swan Lake and Tally Lake); Kootenai National Forest (popular camping includes Bull River, Yaak River Campgrounds); and Lolo National Forest (popular camping includes Fishtrap Lake, Monture Creek and Slowey Campgrounds). The campgrounds vary in their amenities. Some offer paved roads and Wi-Fi, while others are primitive with limited services. The larger campgrounds that have concessionaire services offer water, picnic tables, fire rings and some even have boat launches, horseshoe pits and sand volleyball courts. Most campgrounds can be reserved at www.recreation.gov.
Private RV Park and Campground Amenities
Western Montana’s campgrounds and RV parks offer many different amenities. Choose from campsites that are primitive to get away from it all. Other sites offer the bare essentials of drinking water spigots and pit toilets. Others offer gravel or paved sites with free Wi-Fi, heated pools, clean restrooms, showers and laundry facilities, playgrounds and fenced dog runs. If campgrounds in Glacier National Park are full, there are private campgrounds just outside the park. New to West Glacier is the West Glacier RV Park boasting over 100 large sites for RVs and cabins that can be rented as well. The West Glacier KOA is also highly rated with plenty of activities for kids along with nightly entertainment in the summer. Other favorites in Western Montana include Edgewater RV Resort & Motel in Lakeside, Diamond S RV Park and Campground in Ronan, Jim & Mary’s RV Park in Missoula and Anglers Roost in Hamilton. If you have a Class A motorhome and are looking for luxury, Polson Motorcoach Resort’s premium spots offer barbecues, fireplaces and patios with furniture at every site. Visit GlacierMT.com for more great camping sites.
RV Park and Campground Activities
Many of Montana’s RV parks have summertime activities that visitors can participate in, like horseshoes, basketball and tennis courts, swimming pools and playgrounds to entertain the kids. State parks offer trails to lake overlooks or other points of interest for early morning or late evening hikes
Western Montana is known for its abundance of outdoor recreation. You will find some of the best hiking, bicycling and water sports on lakes and rivers that include whitewater rafting and fly-fishing. Others enjoy horseback riding, mountain biking and wildlife watching. Remember that while recreating outdoors in Montana always be bear aware and carry bear spray. Also remember that most campgrounds and RV parks are located in bear country. Bears have an incredible sense of smell. Putting your food, trash, grill and other things that have a strong odor away, especially at night, will detract from unwanted bear visits and will help ensure the wellbeing of our furry friends.
Rentals and Other Services
Are you in need of an RV? Cruise America has RVs to rent from three locations in Montana: Billings, Bozeman and Missoula/Lolo. Camp in a Jeep from Glacier Jeep Rentals—an Overland rooftop tent setup available out of Columbia Falls. Bozeman has rentals available from Campervan North America. Here is a list of dump stations, as they might come in handy as you travel throughout the state.
Once here, it’s time to start exploring the area and creating Montana memories also known as a #MontanaMoment. All we ask is that you be a responsible traveler and follow our Tourism Pledge to uphold the wonder of Western Montana for future generations to enjoy.
Visit our tour operator page for suggested itineraries throughout Western Montana, and RVing specifically. If you need help creating the perfect Montana RV camping itinerary for your clients, I’m always here to help.
July 9, 2020
Related: Bitterroot Valley, FIT, Flathead Lake, Fly Fishing, Glacier National Park, Group Tours, Hamilton, Horseback Riding, Lakeside, Lolo, Missoula, Outdoor Adventure, Polson, RVing, Seeley Lake, Seeley-Swan Valley, Tour Operator, West Glacier