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Open Roads Forum  >  RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions

 > Montana places to see?

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GBuilders

Boerne TX.

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Posted: 12/09/09 10:24am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We will be in West Glacier NP in July and will be traveling to Yellowstone but will need to spend 2 night in between. Were would be a nice place to camp with FHU and things to do and see. There will be another couple with us and we both have teen kids. I have never been in that part of Montana but have heard about Flathead Lake and and maybe Big Sky. Where would you stay and do?

Thanks for all the help


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skipnchar

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Posted: 12/09/09 12:00pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Our route between glacier and Yellowstone ALWAYS includes the drive along the EAST side of Flathead lake on Montana 83 highway. It's a beautiful drive with lots of campgrounds and RV Parking lots along the way. We usually stay at the campgrounds so I can't help with the FHU but I sure can vouch for the scenery.


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hermy

Helena, mt

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Posted: 12/09/09 03:58pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I live in Helena, Montana and we are about half way between Glacier and Yellowstone. Helena is a very pretty place, rich in history, scenery and more. I highly recommend the Gates of the Mountains boat tour and the Last Chancer tour train. We have a great museum too. Also have 3 large lakes to enjoy and endless mountain trails to hike.

sparker1

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Posted: 12/09/09 05:25pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Helena is a nice town. Polson is another good town to visit. It's on Flathead Lake and has a couple interesting museums. I haven't gone there, but Wild Horse Island State Park sounds interesting.


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marvmarcy

Polson, MT, USA

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Posted: 12/09/09 05:32pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You could pan for sapphires near Phillipsburg or mine amethyst crystals at Crystal Park, visit some of the many ghost towns (Coolidge, Virginia City, Nevada City, Garnet, Coloma, etc), spend a day and night at one of the many hot springs cgs (there's one near Crystal Park and Coolidge), go whitewater rafting on the Flathead River or play around Flathead Lake, visit Big Hole National Battlefield. Like Skip said, you could drive down the Swan Valley on Hwy 83 and stop at some of the many lakes to play. We also spend time in and around Helena each summer so agree with its recreational opportunities. We love Polson. It has a lot to offer too. It depends on what you all enjoy doing and seeing.

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DesertHawk

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Posted: 12/09/09 07:12pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you use US 89, they have a city park with camping at Choteau which is about 105 miles from the east entrance at St Mary's and 140 miles to West Glarier. We stayed at it, I believe, in '97, but do not remember a creek. We stayed in a city park, in the town, not sure if it is the same town. Looks about right on the map.

There is overnighting at a rest area, closer to Glacier as well, near Dupuyer.

Glendo State Park is located off Interstate 25, Exit 111. We have driven by this one many times, my son stayed at it a year or so ago. Very nice campgound he said.

Buffalo Bill State Park Headquarters, nine miles west of Cody on US Highway 14-16-20. The majestic peaks of the Absaroka Mountains dominate the scenery. We drove by this lake & campgrounds this Aug.

Boysen State Park is one of the larger parks in the State Park System. It is a lake-orientated park at the south end of the Owl Creek Mountains at the mouth of Wind River Canyon now part of the Wind River Canyon Scenic Byway. And offers 3 entrances: U.S. Highway 20 (east side), U.S. Highway 26 (south side) and Bass Lake Road (west side). It was very near Hot Springs State Park in the town of Thermopolis. There is no fee for using the State Bath House. Very neat. We over nighted in the Wind River Canyon in Aug. & at one of the campgrounds by the lake some years ago.

Key Hole State Park is located on the western edge of the famed Black Hills, between Sundance and Moorcroft, and is easily accessed off Interstate 90, Exit 165, or take Exit 153 or 154 in Moorcroft, then U.S. Highway 14 north 6 miles, then take State Route 113. We used it years ago to over-night & base to go see Devil's Tower on our way to Yellowstone.

A smaller lake, but very neat one: Guernsey State Park provides seven campgrounds. Five are around the lake; located off Interstate 25, Exit 92 to U.S. Highway 26 and then State Route 270. We stayed at this one years ago near the canyon area of the lake. Close to Ft. Laramie and Oregon Trail sites.

An even smaller lake, but in a neat setting: Curt Gowdy State Park located just 24 miles west of Cheyenne and 24 miles east of Laramie; seven sections of richly varied landscape, flora and fauna decorate the foothills of the Laramie Mountains. The beautiful attractions within Curt Gowdy State Park are near the crossroads of two major interstates, I-80 and I-25. There are three reservoirs, Granite, Crystal and North Crow. Granite offers excellent rainbow trout and kokanee salmon fishing as well as space for water sports. Crystal, the smallest of the reservoirs, has shoreline fishing for brown trout, rainbow trout and kokanee salmon. Also, enjoy boating while at Crystal (15 horsepower limit). North Crow Reservoir is located 5 miles west of the Headquarter's Building. This is an unimproved fishing area. There are no picnic tables, water supply, comfort stations, and is day-use only—very natural. We stayed near the small lake years ago, the park was fairly new at the time.

There are many campgrounds by lakes at Glacier National Park .
Such as Many Glacier and Two Medicine and I believe Sprague Creek. Also St. Mary is close to St. Mary Lake but not right on it as I remember.

Buffalo, WY where you can do 4 routes. A. from Buffalo take US 16 to Cody B. at Ranchester take US 14 to Cody (US 14-A can get hairy) from Cody go to Yellowstone via East Entrance C. keep on I-90 to Laurel, MT & take US 212 to Yellowstone Northeast Entrance (very steep & high passes getting there) D. keep on I-90 to Livingstone, MT take US 89 to Gardiner and on to Yellowstone North Entrance (very easy route).

I believe US 14 would be the shortest route (US 14-A the shorest still but not for all); US 89 maybe as fast and is very easy to drive. Cody is a neat place to see. But could be done on the way out as well on the way in. Thermopolis and the free Hot Springs Bathhouse is neat, if you can figure out the time to get by it south of Cody using US 20.

For an excessively steep drive, one would have to go up to WY US 14-A. We did the downward drive on US 14A after the split off of US 14 from Ranchchester, WY heading down hill to Lovell, pulling a 1983 20' Komfort Lite Travel Trailer with a '83 Ford F250 4 speed manuel with granny gear. I had to hold granny in gear and ask my wife to manually apply the trailer brakes now and then. They had a sign warning of the steep down grade, I should have taken the fork to Shell/Greybull. Most of the route was neat, all very pretty execpt for the 14 miles with 10% grade and sharp curves which I am sure was also pretty but I was to occupied to really notice the scenery.
US 14-A

Yellowstone

Off the same route you will be able to visit Custer State Park & Mount Rushmore as well as the Devil's Tower Nat'l Monument use exit 185 I-90 by Sundance, WY and then return to I-90 by Moorecroft.

The Badlands Nat'l Park in South Dakota east of the Mount Rushmore area. We have not gone to the South Dakota Badlands, but have enjoyed the North Dakota ones by and in the T. Roosevelt Nat'l Park.

Ooops! Most not between Glacier & Yellowstone....maybe next time your in the area you can use the info; nothing with FHU. [emoticon]


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Ron Butler

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Posted: 12/09/09 08:03pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Let me add Bannock State Park and ghost town. This is right in the middle of wild west history. Bannock was the birthplace of the Montana vigilante movement and former territorial capital - by their claims! The ghost town has been left in its historical condition with no tourist trap t-shirt shops allowed to set up! The state park is along side the creek where gold was discovered that led to the development of Bannick. However, the state park does not have any hookups whatsoever, but it is a beautiful spot.


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marvmarcy

Polson, MT, USA

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Posted: 12/10/09 02:58pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Note that Bannack, Coolidge, Big Hole National Battlefield, Crystal Park, Elkhorn Hot Springs, Wise River (fly fishing) and Phillipsburg are all located close together in SW MT. Too much for just an overnight stop, but you could take it in in two busy days.

For the outdoorsman, western MT has so much to offer year round.

Marv

GBuilders

Boerne TX.

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Posted: 12/10/09 06:48pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wow this is great info. We are planning on staying 2 nights so we would be able to see some of these places. The kids will love the ghost towns and we will want to take some great senic drives threw the mountains.

What roads are the most senic near that area?

What campgrounds or RV parks with FHU would you recommend, and are there any on the lake?

Thanks for all the help so far and please keep it coming.

Retired JSO

North Georgia Mountains

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Posted: 12/11/09 05:46am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For Ghost Towns, I have used this web site. Has many pictures of the actual sites along with a county by county map. Here:





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