Wanted to get a thread going for suggestions of trails/camping areas to pop our GFCs in Montana. Picking up mine after Memorial day and wanted to see if anyone has suggestions of areas to hit near Belgrade? Near Glacier? Any suggestions are appreciated! Coming from Northern Michigan…
I picked up my GFC almost a year ago but only had one day before I had to head home. If you can plan time to explore this area I highly recommend it. That’s why I came back about a month ago and spent 12 days biking, hiking, fishing, kayaking, Sup, and off-roading.
I don’t like campgrounds so I spent most of my time exploring random dirt roads which are numerous around this area. I did stay at one campground called Fairy Lake which was nice… Amazing views, great hiking with a beautiful lake. Also spent one night at a hotel in Bozeman to clean up and go out to a restaurant where we got to eat inside! That is not allowed in Cali righ now… Went to Mountains walking Brewery. Good food and beer.
In close proximity to Ferry lake off Highway 86 is an area called Battle Ridge. I drove out some dirt roads here and camped.
There’s a good bike ride called The Wall of Death near Bozeman. Known as Bozeman Creek Trailhead off of sourdough canyon Road. I did this trail and then drove way up this road and found a random spot to camp
I also spent several days camping on dirt roads off hwy 191 near Big Sky. If you’re into downhill mountain biking Big Sky Resort is amazing! I spent three days biking there and would go and camp within 30 minutes off of some of the dirt roads below. There’s also really good fishing and kayaking along the Gallatin river.
Portal Creek Rd, Moose Creek Rd, and Swan Creek Rd.
I highly recommend making the trip to Glacier, it is one of the more stunning national parks and I’ve been to many of them in the west. Years ago on my way back to Vermont from a moto trip to Alaska I took the Going to the Sun highway over the park and then rode east on two lane roads all the way across Montana, camping at Makoshika State Park just outside Glendive, MT near the MT/ND border. It was very enjoyable riding and the park, though a fee is required to camp, was really cool. The drive up from Missoula to Glacier is a great trip itself, Flathead lake is beautiful.
The two lane roads are really the way to travel out west. They are usually 70mph so they don’t even take much more time than the interstate. Once you hit ND though, superslab it to Minneapolis and then hop on the two land road that follows the Mississippi river to Lacross. The Minnesota and Wisconsin two lane roads through countryside were really nice. But, I hate the highway…
I’d recommend Spire Rock over in Gallatin Canyon. If you keep going past the camp ground, then it turns into dispersed camping. There are also some 4x4 trails up there that are fun to explore. If you have a bike or want to hike/trail run, then there are a ton of singletrack trails too. Check out the storm castle if you camp there.
Also, despite the fact that Fairy Lake has become kinda crowded, it’s still awesome. Love camping there.
I picked up my GFC last week. Stayed at the Best Western the night before it was good place to stay, seem to very clean due to current situations. I agree with @Kwood about mountains walking, their beer was awesome and pizza was tasty too.
Next morning after pick up went to Western Cafe for breakfast based on recommendation from Taylor, food and service was excellent.
We were worried about dispersed spots based on crazy amount of people out so we headed down the Madison river and stayed at Earthquake lake.
Keep these coming, I’m about a month and a half away from pickup. My main plan is to see Yellowstone and the Tetons. Debating on glacier just cause it looks a little farther north. I’m curious how camping will be with no reservations to these places?
Glacier is incredible. Worth the trip. Just keep an eye on weather and road closures at all three spots. If everything is open, it will be a great time to go bc you won’t have a million tourists.
I came from the East also and drove the beartooth highway and then went into yellowstone from the east entrance. Then went up to Belgrade got camper. Went to glacier and then back down to yellowstone/Tetons and down to CO.
Have fun! I’m already planning another trip up there to replace these hinges.
Driving out from Seattle in a week, camping three or 4 nights as we make our way back West. Camping along the Gallatin River at least 2 nights then headed into YNP for a day-tour before heading up the Madison River and/or possibly the Big Hole River making our way back to I-90.
Basically I plan on fly-fishing in MT as much as possible if you can’t tell based on the route
Thank you to all who commented. We ended up coming up with a fantastic route. We started out in Glacier National Park via North Dakota (Theodore Roosevelt National Park), climbed Doris Mountain above Hungry Horse reservoir, did Going to the Sun Road, spent 3 days in Yellowstone, climbed Lulu/Daisy Pass above Cooke City, MT and
Didn’t want to drive 1000 miles without any idea of where to stay so I found a campsite in Yellowstone and booked reservations. I was planning on going to glacier but it looks like half of the park is closed because of covid. I might just hit Yellowstone and Teton and call it a trip. Teton campsites are pretty much first come first serve that I saw. Installs on the 5th and I think the camping season is coming to an end up there