Boondocking in Montana allows you to enjoy this state’s vast open spaces at a reasonable cost since you will be camping for free. You can choose to explore Glacier National Park, play on the Missouri River, or ride horses at the iconic Rocking Z Ranch. You may want to spend time exploring cities like Billings, Great Falls, and Butte. This state is a fantastic place to explore if you love solitude, except for the wonderful wildlife, like mountain goats, bison, and deer, that will often be your closest companions.
Boondocking Sites in Montana
Bear Creek Campground
Bear Creek Campground in the West Absaroka Mountains near Gardiner is a great place to camp from mid-June through the end of October in an RV that is less than 21 feet long. Nearby mountain streams make ideal places to go fishing while there are outstanding hiking trails in the area. This campground is in the Custer Gallatin National Forest, where you will find unique climbing and off-roading opportunities.
Timber Camp Campground
Play in the grassy meadow at Timber Camp Campground near Gardiner. This West Absaroka Mountains campground, which is open from mid-June through the end of October, is especially a beautiful place to camp in the early summer when the wildflowers are blooming. Nearby hiking trails are a great place to spot wildlife, including grizzly bears, pronghorns, and mountain goats.
Battle Ridge Campground
Battle Ridge Campground is on the east side of the Bridger Mountains near Bozeman. This is a popular campground in the summer with hikers and in the winter with skiers. You can often spot golden eagles from this campground in the autumn.
Richardson Campground near White Sulphur Springs is a great place to camp for free in Montana if you love hiking because many nearby trails run through a lodgepole pine forest. The road to this campground is narrow, and vehicles over 16 feet are not recommended. There are only three campsites spread across eight acres.
Billy Garret Memorial Bridge Access
Billy Garret Memorial Bridge Access is an overlook near Glacier National Park. This location is a great place to launch a kayak to float the lower part of the South Fork River. A vault toilet is available at this campground near Hungry Horse, Montana.
Ashley Lake North Campground
Ashley Lake North Campground near Kalispell. is an excellent place to camp if you love to catch kokanee, cutthroat, and yellow perch. There is a swimming area at the lake. This campground within the Flathead National Forest in Northwest Montana is usually open from mid-May to mid-October.
Upper Twin Creek Access
Enjoy a peaceful floating trip on the South Fork River while staying at Upper Twin Creek Access near Hungry Horse, Montana. This spot is also a great place to stay if you plan on fishing in the Hungry Horse Reservoir. This campground located near a bridge that crosses the river offers a vault toilet.
Clover Meadows Dispersed Camping
Clover Meadows Dispersed Camping is in Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest near Ennis. This dispersed camping area is a fascinating location to explore, where you can go biking, hiking, off-roading, and fishing. Bears are frequent visitors at this campground, where you can go camping in Montana for free in the state’s largest national forest.
Muchwater Dispersed Campground
Muchwater Dispersed Campground is in Lolo National Forest near St. Regis. This campground is near the Clark Fork River, where you can go fishing, rafting, and swimming. This campground, open throughout the year depending on snowfall, has fire rings at each campsite.
Where to Boondock in Montana
There are over 19.39 million acres of national forest in Montana. This land is divided into six forests, and each one offers boondocking in Montana opportunities. There are also Bureau of Land Management areas where you can enjoy free camping in Montana. Some cities also offer free camping in their city parks.
Free Camping in Montana
When preparing for your boondocking trip, be sure to consider that many of the boondocking in Montana sites are in very remote areas. Therefore, it is best to leave a detailed itinerary with someone who is not going on the trip. Since cell phones may not work in remote areas, it is also essential that you plan for emergencies by taking basic medical supplies with you.
Since many free camping in Montana sites are miles from a town, you also need to plan to have enough food and water. Some dispersed campgrounds have water, but many do not. You may want to bring along a way to purify water from streams. Keep your food in a food locker that bears and other wildlife cannot easily access.
Boondocking is a great way to explore the state because you can stay longer or take more trips for the same amount of money. Springtime often brings beautiful wildflowers whereas fall brings glorious fall foliage. There are many different terrains that you will want to explore, from marshes to mountain summits. Before you head out on your trip, check out our blog for all you need to know about boondocking.
Exploring while staying in free campgrounds in Montana allows you to go swimming, fishing, hunting, hiking, and more. The memories that you build sitting around a campfire while stargazing can last a lifetime. Pack up your RV, and head to these free camping in Montana locations very soon. If you do not have an RV, then rent one from RVshare. You can find all types of options available, so choose the right style and size for you. Countless options answer the question of where to boondock in Montana.
Looking for more options?
Here are the top campgrounds in Montana.