The Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest covers 3.36 million acres in southwestern Montana and is the state's largest national forest. In 1996, Congress combined two forests created by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1908 to form today's immense national forest. The forest includes several mountain ranges; the most famous are the Bitterroot, Centennial, and Elkhorn ranges. The forest consists of ponderosa pine, firs, and juniper covering broad swaths of the hills and the various mountain ranges. Deer, antelope, elk, timber wolves, and several other species of wildlife wander the forest, often invading the several ghost towns that pop up here and there. While this national forest is near Helena and Butte, MT, in one section, the national forest expands to cover eight counties with various communities alongside and inside the reserve.
There are so many things to see and do in an area as sprawling as the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest that it is best to camp in a vehicle that allows you to move quickly from one campground to another. Whether you are hiking, biking, hunting, fishing, or sightseeing, the best camping method is in an RV, which not only provides you with a comfortable place to rest after a hard day, but also allows you to pick up your stakes easily and move on. RV rentals are easy to find through RVshare.
Fairmont RV Resort is a nice RV campground close to Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. It offers 116 spacious RV campsites, seven of which have pull-through capability. A playground, horseshoe pits, and special barbeque pits for every occasion are available for guests to enjoy. The campground sits on an open plain surrounded by the beautiful Montana mountain ranges. Movie rentals are available, and the country store provides access to perishable items that every camper needs to replenish. Gas and diesel are available for the guests, so they do not need to visit a fuel station. Water Hookup: Yes Electric Hookup: 30/50 amps Sewer Hookup: Yes Wi-Fi Available: Yes Pet-friendly: Yes Other Amenities: Picnic tables, fire rings, restrooms with flush toilets, warm showers, laundry facilities, dump station Fee: $50 to $58 per night
Hyde RV Park, nestled alongside the Big Hole River inside the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest near the small town of Dewey, MT, provides 11 RV pull-through campsites. The sites are 40 feet in width, allowing you to deploy any slide-outs that your RV may have. Fly fishing along the Big Hole River is one of the activities that guests enjoy. Horseshoe pits and kayaking or canoeing the river give visitors a chance to unwind. Guests often swim in many of the large pools that border the park. Water Hookup: Yes Electric Hookup: 30/50 amp Sewer Hookup: Yes Wi-Fi Available: Yes Pet-friendly: Yes Other Amenities: Fire rings, picnic tables, warm showers, restrooms with flush toilets, laundry facilities, dump station Fee: $30 to $32 per night
Boulder Creek Lodge and RV Park offers 10 RV pull-through campsites. All the campsites are 32 feet wide and 54 feet long. Located alongside picturesque Boulder Creek, the park offers some amazing trout fishing, a horseshoe pit, and a playground. The rec hall includes an arcade, pool tables, and foosball. Water Hookup: Yes Electric Hookup: 30/50 amps Sewer Hookup: Yes Wi-Fi Available: Yes Pet-friendly: Yes Other Amenities: Restrooms with flush toilets, fire rings, picnic tables, warm showers, laundry facilities, dump station Fee: $43 per night
Tendoy Lake Trail is an exciting hiking trail in Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. The course is a two-track pathway that climbs 679 feet over 6.5 miles. The goal is beautiful Tendoy Lake, where hikers can fish, relax, or enjoy the surrounding mountains and incredible views.
Length: 6.5 miles
Jack Creek Trail #17 rises 1,394 feet. The trail ascends along the edge of Jack Creek as it drops from Cedar Lake. It is a multipurpose trail that welcomes horseback riders, bicyclists, and hikers. During the climb, the pathway hugs the south slope of a long ridge that harbors a natural wildlife habitat.
Length: 10.5 miles
The Upper Miner Lakes Trail is an out-and-back trail that climbs 731 feet from the trailhead to the lake hidden deep in the forest. Hugging the slopes of a ridge to the south and following the creek's twisting trail, the trail bounces up and down through the forest and open terrain.
Length: 8.2 miles
The Lacy Creek Trail is primarily used as a nature observance pathway by schools, organizations, and other children’s groups. As the trail wanders along Lacy Creek, observers pass wildlife habitats, jumping fish, and bird nests. Lacy Creek Trail is an out-and-back pathway that is wide enough to accommodate traffic from both directions.
Length: 2.8 miles
The Lima Peaks Loop climbs 1,384 feet. Located near Lima, MT, this trail provides a diverse terrain, including mountain meadows, difficult climbing alongside rocky creeks, and excursions to the top of ridges. The views are incredible, with Lima Peak, the Continental Mountains, and the Italian Peaks within sight in places along the path. Mountain climbers often use this trail to reach and ascend Lima Peak.
Length: 7.9 Miles
There are many activities for visitors to Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest to enjoy. Some of the best hiking opportunities, where guests observe wildlife habitats and unusual plants, are available in the forest. The mix of ponderosa pine, firs, and juniper make a unique environment that is nearly impervious to plant diseases. The canopy in some areas protects wildlife habitats for endangered species like timber wolves and bald eagles. Steep slopes make for challenging geocaching explorations, and wild creeks that plunge from isolated lakes provide an excellent opportunity for anglers. The fish found in this park are natural and full of fight. Anglers experience the true challenges of their sport when they visit this area.
Everyone is a guest of nature inside this forest, and those who choose to observe wildlife on its home turf find comfort and wonder here. You can watch animals, such as hawks or owls and ground squirrels, as they battle for life.
In the evening, the Milky Way enlivens the dark sky on a clear night. Lying back and watching the shooting stars is a favorite activity of many. Others try to pick out constellations but may find it difficult on those unforgettable nights when the Milky Way is as bright as street lamps.
Address: 420 Barrett Street, Dillon, MT 59725
Fee: Entry fee $0
Visitors to Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest in Montana discover the wide-open spaces they have always heard about in legends of the Old West. The vast area involved and the dozen or so mountain ranges make for a scenic wonderland that you seldom find elsewhere. Parking your RV in one spot lets visitors explore an incredible number of sights. Many visitors find that a stop at one location is not enough and pull up stakes to move to a different forest area to see more wonders. No matter which part of the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest you choose to visit, make it simple; rent an RV from RVshare to explore in comfort.