Salmon Lake State Park RV & Campground Guide

Montana

Salmon Lake State Park

is located in western Montana, approximately 32 miles northeast of Missoula. Named after the beautiful body of water it lies adjacent to, Salmon Lake, and nestled between the majestic Mission and Swan Mountain Ranges, this state park provides a tranquil setting to enjoy a wide range of outdoor recreational activities. It is also part of the Clearwater River Chain of Lakes and home to a variety of flora and fauna. Ponderosa pine, western larch, and douglas fir are the most dominant tree species of this region, while the lake houses rainbow, cutthroat, brown, brook and bull trout, largemouth bass, white mountain whitefish, kokanee salmon, yellow perch and northern pike. The region is also a bird watcher’s heaven, with species such as rednecked grebes, great blue herons, bald eagles, ospreys, common loons, and other species of waterfowl most commonly sighted.

Salmon Lake State Park features a fairly mild climate, with temperatures reaching a maximum of 85°F in summer, followed by lows of just 12°F during the winter months. If you're planning a trip to the area, keep reading to find out all there is to know about the state park, including camping, activities, how to get here, and more.

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Weather
Spring 20°F - 63°F
Summer 40°F - 85°F
Fall 20°F - 72°F
Winter 12°F - 39°F
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Nearby Cities
Missoula, MT
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RV Resorts & Campsites in Salmon Lake State Park

Camping in a tent with your friends or family can be fun, but for total peace of mind (not to mention additional storage and space, as well as your own bathroom and kitchen), we cannot recommend RVing highly enough. If you don’t own one, you can easily rent an RV from RVshare.com to suit your budget and needs. All rentals come with nationwide insurance, 24/7 roadside assistance, and a world-class team dedicated to helping you succeed.

Salmon Lake State Park provides campsites for both tents and RVs, as well as amenities such as a bicycle rack, fire ring, bear resistant food lockers, potable water, a bicycle maintenance stand, electrical outlets, dump station, and a covered shelter with picnic tables. Spaces are limited, however, so we've also listed three additional, local campgrounds below.

Missoula KOA Holiday

It might be one of the furthest RV parks on this list, but Missoula KOA Holiday is certainly one of the most popular within the region. It's surrounded by the beautiful Rocky Mountains and serves as the perfect base camp for all that the city of Missoula has to offer.

  • Water hookup: yes
  • Electrical hookup: yes
  • Sewer hookup: yes
  • Wifi: yes
  • Pet-friendly: yes
  • Other amenities: restrooms, showers, hot tub / sauna, laundry facilities, camp store, dog park, swimming pool, cable TV, dump station, playground, picnic tables, bike rentals.

Tamaracks Resort

Located just over a 10-minute drive from the state park is Tamaracks Resort, which offers RV sites, tent sites, and cabins, as well as four-season recreational opportunities and a private, sandy beach.

  • Water hookup: yes
  • Electrical hookup: yes
  • Sewer hookup: N/A
  • Wifi: yes
  • Pet-friendly: yes
  • Other amenities: laundry facilities, fire rings, picnic tables, showers, gift shop, pavilion, rental shack, boat launch and moorage, beach, bark park, fish cleaning station, basketball hoop, horseshoe pit, volleyball pit.

Jim & Mary's RV Park

If you don't mind traveling just under an hour away from the state park for an exceptional RV park, then Jim & Mary's RV Park is for you. It consistently receives great ratings from its guests and has gorgeous flower gardens scattered among their spacious RV sites. Daily rates are $50.25.

  • Water hookup: yes
  • Electrical hookup: yes
  • Sewer hookup: yes
  • Wifi: yes
  • Pet-friendly: yes
  • Other amenities: cable TV, restrooms, showers, laundry facilities.

RV Rentals Near Salmon Lake State Park

Nearby RV Rentals

Restaurants

What to Do at
Salmon Lake State Park

Inside Salmon Lake State Park

While Salmon Lake State Park is popular due to its camping, it’s also a widely visited region because of the number of fun recreational activities on offer. With its famous lake for fishing and water sports, picturesque trail, sandy beach, and more, you certainly won’t be bored during your time here. 

Water sports: With its large lake and river access, the state park is a water enthusiast’s paradise. Enjoy water skiing, kayaking, canoeing, and boating thanks to the accessible boat launch.

Swimming: The area also has a sandy beach which is perfect for swimming during the warmer months. If the weather is too cold for swimming, why not pack a picnic lunch and enjoy some tranquility by the water’s edge?

Fishing: Salmon Lake is a popular fishing destination due to its diverse fish population. Here, you can expect to catch species such as kokanee, northern pike, rainbow trout, yellow perch, brown trout, bull trout, largemouth bass, mountain whitefish, northern pike, peamouth, pumpkinseed, sucker, westslope cutthroat trout and other species.

Bird watching: Salmon Lake is also a popular place for bird watchers, as the varied habitats provide homes to many different birds, including majestic bald eagles, colored songbirds, and waterfowl. The region is most famous for its population of loons, which are large and shy birds famous for their exotic calls and elaborate courtship.

Hiking: You won't find many trails within this state park, however there is a foot trail that circles the grounds. This easy walk is perfect for visitors of all ages.

Outside Salmon Lake State Park

If you thought there was plenty to do inside of the park, then you’ll be surprised by just how many experiences are on offer outside of the park too. Salmon Lake State Park is just 45 miles from the city of Missoula and located between the Mission and Swan mountain ranges. While staying in this region, you’ll never be too far from the action!

Restaurants

River City Grill

Just 40 minutes’ drive from the state park is River City Grill, one of the most popular restaurants within the region. It’s surrounded by picturesque mountains and offers hearty, yet affordable, meals, including steak, salmon, pasta, ribs, burgers, and so much more.

Type: American restaurant

Location: Missoula, MT

Chicken Coop Lounge

If you don’t fancy venturing too far from the state park, then you’ll be pleased to hear Chicken Coop Lounge is just a 10-minute drive away in Seeley Lake. They specialize in chicken dishes and provide a fun, family-friendly atmosphere.

Type: Chicken restaurant

Location: Seeley Lake, MT

Bridge Pizza

There’s a reason why this is one of the most recommended pizza restaurants in the region. Bridge Pizza serves handcrafted pizza, along with gourmet pies, pasta and more. You can even order microbrews and wine by the glass, making it the perfect treat whilst visiting Salmon Lake.

Type: Pizza restaurant

Location: Missoula, MT

Shopping

Sightseeing

Splash Montana

If you and your family are craving a day out at the water park, then you’re in luck! Splash Montana is located just under an hours’ drive from the state park and features three-story waterslides, a lazy river float-way, Olympic-sized pool, and more. Open June through August. Admission starts at $4.

Location: Missoula, MT

Placid Lake State Park

With another popular state park located just a short drive away, it’d be a waste to not check it out!Placid Lake State Park is known for its beauty, trout fishing, wildlife viewing, family outdoor fun and smooth water. Plus, there’s 40 campsites if you feel like parking your RV overnight.

Location: Seeley Lake, MT

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

If you love wildlife, then you’ll adore a visit to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Here, you’ll find interactive exhibits, (including those that are kid-friendly), which tell the story of elk and their habitat. There’s also a stunning nature trail to enjoy.

Location: Missoula, MT

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How to Get to
Salmon Lake State Park

Salmon Lake State Park is only about an hour away from Missoula. From Missoula, take I-90east to Hwy 200 east and head west on Hwy 83. Located directly off the highway, near milepost 7, you will see both the lake and signs for the park.

Entering Salmon Lake State Park

Access to the park for day use costs between $4 - $6, depending on your method of transport (vehicle, bike, etc.) and residency status. Peak season is May 1st to October 31st.

We’re very excited that you’re planning a trip to Salmon Lake State Park. Once you’ve finished exploring all that the park has to offer, there are also some incredible opportunities waiting for you outside of its gates! During or after your stay, we encourage you to tag us in any of your social media posts, or why not share your photos and experience with us at [email protected]? We may even feature your story on our blog or social media channels. Happy camping!