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Ackley Lake

Ackley lake is nestled right in the heart of montana's big sky country. one glimpse and you'll easily understand how the beautiful views of the surrounding little belt and snowy mountains and rich agricultural land captured the heart of the legendary western artist, charlie russell, a hundred years ago.

Anaconda Smoke Stack

The old anaconda copper company smelter stack, completed in 1919, is one of the tallest free-standing brick structures in the world at 585 feet. the inside diameter is 75 feet at bottom, tapering to 60 feet at the top. in comparision, the washington monument is 555 feet tall. the stack dominates the landscape like the company once dominated the area's economic life. since the smelter closed in 1980, the stack has become a symbol of the challenges that face communities dependent on finite resources. listed in the national register of historic places, the stack may be viewed and photographed only from a distance. interpretive signs that detail its history are located in the viewing site near goodman park. check out the current weather conditions in anaconda.


Bannack state park is a national historic landmark and the site of montana's first major gold discovery on july 28, 1862. this strike set off a massive gold rush that swelled bannack's population to over 3,000 by 1863. as the value of gold steadily dwindled, bannack's bustling population was slowly snuffed out. over 50 buildings line main street; their historic log and frame structures recall montana's formative years. a walk down the deserted streets of bannack evokes a feeling of the realities faced in the 'old west.' bannack is the best preserved of all montana ghost towns -- being preserved rather than restored, protected rather than exploited.

Beaverhead Rock

Sacagawea, a young shoshone indian guide traveling with the lewis and clark expedition in 1805, recognized this rock formation and knew that she may be in the vicinity of her relatives. the sighting gave the expedition hope that they may be able to find native peoples from which to acquire horses for their trip across the mountains to the pacific ocean. "the indian woman recognized the point of a high plain to our right which she informed us was not very distant from the summer retreat of her nation on a river beyond the mountains which runs to the west. this hill she says her nation calls the beaver's head from a conceived resemblance of its figure to the head of that animal. she assures us that we shall either find her people on this river or on the river immediately west of its source; which from its present size cannot be very distant." meriwether lewis, august 8, 1805 resembling the head of a swimming beaver, this natural landmark is listed in the national register of historic places. the site may be viewed and photographed from a distance, but is not directly accessible. check out the current weather conditions in dillon. teachers, this indian education for all lesson plan contains social studies and local history content for 8th graders.

Beavertail Hill

Just off interstate 90 east of missoula, this small park offers river frontage, tipi rentals, a one-hour walking nature trail through a thick canopy of cottonwoods, and developed campsites and picnic areas. there are interpretive programs in the amphitheatre on friday evenings during the summer.

Big Arm

Rv and tent camping, rental yurts and a hiking trails are all here along the shore of magnificent flathead lake. using the public ramp to launch your own boat, this site is a popular jumping-off point to wild horse island.

Black Sandy

One of the few public parks on the shores of hauser lake, this popular campground provides access for boating, waterskiing, kokanee salmon and trout fishing, and other water activities. interpretive displays describe the history of this area. electrical hook-ups are available may 1 - october 1.

Brush Lake

Brush lake is a deep, clear lake with white, sandy beaches surrounded by grass fields and linear stands of spring wheat. due to the mineral make-up of this lake, there are no fish. a day-use area is located on the northeast portion of the lake. this area includes a parking area, boat ramp and dock, vault toilet, picnic tables, fire rings and a designated swimming area.

Chief Plenty Coups

Plenty coups (aleek-chea-ahoosh, meaning "many achievements") was a man of war - and then a man of peace - whose vision has helped bridge a gap between two cultures. recognized for his bravery and leadership, he was made a chief of the apsáalooke (crow) tribe by age 28.

Clarks Lookout

Indian Education For All Lesson Plan In 1805, the Lewis and Clark Expedition passed through this area exploring the land on behalf of the United States. Captain Lewis was leading the way with a small group while Captain Clark was bringing up the rear. In order to make the journey across the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean, the party needed horses from the local tribe. On August 13, 1805, Clark climbed a high bluff above the Beaverhead River to get a sense of his surroundings and document the location. Unknown to Clark, Lewis had met with 60 Shoshone warriors and was working to establish a meeting at what would become Camp Fortunate.


Head to this reservoir 40 minutes south of billings to boat, play in the water, camp, and fish. the most popular recreation area serving south central montana, it's always a busy place in the summer. the park features good walleye and rainbow trout fishing, boating opportunities, and five campgrounds around the lake. eleven campsites with electricity are now available at red lodge campground.

Council Grove

In 1855, on this site, issac stevens negotiated the hellgate treaty between the u. s. government and the salish, kootenai, and pend d'orielle indians to create the flathead reservation. the treaty was signed on this site on july 16, 1855. come enjoy the natural features and solitude of this day-use-only park for reflection on these historical events. for more information on council grove state park, read the treaty lives on, 2005 montana outdoors article. check out the current weather conditions in missoula. download the council grove state park brochure. educators, this indian education for all lesson plan contains social studies and media literacy content for 4th graders.


Elkhorn state park brochure (pdf) during its heyday in the 1880s, the mining town of elkhorn swelled to a population of 2,500. the boom ended in 1890 with the drop in silver prices and residents moved to other areas. they left behind two impressive structures, fraternity hall and gillian hall, which have been preserved as outstanding examples of frontier architecture. each has been recorded in the historic american buildings survey. bring your camera to record these two picturesque structures. these are the only two buildings in the town of elkhorn that are publicly owned. please respect private property while visiting this site.

Finley Point

Located on the south end of flathead lake in a secluded, mature pine forest, finley point offers 16 campsites with water and 30-amp electric hookups and two walk-in tent sites. all campsites have a fire ring and grills, and picnic tables.

First Peoples Buffalo Jump

Formerly known as Ulm Pishkun State Park, this is one of the largest prehistoric bison kill sites in the United States. A visitor center and interpretive trails tell the story of the people, the animals, and the landscape of the buffalo culture.

Fort Owen

Fort owen state park brochure this park was the site of many "firsts" in montana history. it was home to montana's first catholic church founded by father desmet in 1841 and the state's first permanent white settlement. also located here were the first sawmill, first grist mill, first agricultual development, first water right, and the first school for settlers. major john owen arrived in the bitterroot valley in 1850 and established the fort and began trading with the indians and growing number of immigrants. period furnishings and artifacts are displayed in the restored rooms of the east barracks. take your time to browse through a small museum housed in preserved and partially-reconstructed structures. this site is listed on the national register of historic places. interpretive signs and exhibits detail the site's history. teachers, this indian education for all lesson plan contains social studies and media literacy content for 4th graders.

Frenchtown Pond

Frenchtown pond state park brochure bring the whole family out for a day of picnicking, swimming, fishing, sailboarding, paddling, snorkeling, walking, or just relaxing in the fresh air with your favorite book. this small, spring-fed lake is a short drive from missoula and easily accessible off interstate 90. a new playground provides a safe place for youngsters to climb and slide. sport fish include largemouth bass, black bullheads, yellow perch and pumpkinseeds. there is non-motorized boating only in this day-use-only park. frenchtown pond hosts the garden city triathlon, a complete triathlon event including swimming, biking and running, on labor day weekend. there are many age categories, including a kid's triathalon. this popular event has approximately 450 participants, spectators, and volunteers. you can now enjoy frenchtown pond year-round. summer hours are 9 am to 9 pm. from october 1 through april 30, park hours are 6 am to 7 pm. reduced services and facilities are available during this period. check out the current weather conditions in frenchtown.

Giant Springs

Construction work is continuing on power lines stretching from morony dam to rainbow dam, affecting a portion of the northshore conservation easement on pplm lands. for public safety, closures remain in place throughout the western end of the easement, limiting recreational opportunities at this time. closures are in effect from the rainbow dam area to ryan dam road. trails and easement lands are open east of ryan dam road. contact fwp region 4 headquarters at (406) 454-5840 for further information and to request a map of closed areas. the northshore trail from rainbow to ryan dam road remains closed

Granite Ghost Town

The remnants of this once thriving 1890's silver boomtown bear stark witness to montana's boom-and-bust mining history. the park preserves the granite mine superintendent's house and ruins of the old miners' union hall which have been included in the historic american buildings survey. this remote mining camp calls for a camera. the road from philipsburg to granite gains 1,280 feet in elevation. the road is narrow, steep and winding. be prepared to pull over for oncoming traffic and enjoy the vistas. a vehicle with good clearance is recommended.

Greycliff Prairie Dog Town

NaGrab your camera and hop off Interstate 90 at Greycliff to delight in the playful, curious black-tailed prairie dogs who live here. This 98-acre park offers a unique opportunity to observe the prairie dog community in its natural environment. Interpretive displays provide information on the important role of these entertaining animals in the prarie ecosystem. These creatures have great ecological significance because they create patches of habitat that provide prey, shelter,and forage for a diverse number of animals, including burrowing owls, black-footed ferrets, and mountain plovers.

Hell Creek

You will reach this campground park, 25 miles north of jordan, through the spectacular scenery of the missouri breaks landscape. on the hell creek arm of fort peck lake, this park provides facilities for most water sports as well as excellent walleye fishing. hell creek also serves as a launching point for boat camping in the wild and scenic missouri breaks.

Lake Elmo

This urban day-use park is a great place to swim, sailboard, fish, picnic, birdwatch, or take a stroll. plan to stretch your legs on a walk around the lake or stop by the fwp region 5 headquarters on the south shore to fish from roger's pier or tour the interpretive center (weekdays from 8 to 5). non-motorized boating only is allowed. there are two reservable group use shelters for social events and a playground. a special feature of lake elmo is its dog park. the 200-square-foot fenced-in water-adjacent area is located on the west side of the lake. each visitor is allowed a maximum of two dogs in the park. dogs must have up-to-date vaccinations, current licenses, respond to voice commands, and be in visual control. dogs must be 4 months or older. dogs in heat may not enter the park. remember that dogs must be on a leash in all other areas of lake elmo state park. enjoy this wonderful oasis in the city with your canine friend and be sure to clean up your pet's waste. check out the current weather conditions in billings.

Lake Mary Ronan

Off the beaten path just seven miles west of flathead lake, this park is shaded by douglas fir and western larch. lake mary ronan provides a quiet camping opportunity nestled among a boreal forest. noted for kokanee salmon, yellow perch and small mouth bass, this park is a fisherman's delight. numerous trails lead into the surrounding area which abound in wildflowers and wildlife. you can also hunt mushrooms and pick huckleberries when the season is right.

Les Mason

This wooded area on the east shore of whitefish lake provides access to cool, clear waters along a stretch of smooth cobble beach. shaded picnic tables, great swimming, and a spot to launch canoes and kayaks all make this an ideal day-use park.

Lewis And Clark Caverns

This wooded area on the east shore of whitefish lake provides access to cool, clear waters along a stretch of smooth cobble beach. shaded picnic tables, great swimming, and a spot to launch canoes and kayaks all make this an ideal day-use park.
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