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Discover Montana's Ecosystems

Intermountain Grassland

Ackley Lake (State Park)

Today, the diverse water recreation opportunities at this 160-acre park include fishing, boating, picnicking and camping. Stocked with rainbow trout, the lake is often good angling for 10 to 15 inch fish.

Ackley Lake has 15 campsites, two boat launches, vault toilets, fire rings and grills, and picnic tables. No camping fees are required, and it is a pack-in, pack out site. There is no potable water on site, so please bring your own.

On a warm summer day, enjoy the cool waters of Ackley Lake on Montana's open plains!

 

Waterbodies:

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Anaconda Smoke Stack (State Park)

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.

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Easy Accessibility Easy Accessibility

Bannack (State Park)

Bannack Days, with historic displays, re-enactors, and activities, is held the third weekend in July each year. Tours are conducted from the visitor center, which is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day. A rental tipi is located in the campground situated along Grasshopper Creek.

For more information about Bannack State Park, read Spirit of the West, 2003 Montana Outdoors article. Also visit www.bannack.org for historical information and trip planning tips.

Check out the current weather conditions in Dillon. Teachers, this Indian Education For All Lesson Plan contains Social Studies and Science content for 4th graders.

Waterbodies:

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Beaverhead Rock (State Park)

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.

Waterbodies:

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Most Difficult Accessibility Most Difficult Accessibility

Big Arm (State Park)

Mature ponderosa pine and juniper trees provide a beautiful setting for the campground. The shoreline is popular with sunbathers and swimmers, while the hiking trail provides excellent vistas of surrounding mountain ranges and high peaks with abundant watchable wildlife opportunities.

RV/tent camping sites and yurts are available from May 1 to September 30.Limited services camping is available through mid-November. The boat ramp is open most of the year depending on weather. Please note: There is one ADA accessible campsites at this park. This park and most campsites are reservable from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Click on "Book Now" for more information.

This park and the southern end of Flathead Lake are located on the Flathead Indian Reservation, so you will need a Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribe fishing license to enjoy the excellent fishing here.

For more information on Flathead Lake State Parks, read Water, Water Everywhere, a 2003 Montana Outdoors article.

Check out the current weather conditions in Polson.

Waterbodies:

Open

Clark's Lookout (State Park)

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. While Clark was using the lookout, Lewis was struggling to gain the trust and cooperation of the Shoshone. The longer Clark remained behind, the harder it became for Lewis to keep the tribe with him. Low on food, the Shoshones were anxious to move on and hunt. Clark's Lookout State Park is located just 1 mile north of Dillon off Highway 91. Near the paved parking lot, interpretive signs explain navagational methods used by the expedition. Make the short walk to the top of the lookout and you'll discover a magnficent view of the Beaverhead Valley and a monument showing the the three compass readings that Captain Clark took on that day. Check out the current weather conditions in Dillon.

Waterbodies:

Open

Cooney (State Park)

The park is open year-round for other recreational opportunities. Beginning 2010, a concession at the park sells soda, water, various drinks, snacks, firewood, bait, ice, and emergency items for boats such fire extinguishers and throwable devices. Open Thursday-Sunday, 8 AM -8 PM., Memorial Day through Labor Day. During the winter months, Cooney State Park is a great place to ice fish and cross country ski. Hunting Area Map (PDF) A management plan, for Cooney State Park is being developed to address the future of this popular recreation area. Download the Cooney State Park brochure. Download the Cooney State Park rules and regulations brochure.

Waterbodies:

Open

Council Grove (State Park)

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.

Waterbodies:

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Fort Owen (State Park)

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.

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