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Fees & General Information

Fees, regulations, and information to make the most out of your Montana State Parks visit.

Day Use Entrance Fees

Montana Residents

  • Day use entrance is free*

 

Nonresidents

  • Day use entrance fee with a vehicle: $8
  • Day use entrance fee as a walk-in, bicycle or bus passenger: $4
  • With a Nonresident Entrance Pass: Free

 

* Montana residents who pay the $9 state parks fee with their annual vehicle registration have no daily entrance fees to state parks. For residents who don't include this in their vehicle registration, non-resident day use fees apply.

Camping Fees

Campsites

  • Campsite fees range from $4-$34 per night, depending on season and available amenities.

Montana State Parks offers hike/bike, rustic, tent, rv, and boatslip campsites. For pricing of individual campsites visit https://montanastateparks.reserveamerica.com/.

 

Cabins

Residents and Nonresidents with a Park Pass:

  • $54 per night.
  • $50 between third Monday in September—third Thursday in May

Nonresidents:

  • $66 per night. 
  • $60 between third Monday in September—third Thursday in May

To reserve cabins visit https://montanastateparks.reserveamerica.com/.

 

Yurts

Regular Yurts

Residents and Nonresidents with a Park Pass:

  • $54 per night 
  • $50 between third Monday in September—third Thursday in May

Nonresidents:

  • $66 Per night. 
  • $60 between third Monday in September—third Thursday in May

Large Yurts

Residents and Nonresidents with a Park Pass:

  • $60 per night 
  • $56 between third Monday in September—third Thursday in May

Nonresidents:

  • $72 Per night. 
  • $68 between third Monday in September—third Thursday in May

To reserve a yurt visit https://montanastateparks.reserveamerica.com/.

 

Tipis

Residents and Nonresidents with a Park Pass:

  • $30 per night 
  • $26 between third Monday in September—third Thursday in May

Nonresidents:

  • $42 Per night. 
  • $36 between third Monday in September—third Thursday in May

To reserve a tipi visit https://montanastateparks.reserveamerica.com/.

 

There is a $10 reservation fee for reserving campsites and other state park accommodations online or through the reservation call center.

View Montana State Parks with camping here.

Nonresident Entrance Pass

Out-of-state residents can purchase a Nonresident Entrance Pass which allows free entrance and discounted camping fees. The 12-month pass costs $50 /vehicle and is valid for one year from month of issue. You can purchase the pass through the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Online Licenses Service, or at any FWP office. 

7-Day Nonresident Entrance Pass, which costs $35, is an option for a shorter time period. 7-Day Passes are available at the parks. The pass is good for 7 consecutive days starting from the purchase date.

Parks with Campsites, Electricity and Other Accommodations

Campsites with Electricity are available at:
Beavertail Hill, Black Sandy, Brush Lake, Cooney, Finley Point, Hell Creek, Lewis and Clark Caverns, Logan, Placid Lake, Salmon Lake, Tongue River Reservoir, West Shore.

Camping at Boat Slips (with and without electricity) – Finley Point State Park

Hike-in/Bike-in Campsites – Bannack, Placid Lake, Salmon Lake, Wayfarers, and Whitefish Lake state parks.

Rustic Campsites – Thompson Chain of Lakes State Park and Makoshika State Park.

Backcountry Camping – Sluice Boxes State Park and Makoshika State Park.

Cabins – Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park.

Yurts – Big Arm State Park.

Tipis – Bannack, Beavertail Hill, Lewis and Clark Caverns, Makoshika and Missouri Headwaters state parks.

Commercial Use

All commercial activities that involve a service or participation cost are subject to a commercial use permit and fee. For more information, see Commercial Use Permits. Contact the Park Manager for permit application instructions.

Group Use

All groups over 30 persons are subject to a group use permit and fee. For more information, see Special Use Permits. Contact the Park Manager for permit application instructions.

Special Events

Special events such as weddings, sporting events, etc. may be subject to a permit and fee. For additional information, see Special Use Permits, or contact the Park Manager.

Smith River State Park

Permits and fees are required to float the 59-mile section of river between Camp Baker and Eden Bridge; permits are issued annually through a lottery. For more information, see Smith River State Park and Smith River FAQs.

Fee Schedules

The following documents contain fees and management policy that govern public use of Montana State Parks.

General Camping Policies

  • Campers may stay no longer than 14 nights in any thirty-day period. Saving campsites is prohibited.
  • Check-in time is 2 PM for campsites and 3 PM for facilities (MST time).
  • Check-out time is 1 PM for campsites and 12 PM for facilities (MST time). Late checkouts may incur additional fees unless prior arrangements have been made with park staff.
  • Quiet Hours are 10 PM through 7 AM. Camping is permitted only in designated areas. Please be considerate of fellow campers and arrive early (prior to 10 PM) to set up your campsite. The noise created from setting up is often disturbing to other campers. If this is not possible, please be respectful and keep noise to a minimum. Your consideration is appreciated!
  • Campfires are allowed in designated areas only!
  • All pets must be kept on a leash and not left unattended. Campers are responsible to clean up after their pet. Not all facilities allow pets.
  • Vehicles for campground visitors and park day-users are to be located outside the campground.
  • Site capacity at each individually signed or numbered campsite is eight (8) people. This typically involves a single camping unit, which includes, but is not limited to, a tent, motor home, camping bus, truck mounted camper shell, pull-type camper, or other device designed and commonly used for sleeping, plus an additional two tents (if the site allows).
  • In the event the site is designated as a “Double Site”, the site capacity for that site is doubled to allow for sixteen (16) people and two camping units.

Discounts and Passes

  • Montana Disabled – Montana residents with a disability, verified by either a disability form obtained from the department and signed by a physician, a Resident Disability Conservation License, or a disability permit or license plate issued by the Montana Motor Vehicle Division, receive a discount of 50% off camping fees (does not apply to electrical fees).
  • Montana Seniors – Montana residents who are 62 years of age or older receive a discount of 50% off camping fees (does not apply to electrical fees).  To receive the discount, enter the month and year of your birth when asked for a pass number.
  • Montana Veteran’s – Montana residents with veteran’s status receive a discount of 50% off camping fees (does not apply to electrical fees).  Proof of eligibility to receive the discount includes the DD 214 form, U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs ID or a driver’s license indicating the person’s veteran status.
  • Nonresident Pass – The $50 Nonresident Entrance Pass discounts camping $10-$12 per night (depending on site type). The pass number is on the pass sticker; however, if a pass has been purchased and not received at the time of the reservation, the automated licensing number issued by the department may be used temporarily. 
  • 7-Day Nonresident Pass – The $35 7-day pass discounts camping $10-$12 per night (depending on site type). Passes are sold at the park only and is valid for 7 consecutive days from the date of purchase.

Campsite Reservation Policies

  • You may reserve campsites from the third Friday in May through the third Sunday in September.
  • Reservations for individual campsites, group campsites, and facilities are available up to 6 months in advance of arrival, beginning when the call center opens. Reservations that are made for stays greater than one night and booked right on the six-month maximum window will be frozen for 18 days.  Changes or cancelations may be made after the 18-day freeze. 
  • There is a 1-day minimum window.
  • Reservation fees are non-refundable, non-transferable. 
    • $10 per individual campsite reserved
    • $25 per group or facility site reserved
  • Call Center Hours
    • Monday – Friday: 8 AM – 7 PM (MST)
    • Saturday – Sunday: 9 AM – 5 PM (MST)

Changes and Cancelations

  • You may change or cancel your reservation up to two days prior to arrival by calling (855) 922-6768. To change or cancel reservations less than one day before check-in, please contact the destination park or by calling (855) 514-2429.
    • You may extend stays without incurring a modification fee. All other modifications will be charged a $10 service fee.
    • To change your reservation to dates that do not overlap with the original timeframe, you must cancel the existing booking and make a new reservation. All service fees apply.
  • Cancellations made prior to the scheduled check-in time for a campsite or facility (Cabins, Yurts and Tipis) will be charged a $10 cancellation fee.
  • Cancellations made after the scheduled check-in time for campsite will incur a $10 cancellation fee plus the first night and usage fees for any additional expired nights of the reservation. 
  • Unless arrangements have been made with the park, you must arrive by check-in on the day after your scheduled arrival or your status will become a “No-show”. All fees are forfeited when a reservation turns to “No-Show” status.
  • Cancellations for facilities (Cabins, Yurts, and Tipis) received after scheduled check-in time will incur a cancellation fee of the first night's use fee as well as the usage fees for any additional expired nights of the reservation. 

Refunds

Refunds will be processed using the original method of payment whenever possible. If you paid by credit card, your original account will be credited electronically. If you paid by cash, check or money order, limited refunds may be provided to you in cash at the park, by check (via mail) from Montana State Parks, or through a system voucher for use in a future stay.

State Parks Camping FAQs

Q. How can I make a reservation?
A. The Internet booking site may be accessed through the Montana State Parks website, and clicking on the Reserve a Campsite  button at the top of every page, or by visiting the ReserveAmerica website.

Reservation can also be made by phoning the Reservation Call Center toll free at 1 (855) 922-6768.

Call Center Hours of Operation:
Monday – Friday: 8 AM – 7 PM (MST)
Saturday – Sunday: 9 AM – 5 PM (MST)

 

Q. What payment methods are accepted?
A. Internet reservations may be paid for by Visa or MasterCard. Reservations made by phoning the Call Center may be paid for by Visa, MasterCard. Reservations made more that are 21 days prior to arrival may pay with a personal check or money order through the Call Center.

 

Q. How far in advance or close to arrival can I make a reservation?
A. You can make reservations six months in advance of your stay, and no later than one day prior to your arrival. 

 

Q. How many sites can I book in one call or Internet session?
A. Customers may book unlimited sites provided they fall within the rolling six (6) month reservation window. Primary occupant information is required for extra sites.

 

Q. What if I need to cancel my reservation?
A. Reservations may be canceled; a nonrefundable $10.00 cancelation fee for each campsite booked and cancelled will be applied.

 

Q. What if I do not wish to make a reservation? Will parks still have some “first come, first served” sites available?
A. Yes, while reservations are recommended in order to ensure a site for your visit, some parks have first come, first served sites available. On the date of arrival, if a site is not reserved it becomes a first come first served for that night.

 

Q. How will I know which campsites are reservable and available; and which campsites have been designated “first come, first served” ("walk-in")?
A. On the reservation Internet booking site, customers will be able to easily access a map and listing of the campsites in most Montana State Park campgrounds. Individual campsites will display if they are available to reserve, as well as the available dates. If the site is a designated “First Come, First Served” site, it will display as available for “walk-in” only.

Park Regulations

Park Regulations are established to help ensure a safe and enjoyable experience and to protect our special places for you today and future generations.

 

  • Recreation Use Fees:  before entering or camping in a state park, visitors must pay the appropriate use fees.
  • Weapons: visitors may not discharge any firearm, fireworks, explosives, air of gas weapon, or bow and arrow at any time in a state park, unless otherwise posted for lawful hunting.
  • Animal Control: pets are not permitted on swimming beaches or in any other area posted to exclude them. All pets must be on a leash not over 8 feet long. Visitors bringing or allowing animals in designated recreation areas shall be responsible for proper removal and disposal of any animal waste. Livestock is prohibited in all areas, unless otherwise posted.
  • Quiet Hours: are from 10pm - 7am and are maintained in all recreation areas as posted. Portable generators may not be operated during these hours unless medically necessary.
  • Waste Disposal: litter, pollutants, or other refuse, including fish entrails must be disposed of in proper refuse containers provided. Sewage wastes from portable toilets or recreational vehicles may not be disposed of in park toilet facilities.
  • Fires: fires may be built only in established fireplaces, grills, steel fire rings, or camp stoves. Fires must be attended at all times and completely extinguished when users leave an area.
  • Glass Containers: glass bottles or containers are prohibited on all swimming beaches and other areas posted to exclude them.
  • Commercial Use: state parks may not be used for any commercial purposes without a commercial use permit.
  • Boating and Swimming:
  • Boats may be launched only at established launching areas, where provided.
  • Boat trailers must be kept in areas designated for their parking or storage.
  • Swimming area buoys may not be disturbed, defaced, or relocated. Swimming is not permitted beyond these buoys.
  • Boats may not be operated or beached in swimming areas.
  • Power boats may not approach closer than 50 feet to any swimmer or angler, except when aiding water skiers or in an emergency situation.
  • Comply with no-wake restrictions.
  • Boats and other watercraft may be used on public boat docks for loading and unloading only. Boats may not be left unattended at public docks.
  • Natural & Heritage Resources: No person may destroy, injure, remove or otherwise damage any natural or other state park property. Persons cannot willfully or negligently cut or destroy any tree, shrub or plant, or geological, historical, or archaeological feature.
  • Disturbance of the topsoil is prohibited. Visitors cannot bury garbage, dig for worms, or allow pets to dig holes.
  • Disorderly Conduct is prohibited.

Leave No Trace Principles

Montana State Parks is a partner with the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, the most widely accepted outdoor skills and ethics program encouraged on public lands. Review the principles, they are a good guide for your next visit to a Montana State Park.

Review the Leave No Trace Principles here.

Pets in Parks

 

Visiting Montana State Parks can be a great experience for you and your pet! Just remember to keep your pet on a leash at all times to respect the park and other visitors.

Here are a few simple rules to remember when visiting a State Park in Montana with your pet:

Keep your pets close: All pets must be on a leash no longer than 8 feet long, unless otherwise posted.

The parks are not a swimming pool: Pets are not permitted on swimming beaches or any other areas that display posted restrictions. Also refrain from bathing your pet in recreational swimming areas.

Don’t leave a mess: Pet owners are responsible for proper removal and disposal of any waste produced by their pets.

Keep it down: A barking dog can take away from a visitor’s tranquil experience; please ensure that dogs do not create excessive noise, especially during quiet hours.

Respect the park: Help preserve the park for future use by preventing your pets from entering public buildings or digging in the park.

Respect wildlife: Do not allow your pets to wander in the wilderness or interact with the animals that are native to each park.

Come prepared: Make sure you bring plenty of food and water for your pet.

Following these rules will ensure an enjoyable visit for all parties. However, if these rules are not followed, park employees reserve the right to ask visitors to leave. If there’s ever any doubt, always ask a park employee for clarification on a park rule. Some of these rules do not apply to service dogs.

Most Montana state parks allow pets but have a strict rule of keeping them on a leash. However, there are a few parks that don’t allow pets at all. These include:

Lewis and Clark Caverns - Pets are not allowed in the cave, but a kennel service is offered during your tour.

Frenchtown Pond

Wild Horse Island

Smith River - Pets are allowed only at the put-in and take-out if they are on leashes, not on the float.

Spring Meadow Lake - No pets during 4/16 - 10/14. Pets allowed on leashes during 10/15 - 4/15.

Thank you for your cooperation and we hope you and your pet enjoy your visit to Montana State Parks!

Special Use and Commercial Use Permits

Montana State Parks are wonderful sites for special uses – family reunions, weddings, club gatherings and other events. You can also conduct certain business activities. A Special Use or Commercial Use permit is required to help ensure everyone's safety and protect park resources.

Special Use Permit

A Special Use Permit is required for non-commercial activities including but not limited to:

  • facility rentals, for example: shelters, pavilions, or meeting rooms
  • group use or events of more than 30 people
  • special events, for example:
    • wedding parties
    • family reunions
    • fishing contests
    • educational activities
    • research activities
    • geocaching events

To Apply

Complete a Special Use Permit application and mail to the FWP Regional Office in the area where you wish to conduct the use. See application for addresses and other contact information.

The following document contains fees and management policy that governs special use of Montana State Parks.

  • Montana State Parks Fee Schedule — a detailed list of Montana State Park fees, including campsite reservation fees, boat slip rental, facility and group use, and other fees.

 

Commercial Use Permits

To conduct commercial use at a Montana State Park, you must obtain a Commercial Use Permit. Type of permit, fees, conditions, and availability vary based on the type of commercial use. For details, contact the Park Manager where you would like to conduct the activity.

Commercial Use Permits are required for commercial activities, including, but not limited to the following categories:

A Fishing Contest Permit is required for commercial fishing contests. Please contact Fish, Wildlife & Parks Fisheries Division.

For administrative policy governing commercial use in Montana State Parks and on other FWP land, see:

 

Questions?

To learn more about Special Use and Commercial Use permits, please contact the Park Manager where you would like to conduct the activity or State Park headquarters:

  • Montana State Parks Headquarters
  • PO Box 200701
  • 1420 East 6th Avenue
  • Helena, MT 59620
  • 406-444-3364
  • email

Energy Efficiency/Sustainability Program

Montana State Parks is committed to increasing our energy efficiency, decreasing water consumption, and diverting a larger portion of our waste from the landfill, in order to preserve the recreational, natural, and cultural resources of Montana for present and future generations.

  • During 2012, we have insulated electric hot water heaters, lowered hot water heater thermostats to 120°, and installed energy efficient lighting to reduce our energy consumption.
  • At Lone Pine Visitor Center, 45 incandescent light bulbs were replaced with 45 light emitting diodes (LEDs), saving us an estimated 8,307 kilowatt hours (kWH) per year, or a $450 reduction per year in energy related costs. To conserve precious water resources, 70 faucet aerators, 38 low-flow showerheads, and 23 low-flow toilets have been installed at facilities state-wide. The 1.28 gallon per flush toilets alone will conserve approximately 83,000 gallons of water per year.
  • Eden Bridge on the Smith River, Big Arm, Finley Point, Lone Pine, Wayfarers, West Shore and Whitefish Lake state parks offer recycling bins for aluminum and plastic, a program we hope to expand in the future. Montana State Parks is dedicated to continuing our efforts in sustainability.