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Makoshika State Park

Montana’s largest state park features badland formations and the fossil remains of Tyrannosaurus Rex, Triceratops, and other prehistoric life. You’ll find a visitor center at the park entrance with interpretive exhibits great for all ages.

Alerts & Closures

Stage I Fire Restriction are in effect. NO building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire or campfire are allowed.  NO smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.

About the Park

The name Makoshika (Ma-ko'-shi-ka) is a variant spelling of a Lakota phrase meaning 'bad land' or 'bad earth'.

 

 

Today, as Montana's largest state park, the badlands of Makoshika are set aside for visitors to see and enjoy. In addition to the pine and juniper studded badland formations, the park also houses many fossil remains.

Our visitor center (with a gift shop) at the park entrance, houses a Triceratops and Tyrannosaurus Rex fossil along with other fossil remains and badland interpretive displays. Find out more about Montana paleontology exhibits and activities at Montana Dinosaur Trail.

Included within the park are scenic drives, hiking trails, 28 camping sites, a group picnic area, and an outdoor amphitheater.

The park offers special events throughout the year, including Montana Shakespeare in the Park, Friday night campfire programs and youth programs in summer, and the famous Buzzard Day festival, the second Saturday in June, featuring 10k & 5k races, a fun run, jumping house, food, disc golf tournament, hikes and more! View Makoshika's Events and Program Schedule for 2021 here.

Visitors are asked not to bring metal detectors, and no digging, collecting, or removal of fossils and artifacts is allowed.

Park size: 11,538 acres. Elevation: 2,415 feet.

Dinosaurs at Makoshika

The park’s landscape is part of the late Cretaceous Hell Creek Formation. Over ten different dinosaur species have been discovered in Makoshika. Significant discoveries include a complete Triceratops horridus skull, the fossil remains of Edmontosaurus and Tyrannosaurus rex, and a nearly complete skeleton of the rare Thescelosaur.

Chris Dantic, Makoshika State Park Manager, walks visitors through the paleontological history of Makoshika, providing a behind the scenes look at the facility and park.

 

 

In Makoshika State Park, visitors will see the K-T boundary line. For those unfamiliar with the line, 'K' is the abbreviation for the Cretaceous period, while 'T' is the abbreviation for the Tertiary period. This line marks the physical boundary in time between the two periods dating back 65.5 million years ago. What is the K-T boundary? K is actually the traditional abbreviation for the Cretaceous period, and T is the abbreviation for the Tertiary period. So the K-T boundary is the point in between the Cretaceous and Tertiary periods. Geologists have dated this period to about 65.5 million years ago.

Learn more about Makoshika State Park along the Montana Dinosaur Trail: https://mtdinotrail.org/makoshika-sta...

Activities

  • Archaeology
  • Backcountry Camping
  • Bird Watching
  • Camping
  • Disc Golf
  • Education
  • Exhibit
  • Group Camping
  • Heritage
  • Hiking
  • History
  • Hunting
  • Mountain Biking
  • Museum
  • Outdoor Activity
  • Paleontology
  • Photography
  • Picnicking
  • RV Camping
  • Sightseeing
  • Tent Camping
  • Visitor Center
  • Wildlife Viewing

Amenities

Some amenities are seasonal. Check with the park for availability.

  • ADA Accessible
  • Childrens Activities
  • 11 Designated Hiking Trails
  • Disc Golf
  • Established Fire Pits
  • Firewood for Sale
  • Gift Shop
  • Grills/Fire Rings
  • Interpretive Display
  • Maps
  • Outdoor Ampitheater
  • Parking
  • Pets Allowed
  • Picnic Shelter
  • Pack-in/Pack-out
  • Public Restroom
  • Toilets (Flush)
  • Toilets (Vault)
  • Trash Cans
  • Water

Seasons & Hours

Hours listed below are normal operating hours and may not apply when there is a special restriction or closure. Check Alerts and Closures in the tab below.


Park

Open daily 7 am to 10 pm
Water available year round

Campground
Open year round

Visitor Center
Summer Hours
June 3, 2020 – 3rd Sunday of Sept:
Open daily, 10 am - 4 pm, closed for cleaning noon-1:00.
Winter Hours
3rd Monday of Sept – 3rd Thursday of May:
Open Wed - Sun, 10 am - 4 pm.
Closed all federal and state holidays except Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day.

Park Rules

Volunteer

Contact the park manager for open volunteer positions at Makoshika State Park.

For complete position descriptions, application forms, and details about Montana State Parks volunteer programs, visit the Volunteers page.

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

 

 

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.

Visit Reserve America to check fees and reserve campsites at Makoshika State Park.

 

* 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.

Contact Information

Mailing Address:
Makoshika State Park
PO Box 1242
1301 Snyder Avenue
Glendive, MT 59330

Phone: 406-377-6256
Email: 

 

Reservation Phone Number:

1-855-922-6768

Recreate Responsibly at Makoshika

Stay safe while getting outside

Makoshika State Park boasts miles of trails, a disc golf course, and a visitor center with educational and interpretive displays for all ages. These amenities, and many more, remain open to the public as we all do our part to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. This video provides a few helpful tips on how to get outside safely and recreate responsibly.

View Makoshika's 2021 Events & Program Schedule 

Makoshika State Park

Address

1301 Snyder Avenue
Glendive, MT 59330
Latitude/Longitude:
(47.08972 / -104.70633)

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Meet The Park Manager

CONTACT INFO
Mailing Address:

Makoshika State Park
PO Box 1242
Glendive, MT 59330

Phone: 406-377-6256
Email: