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Bannack State Park

See the "Old West" come alive again at the site of Montana's first major gold discovery in 1862 and Montana’s first territorial capital.

About the Park

Come walk the deserted streets of Bannack and discover for yourself the realities of the "Old West." Bannack is the best preserved of all Montana ghost towns.

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 lost. Over 50 buildings line Main Street; their historic log and frame structures recall Montana's formative years.

Tours are conducted from the visitor center, which is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Bannack Days, with historic displays, re-enactors, and activities, are held annually the 3rd weekend in July.

The campground has 28 sites, including a rental tipi located along Grasshopper Creek, a  hike-in/bike-in campsite, with 4 tent pads, and a group picnic site.

In the winter months, dress warmly and skate on the frozen dredge pond from sometime in January to the first week in March (weather permitting). Warming house hours are generally 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends. Call ahead to check if pond is open, as conditions can change daily. Free loaner skates available; hot beverages and snacks for sale. Skating sponsored by the Bannack Association. To learn more about the association or make a donation, check the Bannack Association website. The Bannack Association is a grass-roots organization that works hand-in-hand with Montana State Parks year-round to promote and preserve this precious slice of Montana heritage.

Park size: 1,529 acres. Elevation: 5,837 feet

Activities

  • Bicycling
  • Bird Watching
  • Camping
  • Fishing
  • Heritage
  • History
  • Ice Skating
  • Photography
  • Picnicking
  • RV Camping
  • Tent Camping
  • Visitor Center
  • Wildlife Viewing

Amenities

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

  • ADA Accessible
  • Established Fire Pits
  • Firewood for Sale
  • Gift Shop
  • Grills/Fire Rings
  • Maps
  • Pets Allowed
  • Picnic Shelter
  • Public Restroom
  • Registered Historic Site
  • Toilets (Flush)
  • Toilets (Vault)
  • Tours
  • Trash Removal
  • Water
  • Wedding Facilities

Seasons & Hours

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


Park
Open all year.
Summer Hours:
Memorial Day - Labor Day
8 am - Sunset
 
Winter Hours:
Oct 1, 2020 - Memorial Day 2021
8 am - 5 pm
Closed December 24 & 25

Campground
Open all year.
 
Potable water
Available summer season

Visitor Center
Open June 3, 2020 - Labor Day
10 am - 6 pm

Alerts & Closures

The visitor center, campground, group use area, trails and the main street of the town are open, with some restrictions to comply with the governor's COVID-19 directives. Some of the interiors of the historic buildings are closed to the public to minimize the risk of potential COVID 19 transmission. The town is currently open 8am – 5pm.

Park Rules

Volunteer

Currently open volunteer positions at Bannack State Park:

  • Park Host
  • Visitor Center Attendant
  • Special Projects Assistant

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

Bannack Flood Mitigation Project

Construction of the flood detention facility that will help protect Bannack from future flood damage is completed .

<< Bannack State Park main page

In 2013 and 2017, flooding caused considerable damage to historic structures and natural resources, displaced artifacts, and created safety concerns. To mitigate future damage, Montana State Parks built a flood detention facility upstream of town which will hold flash flood waters and direct flows at a reduced rate into a storm drainage channel and aqueduct to the east of the townsite.

The project was a collaborative effort between Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) and the Montana Department of Administration’s Risk Management and Tort Defense Division. Pioneer Technical Services in Belgrade, MT produced the project design.

Bannack State Park is a National Historic Landmark and one of Montana’s best preserved ghost towns. Bannack is the site of Montana's first major gold discovery in 1862 and is Montana’s first territorial capital.

Thank you for your cooperation and patience during the project.

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. To reserve or check prices on individual Bannack campsites, click here.

 

* 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:
Bannack State Park
721 Bannack Rd
Dillon, MT 59725

Phone: 406-834-3413
Email: bannackstatepark@mt.gov

Take a Look Around

Enjoy an aerial tour of Bannack State Park

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 lost. Over 50 buildings line Main Street; their historic log and frame structures recall Montana's formative years.

Bannack State Park

Address

721 Bannack Rd
Dillon, MT 59725
Latitude/Longitude: (45.1606846 / -112.994215)

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Park fees

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Important Dates and upcoming events

All Dates and Events

Meet The Park Manager

Dale Carlson

Dale Carlson was born and raised in Edmore North Dakota. He currently manages Bannack, Clark’s Lookout and Beaverhead Rock State Parks, and celebrated his 20-year anniversary with the Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) in April, 2012. Dale has degrees in park and wildlife management, and science education, and has managed numerous parks throughout the state during his two decades with FWP.

CONTACT INFO
Mailing Address:
Bannack State Park
721 Bannack Rd
Dillon, MT 59725

Phone: 406-834-3413
Email: bannackstatepark@mt.gov

Photo of Park Manager, Dale Carlson