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Fort Owen State Park

Visit the site of many "firsts" in Montana history, including home to Montana's first Catholic Church.

About the Park

* Portions of Fort Owen State Park will be closed periodically this spring and early summer while preservation work to stabilize a historic adobe wall continues. The work will be done in phases, and only portions of the park will be closed at any given time. Rooms inside the east barracks and the eastern park border will be closed periodically from now through early summer.


Fort Owen State Park is the site of many "firsts" in Montana history and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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 was Montana's first sawmill, first grist mill, first agricultural 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 the growing number of immigrants.

Period furnishings and artifacts are displayed in the restored rooms of the east barracks. Take your time to browse the interpretive signs and exhibits that detail the state park's history.

Fort Owen State Park is 1.9 acres in size and sits at an elevation of 3,398 feet.

Alerts & Closures

Restrictions and Closures

See a current list of Restrictions and Closures on State Parks and other FWP lands that may be affected by floods, fire, drought or major maintenance activities.


  • Cultural
  • Exhibit
  • Heritage
  • History
  • Photography
  • Picnicking


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

  • ADA Accessible
  • Interpretive Display
  • Listed on the National Register of Historic Places
  • Pack In/Pack Out
  • Parking
  • Pets Allowed
  • Picnic Table
  • Toilets (Vault)

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.


March 1 - October 31:   9 a.m. - 6 p.m. daily

November 1 - February 28:  Closed for the winter

Park Rules


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

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


Montana Residents

  • 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.



  • 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

Contact Information

Mailing Address:
Fort Owen State Park
PO Box 995
Lolo, MT 59847

Phone: 406-273-4253
(Located at Travelers' Rest State Park - Mention you are referencing Fort Owen State Park)


Recreate Responsibly

Tips to stay safe while getting outdoors

To keep our state parks safe and accessible to all, make sure you know before you go, practice physical distancing, plan ahead, play it safe, explore locally, leave no trace, respect wildlife, and do your part to build an inclusive outdoors. 

Visit the Recreate Responsibly page for more information 

Fort Owen State Park


99 Fort Owen Ranch Rd.
Stevensville, MT 59870
(46.51948 / -114.09705)

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Park map

View the park map to learn more about amenities, parking and camping details

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Park fees

Learn about fees and regulations for all Montana State Parks

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Meet The Park Manager

Ben Dickinson

Benjamin Dickinson began his career with Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks in 2013 as a Conservation Aid on the Alberton Gorge white water recreation corridor. In 2014, he became a seasonal Park Ranger for Missoula, MT-based state parks, receiving full-time employment in 2019. Ben received his B.S. in Parks Tourism and Recreation Management from the University of Montana in Missoula. Originally from Spokane, Washington, the outdoors have always been a part of Ben's life. Working with people in an outdoor setting has always been a passion, and he is excited to work in the Bitterroot Valley with its cultural and environmental resources.

Mailing Address:
PO Box 995
Lolo, MT 59847

Phone: 406-273-4253

Photo of Park Manager Ben Dickinson