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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.

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!  Click here for a list of Makoshika's 2023 scheduled program activities.

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.

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.

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.




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:


  • 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


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.


  • Open daily 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
  • Water available year round


  • Open year round

Visitor Center

Summer Hours

  • May 1 – September 30
  • Open daily 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Winter Hours

  • October 1 - April 30
  • Open Wednesday - Sunday, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • Closed all federal and state holidays except Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day.

Park Rules


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.


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




  • 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

Riley Bell, Park Manager

Makoshika State Park
PO Box 1242
Glendive, MT 59330

Phone: 406-377-6256


Campsite & Facility 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.

Makoshika State Park


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

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Park map

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Park fees

Learn about fees and regulations for all Montana State Parks

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Meet The Park Manager

Riley Bell

Mailing Address:

Makoshika State Park
PO Box 1242
Glendive, MT 59330

Phone: 406-377-6256

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