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Milltown State Park

Rivers, trails and history converge at Montana's newest state park.

About the Park

Abundant outdoor opportunities and a rich cultural heritage converge at the newly restored confluence of the Clark Fork and Blackfoot Rivers at the heart of the Milltown State Park.

The site of a federal Superfund dam removal and river restoration project, Milltown State Park features nearly 635 acres of terrain and several miles of river frontage.  It is a small but diverse landscape, ranging from restored river bottoms and mature cottonwood stands to a pine forested bluff above the confluence and dramatic rock cliffs over the Blackfoot River.

There are multiple entrances to the park. The Milltown State Park Overlook offers a panoramic view of the rivers and features interpretive displays and picnic tables. There are three miles of hiking trails that lead from the Overlook down to the Clark Fork River and its floodplain trails. Across the river at the Confluence and Gateway areas, there are two park entrances connected by an accessible paved trail along the lower Blackfoot River. The Confluence Area’s main attractions are the riverfront trails and the interpretive plaza. In July and August, the Confluence and Gateway Areas serve as river access for the renowned “tube hatch” of thousands of floaters and paddlers escaping Missoula’s summer heat.

Beyond recreational pursuits, the park is a place for historical exploration along riverfront trails. Among the many stories from the deep past are the Glacial Lake Missoula floods that shaped the landscape thousands of years ago. The Salish and Kalispel know the confluence as the place of bull trout and consider it an important part of their ancient, ancestral home to this day. In 19th century history, Meriwether Lewis made a Fourth of July passage through the confluence and decades later John Mullan and his road builders spent a harsh winter there. Beginning in the 1880s, with the rise of the timber industry, the rivers were dammed to produce power for the mills and communities but at great consequence.

The hopeful story of the Milltown Dam removal and rivers' return presents an educational opportunity to explore the nation’s changing relationship to the landscape as well as the science behind river restoration and ecology. Thousands of students, from grade school to grad school, have done so in the park’s short history. For a deeper dive, visit the story map, A Confluence of Stories, that highlights the natural and cultural history at Milltown State Park.

As Montana’s newest state park, Milltown is still a work-in-progress.  Additional land along the Clark Fork was acquired in 2020 and a new trailhead and trail at the historic Bandmann Flats property is slated for 2021. Whether you go to play or to learn, there’s a lot to do at Milltown State Park and more yet to come.

 

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Activities

  • Bird Watching
  • Exhibit
  • Fishing
  • Heritage
  • Hiking
  • History
  • Lewis And Clark
  • Nature Tours
  • Photography
  • Picnicking
  • River Overlooks
  • Wildlife Viewing

Amenities

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

  • ADA Accessible
  • Interpretive Display
  • Parking
  • Pets Allowed
  • Toilets (Vault)
  • Trails

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 all year. Day Use only. No Camping.
 
Confluence Area gate hours:
October 16 through April 30:  9:00 a.m. – 5:00 pm.

May 1 through August 31: 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

September 1 through October 15: 9:00 a.m. – 7 p.m.
 
Gateway & Overlook Area hours:
Sunrise to sunset.

Park Rules

Volunteer

Contact the park manager for open volunteer positions at Milltown 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

 

* 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.

Alerts & Closures

None

Contact Information

Mailing Address:
Milltown State Park
c/o FWP Region 2 Headquarters
3201 Spurgin Rd.
Missoula, MT 59804

Phone: (406) 542-5533
Email: mkustudia@mt.gov

The Opening of Milltown State Park

History and partnerships behind the park

The site of a federal Superfund dam removal and river restoration project, Milltown State Park features nearly 635 acres of terrain and several miles of river frontage.  It is a small but diverse landscape, ranging from restored river bottoms and mature cottonwood stands to a pine forested bluff above the confluence and dramatic rock cliffs over the Blackfoot River.

Milltown State Park

Address

1353 Deer Creek Rd.Missoula, MT
Latitude/Longitude:
(46.871289 / -113.898157 )

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Park map

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Park fees

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Meet The Park Manager

Michael Kustudia

Michael Kustudia manages Milltown, Council Grove, Frenchtown Pond and Fish Creek State Parks. A graduate of the University of Montana, he’s worked in community journalism, nonprofit management, ecological restoration, and outdoor recreation. He served in the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic and the Philippines. Born in Germany and raised in California, Michael has spent his adult life in western Montana, where his family roots date back to the early 1880s.

CONTACT INFO
Mailing Address:
FWP Region 2 Headquarters
3201 Spurgin Rd
Missoula, MT 59804

Phone: 406-542-5500
Email: mkustudia@mt.gov

Photo of Park Manager, Michael Kustudia