Custer National Forest
woody campground with small boulders and pine needles
East Rosebud Campground
Camping | Lodging | Fees | Fishing | Wildlife | Boating | Weather | Hiking

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The Custer National Forest is one of the most spectacular in the U.S., and East Rosebud campground sits right in the heart of it on the Beartooth front. The trick is that East Rosebud is not easy to get to. The closest real towns are Columbus, Montana(40 miles north) and Red Lodge, Montana(30.79 miles to the east). Much of this drive is along a very narrow and bouncy dirt road. Make sure you have a spare tire. In fact, It may be prudent to have two if you plan to drive a lot in this area on the forest roads. The campground itself is quite small, with 14 available sites. Many of the sites have a cozy feel and privacy is just OK. The real key to this campground is the great views and the subalpine ambiance that permeates the area. Also, East Rosebud Lake is right near the campground offering boating and fishing in a classic Montana mountain setting. This area of the Custer National forest is very rugged, with tall rock cliffs looming out of East Rosebud Lake.

Many hikers use this area as a day hike base camp for the trails that head off into the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness such as the East Rosebud Trail and the Red Lodge Creek Trail. The scenery here really is something else. One thing you may notice however is the cluster of vacation homes on the northeast shore of East Rosebud Lake which for some may take away from the experience. That said, the lake is still a great place to spend some time and the campground is isolated enough from the vacation homes to offer a sense of privacy. Also, utilizing the day hikes in the area will quickly put you into the wilderness. Sylvan Lake and Crow Lake are about six miles up on the East Rosebud Trail. Note that the area was hit by a fire. This does not detract from the natural beauty.

East Rosebud campground facts:

Video Tour available: No
Open: Varies based on snow, from late May to early September
Sites: 14
Laundry: No
Showers: No
Dump Station: No
Store: No(30.7 miles east to Red Lodge on highway 78)
Fee: $9 max length of stay 10 days
Ranger District: Beartooth
RV: 23x 31
Handicapped Accessible: Toilets
Toilets: Yes(vault) | Tables: Yes | Fire rings: Yes
Water: 1 spigot
Elevation: 6,356 feet
Fishing: Yes (East Rosebud Lake, East Rosebud River - brook trout, rainbow trout)
Generator: Yes
Gas: No (30.7 miles east to Red Lodge on highway 78)
Repairs: No (30.7 miles east to Red Lodge on highway 78)

small meadow with small aspen in middle and pine trees in background

Image notes: photos are directly from East Rosebud Campground in the Custer National Forest.

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