Camping in the Gallatin National Forest is a diverse and rewarding
experience. There are a total of sixty three drive-in campgrounds
in the Gallatin National Forest. This site so far covers eleven
of the best and most popular, including the world famous "Gallatin
Canyon campground group" which is visited by tens of thousands
of people every year. The camping choices in the Gallatin allow
you to pitch a tent or park your camper in a wide variety of environments.
You also won't have to worry about not getting a site as there is
almost always another campground not too far down the road. On top
of that, dispersed camping is allowed on the forest. I can tell
you from personal experience that the Gallatin is one of the best
camping locations in the United States. It offers a spectacular,
yet cozy feeling. The scenery, hiking, fishing and just "hanging
out around camp" are at their best in this Montana national
Click on the campgrounds below to be taken to their information
Creek Flat Campground
Reservations for some campgrounds can be
made at: ll 1-877-444-6777
Camping in the Gallatin National Forest General Rules:
1. Camping is set to sixteen days maximum in any one location
2. Camping with stock is not permitted in most developed campgrounds,
but there are exceptions.
3. Dispersed campers must be at least 1/4 mile from developed
campgrounds and roadways
4. The Gallatin National Forest wants you to dispose of garbage
properly. Please do not litter, and please keep dish or bath water
far away from water sources.
5. Please pay attention to the fire restrictions
posted on the campground boards and on forest routes. I can't
tell you how many times I've seen people build huge fires during
drought periods when no fires were permitted. When this forest
gets dry, it can light up like a torch. Fines
for breaking the fire rules are costly.
This is rugged country! Make sure you have
the proper equipment before camping. Store all food in bear proof
containers or hang it form a tree. Make sure you do not keep food
in your tent. This is also grizzly and black bear country, so
please follow all bear precautions to the "T". While
camping the forest in the fall of 2009, I had at least two bears
enter camp in the middle of the night. Had I not followed proper
food storage recommendations, things might not have gone as smoothly.
I have also had a bear break into my vehicle while in the Gallatin
National Forest. The car was locked but the animal forced its
way inside, eventually eating some beef jerky and chips. The rental
car company was curious about the giant paw print on the center
console and the bear hair on the seating......
An important thing to remember about camping
in the Gallatin National Forest is that many of the campgrounds
are at least a half hour from any kind of store. Make sure when
you head to your site that you have the food and gear you need.
Make a pre-camping list and make sure you get your essentials.
As an example, some of the drive-in campgrounds on the forest
are two hours from the nearest store or gas station. This is not
an exaggeration. Always fill your vehicle with gas before heading
down the long country roads and ultimately the long forest roads.
By diligently preparing beforehand, you can spend more time enjoying
the forest rather than carting back and forth to town, chewing
up your gas and time. Things like sunblock, batteries for flashlights,
fishing gear and items needed for cooking are usually the things
Being able to drive into a
beautiful national forest and pitch your tent next to a rambling
stream is a time honored tradition, and this is easily one of
the best places you could ever hope to do it. Classic Montana
mountain country you won't soon forget.
Image note: I took this last year during the berry season of September
in the eastern half of the forest near the Absaroka-Beartooth
Wilderness. This was a good sized cinnamon phase black bear that
was chasing another bear in the area. It had little interest in
the fresh berries that were growing on the side of the road. It
paused to observe me, then slowly walked off into the woods.
NEW! Gallatin National Forest campground
tours are now available! Our universal files work on any iPod
or computer. Those interested in less crowded campgrounds near
Yellowstone will want to view this pack. Click the iPod to order.
Parkcamper: Northern Rocky
Mountains Edition features
the campgrounds of Glacier,
Yellowstone, Grand Teton,
Badlands and Theodore
Roosevelt National Parks.
Click the DVD to order!