Montana State Parks

The State Parks In Montana Include One Of The Best Preserved Ghost Towns In The West

The Montana State Parks have it all. There are mountains, prairie, rivers, lakes, a ghost town and even an old industrial site. The parks and forests cover over 275,000 acres of this still wild and beautiful state. As well as the state parks in Montana there are some of the most widely visited National Parks in the country. Glacier National Park, Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument and three of the five entrances to Yellowstone National Park are all to be found in Montana.

The name of the state derives from the Spanish word for mountain, so Montana is indeed well named. Granite Peak is the highest point in the state standing 12,807 feet above sea level.

Even the lowest point on the Kootenai River has an elevation of 1,800 feet.

A large portion of western Montana has numerous mountain ranges that make up the Rocky Mountain Chain. One of the largest and best known of these ranges is the Bitterroot Mountains.

Further to the east of the Rockies, in the southern part of Montana is the Beartooth Plateau and this is where Granite Peak is located. The Beartooth is the largest continuous land mass over 10,000 feet high in the continental United States.

St. Mary Lake, Montana

However, the Montana State Parks aren`t just found in the mountains. Over sixty per cent of the state is prairieland, part of the Great Northern Plains. Here there is cattle ranching and wheat farming.

Medicine Rocks State Park

There are also some scenic badlands which are highlighted in some great Montana State Parks such as Medicine Rocks State Park and Makoshika State Park. The land here is ancient and filled with history. Hell Creek State Park, for example, is close to where the complete skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus Rex was discovered.

The state parks in Montana also include many lakes and rivers. The Missouri River, which is formed by the confluence of the Gallatin, Jefferson and Madison Rivers, crosses the central part of Montana. It is around this confluence that the Missouri Headwaters State Park is located. This great river also passes through the famous Missouri Breaks region before it enters the state of North Dakota.

The Upper Breaks On The Missouri River

Montana boasts the largest freshwater lake in the western U.S., this is Flathead Lake and there are five seperate Montana State Parks around this huge expanse of water. In the state there are a large number of man-made lakes created by the damming of rivers, in fact the largest earthern adm in the world is on the Missouri River forming the Fort Peck Reservoir.

Sluice Boxes State Park is a place where visitors can learn about the rich history of mining in the state. Gold was discovered in Montana in 1862 and the state capital city of Helena now stands where the rich gold mining town of Last Chance Gulch once stood.

Silver, copper, lead and coal have all been mined in Montana. Bannack State Park is the site of Montana`s first major gold strike on July 28th 1862. Nowadays the town of Bannack is one of the best preserved ghost towns in the West.

Bannack Ghost Town At Sunset

No mention of Montana would be complete without talking about the Native Americans who lived in the region. Montana was the scene of much warfare as the indigenous peoples fought to keep their ancient territory. Their most famous battle was fought near what is now the present day town of Hardin, Montana. That was the victory over Colonel George Custer and his troops at the Battle Of The Little Bighorn.

Today there are seven Native American reservations located in Montana housing such famous tribes as the Crow, Blackfeet and Northen Cheyenne. Montana State Parks have acknowledged the importance of the Native Americans to the state at such places as Madison Buffalo Jump State Park and the First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park.

The state parks in Montana all come under the control of Montana, Fish, Wildlife and Parks. Here is their website for you to contact if you have any questions about permits, pets, events or if you wish to make a reservation.

This is a list of the State Parks in Montana

  • Ackley Lake State Park
  • Anaconda Smelter Stack State Park
  • Bannack State Park
  • Beaverhead Rock State Park
  • Beavertail Hill State Park
  • Black Sandy State Park
  • Chief Plenty Coups State Park
  • Clarks Lookout State Park
  • Cooney Reservoir State Park
  • Council Grove State Park
  • East Rosebud State Park
  • Elkhorn State Park
  • Flathead Lake State Park
  • Fort Owen State Park
  • Frenxhtown Pond State Park
  • Giant Springs State Park
  • Granite Ghost Town State Park
  • Greycliff Prairie Dog State Park
  • Hell Creek State Park
  • Lake Elmo State Park
  • Lake Mary Ronan State Park
  • Les Mason State Park
  • Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park
  • Logan State Park
  • Lone Pine State Park
  • Lost Creek State Park
  • Madison Buffalo Jump State Park
  • Makoshika State Park
  • Marias River State Park
  • Medicine Rocks State Park
  • Missouri Headwaters State Park
  • North Shore State Park
  • Painted Rocks State Park
  • Parker Homestead State Park
  • Pictograph Cave State Park
  • Pirogue Island Sate Park
  • Placid Lake State Park
  • Rosebud Battlefield State Park
  • Salmon Lake State Park
  • Sluice Boxes State Park
  • Smith River State Park
  • Spring Meadow Lake State Park
  • Thompson Falls State Park
  • Tongue River Reservoir State Park
  • Tower Rock State Park
  • Travelers` Rest State Park
  • Ulm Pishkun State Park
  • Wayfarers State Park
  • West Shore State
  • Whitefish Lake State Park
  • Wild Horse Island State Park
  • Yellow Bay State Park

montana county map

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