Camping at Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park
Overview of Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park
Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park is Montana's first state park and one of the region's most popular attractions. Located in southeastern Jefferson County between Whitehall and Three Forks, the park is renowned for its spectacular limestone caverns and diverse landscape. These intricate caves, lined with stalactites, stalagmites, columns, and helictites, offer a surreal underground experience.
The park provides a campground with several amenities for those wishing to stay overnight or for several days.
Camping is usually available from May to September, depending on weather conditions.
- The park has a large campground with more than 40 campsites.
- Both tent and RV sites are available, some of which have electrical hookups.
- Sites are equipped with fire rings and tables.
- Drinking water is accessible throughout the campground.
- Restrooms with flush toilets and showers are available for camper convenience.
Reservations and Fees:
- Some sites are reservable in advance, while others are on a first-come, first-serve basis.
- There are fees for camping, which vary depending on the type of site (e.g., standard, electric).
The park also offers facilities for group camping, which is perfect for larger gatherings or organized group outings.
Aside from exploring the caverns, visitors can engage in a variety of activities:
Several trails offer visitors the chance to explore the Montana landscape with different levels of difficulty, including nature walks and more challenging hikes.
Birdwatching and wildlife observation are popular, as the park is home to a variety of bird species and other wildlife.
The nearby rivers and streams provide opportunities for fishing.
The park hosts several events throughout the year, including guided tours, educational programs, and special cave tours.
Cave tours are a highlight of the park and are led by knowledgeable guides who explain the geology and history of the caves.
Age and Physical Requirements:
Guests should be aware that the caves can be cool, and the tours require some level of physical fitness, as there are narrow passages and steep climbs.
Cavern tours are seasonal and have a separate fee in addition to the park entrance fee. Schedules and availability can vary, so it's best to check in advance.
Park Regulations and Tips
- Pets must be on a leash and are not allowed in the caverns.
- Make sure to pack out what you pack in and follow Leave No Trace principles.
- Be prepared for changing weather conditions and bring appropriate clothing, especially for cave tours.
- Campfires are allowed in designated areas, but check for any fire restrictions before your trip.
Contact Information and Directions
Before planning a trip, visitors should check the latest park information, which can be accessed through:
Montana State Parks Website:
The official website provides the most up-to-date information regarding fees, reservations, and park alerts.
For direct questions, the park office can provide detailed information and assist with specific concerns you might have.
The park is situated off Interstate 90 using exit 256 if approaching from the west or exit 274 if coming from the east. Signage will guide you to the park entrance from these exits.