Crystal Lake Campground

Lewistown, Montana

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1 Review
4 out of 5
Crystal Lake is different from most high mountain lakes. It’s very shallow, about 13 feet deep in the spring after the mountain snowmelt, and by the end of the summer it may dwindle to only 5 feet. The lake’s water gradually seeps out through its porous limestone bottom until it is almost nonexistent, and then the snowmelt begins again. As a result, the trout found here are restocked annually, since they can’t survive the thick ice cover and lack of oxygen in the winter. The lake is perfect for canoes and float tubes and attracts family groups. The range lives up to its name, with peaks that top out above 8,000 feet and are usually snowcapped well into July. The Big Snowies are often called a laboratory range, due to continued geological study of the formation’s 400-million-year history and wealth of visible fossils. Hikers and campers may come across fossils or notice the sedimentary aspects, but their appreciation is generally for the recreational aspects of this distinctive island in the midst of the prairies.
Best Tent Camping: Montana

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Best Tent Camping: Montana

by Jan and Christina Nesset (Menasha Ridge Press)

Crystal Lake is different from most high mountain lakes. It’s very shallow, about 13 feet deep in the spring after the mountain snowmelt, and by the end of the summer it may dwindle to only 5 feet. The lake’s water gradually seeps out through its porous limestone bottom until it is almost nonexistent, and then the snowmelt begins again. As a result, the trout found here are restocked annually, since they can’t survive the thick ice cover and lack of oxygen in the winter. The lake is perfect for canoes and float tubes and attracts family groups.

The range lives up to its name, with peaks that top out above 8,000 feet and are usually snowcapped well into July. The Big Snowies are often called a laboratory range, due to continued geological study of the formation’s 400-million-year history and wealth of visible fossils. Hikers and campers may come across fossils or notice the sedimentary aspects, but their appreciation is generally for the recreational aspects of this distinctive island in the midst of the prairies.

© 2017 Jan and Christina Nesset/Menasha Ridge Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Campgrounds
Nearby City: Lewistown
Campsites: 28 Sites
Season: Mid-June-September, depending on the weather
Additional Use: Boat Launch, Boating, Hiking, Camping
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Local Contacts: Lewis and Clark National Forest. 406-566-2292, www.fs.usda.gov/helena
Fees per Night: $10
Facilities: Water spigots, vault toilets, boat launch.
Driving Directions: Directions to Crystal Lake Campground

Recent Trail Reviews

7/4/2008
0

This is a very nice campground with easy access. The sites are comfotable and neat while maintaining a woodsy feel. Water sources and rest rooms are well located and trail heads clearly marked. The lake is down a short pathway and is spectacular. Easy put in for tubes, canoes, etc. The shore line loop is a 1.7 mi trail and is well groomed and a easy stroll. The Grandview Point trail head can be accessed from the shore loop and will take you up 3 miles of switchbacks to the overlook at 7040ft. Take plenty of water but the view is well worth the climb.



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Apr 2018