Makoshika State Park Campgrounds

Glendive, Montana

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The Lakota Sioux called this the “Land of Bad Spirits.” Mushroom-shaped cap rocks, flattopped buttes, spires pointing skyward, razorsharp hogbacks, and fluted hillsides combine to create a land of curious formations shaped by wind and water. But wait a minute, you think, as you drive through the Glendive neighborhood that borders the park entrance, this looks like typical, middle-of-nowhere, safe and friendly small-town America. Where is the dramatic landscape of “bad spirits,” and what’s with those dinosaur tracks on the street? When does the gigantic monster come plodding along to destroy the innocent townies? Even after you enter the park and arrive at the visitor center, our description will seem more fiction than fact, but just keep driving. A stop at the center will give you an overall view of the park and its history, taking you on a multimillion-year journey. Tenters will want to bypass the 16-unit lower campground and continue another 1.5 miles up the paved road to Pine on Rocks. Take your time while driving and don’t be fooled: this road is steep (a 15-percent grade in some sections), and the switchbacks force a slow speed.
Best Tent Camping: Montana

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Best Tent Camping: Montana

by Jan and Christina Nesset (Menasha Ridge Press)

The Lakota Sioux called this the “Land of Bad Spirits.” Mushroom-shaped cap rocks, flattopped buttes, spires pointing skyward, razorsharp hogbacks, and fluted hillsides combine to create a land of curious formations shaped by wind and water. But wait a minute, you think, as you drive through the Glendive neighborhood that borders the park entrance, this looks like typical, middle-of-nowhere, safe and friendly small-town America. Where is the dramatic landscape of “bad spirits,” and what’s with those dinosaur tracks on the street? When does the gigantic monster come plodding along to destroy the innocent townies?

Even after you enter the park and arrive at the visitor center, our description will seem more fiction than fact, but just keep driving. A stop at the center will give you an overall view of the park and its history, taking you on a multimillion-year journey. Tenters will want to bypass the 16-unit lower campground and continue another 1.5 miles up the paved road to Pine on Rocks. Take your time while driving and don’t be fooled: this road is steep (a 15-percent grade in some sections), and the switchbacks force a slow speed.

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

Activity Type: Campgrounds
Nearby City: Glendive
Campsites: 24 Sites
Season: May-September full services; no water rest of the year
Additional Use: Hiking, Camping
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Local Contacts: Makoshika State Parks. 406-377-6256 or 406-234-0900, stateparks.mt.gov/makoshika; reservations: reserveamerica.com
Fees per Night: $12 rustic resident, $18 standard resident, $28 nonresident; $6/extra nonresident vehicle
Facilities: Water spigot at visitor center only, vault toilets, interpretive center, nature trails, scenic drive, amphitheater, disc golf course.
Driving Directions: Directions to Makoshika State Park Campgrounds

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Apr 2018