Wade and Cliff Lake Area Campgrounds

Cameron, Montana

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The madison Valley stretches about 60 miles north to south and is bordered by the Gravelley Range to the west and the Madison Range to the east. Right down the middle runs a ribbon of world-class, trout-laden river. Much of this outstanding scenery is due to the area’s location along the western edge of the Madison fault line, with the most active section of the fault line lying beneath the waters of Cliff and Wade Lakes. Today the lakes’ waters are calm and serene, but in 1959, aftershocks from the Hebgen Lake earthquake measured between 5.8 and 6.0 on the Richter scale, and Wade Lake campers awoke thinking bears were shaking their trailers. That is until they and their trailers began to bounce three feet off the ground and they watched the lake slosh like a giant bucket of water, tossing fish and debris up onto its banks. The flats begin to roll and the transformation between sagebrush prairie and forest begins. Around the final bend are these mountain lakes, shimmering in the distance.
Best Tent Camping: Montana

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Best Tent Camping: Montana

by Jan and Christina Nesset (Menasha Ridge Press)

The madison Valley stretches about 60 miles north to south and is bordered by the Gravelley Range to the west and the Madison Range to the east. Right down the middle runs a ribbon of world-class, trout-laden river. Much of this outstanding scenery is due to the area’s location along the western edge of the Madison fault line, with the most active section of the fault line lying beneath the waters of Cliff and Wade Lakes.

Today the lakes’ waters are calm and serene, but in 1959, aftershocks from the Hebgen Lake earthquake measured between 5.8 and 6.0 on the Richter scale, and Wade Lake campers awoke thinking bears were shaking their trailers. That is until they and their trailers began to bounce three feet off the ground and they watched the lake slosh like a giant bucket of water, tossing fish and debris up onto its banks. The flats begin to roll and the transformation between sagebrush prairie and forest begins. Around the final bend are these mountain lakes, shimmering in the distance.

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

Activity Type: Campgrounds
Nearby City: Cameron
Campsites: 54 Sites
Season: June-Labor Day only.
Additional Use: Boat Launch, Boating, Fishing, Camping
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Local Contacts: Beaverhead-Deerhead Lodge National Forest. 406-682-4253 or 406-682-7560, www.fs.usda.gov/bdnf
Fees per Night: $15
Facilities: Water spigots, vault toilets, boat launch.
Driving Directions: Directions to Wade and Cliff Lake Area Campgrounds

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Apr 2018