Camping Fun in Helena National Forest, Montana

By in Life and Time Management on 11 August 2010

Helena National Forest is a beautiful site in the mountains of Montana. If you are looking for a place to camp that has spectacular views, this national forest in west central Montana holds great promise.

Helena is a site of early human activity; 8000 years ago, humans were residing in this breathtaking place. There are, however, areas of this wilderness yet to be discovered. It is this pristine, unknown nature that attracts hikers and campers of all sorts. It beckons the adventurous hiker and family RV campers alike!

Helena National Forest spans the continental divide, making it an area of geographical wonder. Helena and the surrounding area have a total of eighteen campgrounds. Here are some that are purported to be among the best.

1. Copper Creek is tucked among an abundance of spruce trees. It is a campground well suited to visitors who like to hike and fish. There is a significant bear population, so practice appropriate precautions such as packing food in airtight containers and not leaving it in your tent. Copper Creek also offers canoeing and fishing on Snowbank Lake.

2. Aspen Grove has a variety of ancient trees, deciduous and evergreen, making it a good choice for bird watchers. There is no hiking at this site, but fishing abounds. Aspen Grove is also a favorite among RV campers.

3. Vigilante is a campsite suitable for experienced hikers. It is one of the least developed areas, making it more of a wilderness experience. The hiking trails are challenging in this wild spot. It is located along Trout Creek, and you have to take out what you take in – in other words, there are no facilities for trash and rubbish. Fishing is available at Vigilante as well.

4. Cromwell-Dixon is, in contrast, one of the most developed campsites in the area. It has lovely views of valleys and meadows, and is good for families and individuals alike. Its facilities are RV-friendly too. There is no hiking or fishing at Cromwell-Dixon.

An area of interest in Helena National Park is the Gates of the Mountains. The Gates are an opening in a massive limestone gorge. You can take a boat tour to see the gates up close. The huge cliffs contain marine fossils many millions of years old. Mountain goats and bighorn sheep can often be spotted among the cliffs.

If you’d like more information on this beautiful area, you can visit the US Forest Service’s website at http://www.fs.fed.us/r1/helena/.

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