"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Free Camping near Helena, MT

Helena, MT
Riverside Campground

We left the cold windy weather of Glacier, MT heading south to spend some time in Utah and Arizona before returning to CA for the holidays.  We quickly left behind the mountains and drove through the rolling somewhat flat areas of Montana, to spend a few days in Helena at a free campground that Lee & Trace of Camper Chronicles enjoyed before our time together at Glacier.

Between Great Falls and Helena were these beautiful rocky mountains running along the Missouri River.  Very pretty.  We did pass a sign warning us to be aware of a wanted murder suspect that was hiding in the area.  That was a first.  They did catch him the next day.

Riverside Campground on Canyon Ferry Reservoir is located about 20 miles to the east of Helena on the north side of the dam of Canyon Ferry.  It is run by the Bureau of Reclamation.  There are a few campgrounds on this lake, but this one is FREE.

Here is our campsite #20.

There are less than 30 sites and many are back-ins and pull-throughs right along the water.  This park is clean, has a boat launch, pit toilets and garbage.  No hookups, but FREE.  There are water spigots, grills and campfire rings.  Spacing is very nice.  We were really looking forward to campfires again! 

There was also a nice bike/walking path along the water.

Dam to the south.

Steve working outside by the campfire.  It's nice to have a portable office!

The dam at night.

A view of the campground looking north, from the dam.  That's our Montana, second from the right.

What an amazing sunset as we settled in for the week.

We just lounged and paddled the kayak around while we were here and relaxed.

The deer were all along the shoreline.

What a peaceful time.


  1. What a gorgeous site...and you sure can't beat the price!

  2. Very nice area. I hope remember it.

  3. That third picture is stunning, Deb. Man, Trace and Lee really found a beautiful place!

    1. That picture was just outside of Great Falls. I kept thinking, wow, that would be a great place for a state park!

  4. We were on that lake last summer. We stayed at Hellsgate. I missed that one.

  5. So glad you had a good time there. It was one of our all time favorites!!

  6. I almost missed this post :-( What a gorgeous place, love the reflections on the water.

  7. Anyone know if this is still a free campground? Thinking about heading that way now.

    1. No it is not free. I've been back and it's $20 or $25 I think. Maybe it was free last time because it was winter rates?


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