Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks
Montana State Parks Logo

play_top_photo play_top_photo

Celebrating 80 Years

Celebrating 80 Years

Celebrate Montana State Parks’ anniversary with "80 Things to Discover" – a mix of fun and unique experiences you can find at your state parks.

Makoshika State Park

First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park

Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park

Celebrating 80 Years

80 Things to Discover

Be sure to check back often and watch the list grow throughout the year.

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to discover other exciting events and breathtaking sights at Montana State Parks.

  1. Bannack Skating Pond
  2. National Winter Trails Day
  3. Winter Storytelling
  4. Ice Fishing
  5. Float the Smith River
  6. Winter Wildlife Tracking
  7. Explore Native American Culture
  8. Become a Camp Host
  9. Plan a Field Trip
  10. Longest & Shortest Rivers
  11. Coming soon!

Check out the Latest Discoveries

Roe River at Giant Springs State Park.

Visit the longest river and the shortest river in the same place, Giant Springs State Park!

This park is home to the Missouri River, the longest river in North America, and the Roe River, the shortest river in the world.

Learn more about the Roe River at NBC Montana


Young boy reading a Pictograph Cave State Park interpretive sign.

#9 Plan a Field Trip
Teachers, did you know your state parks are great places to visit on school field trips? Kids can explore a variety of topics from Native culture and Montana history to geology and wildlife biology.

More information about field trips.


Photo of camp hosts at Wayfarers, Flathead Lake State Park

#8 Become a Camp Host!
Park Hosts serve as liaisons between park users and park staff. Hosts camp among other campers, where campgrounds are provided, in order to provide a personal touch and to accommodate the needs of park visitors.

We have camp hosts at:

Flathead Lake State Park 
Beavertail Hill State Park 
Frenchtown Pond State Park 
Lost Creek State Park 
Missouri Headwaters State Park 
Cooney State Park 
Black Sandy State Park 
Smith River State Park (Eden Bridge)
Chief Plenty Coups State Park 
Brush Lake State Park 
Tongue River State Park 
Medicine Rocks State Park

Volunteer Campground Host Openings (Campground Host Openings 236 KB)

For more information visit:

Photo of an angler fishing from a raft on the Smith River.

#5 Float the Smith River: Experience one of Montana's most iconic rivers with a multi-day float trip through Smith River State Park. But before you can float the Smith, you must apply for a permit. Permits are awarded by a lottery and applications must be submitted by midnight on February 14, 2019.

Miss the application deadline or just feeling lucky? Buy a chance at the Super Permit where one lucky winner gets to pick the float date of their choice. Super Permit chances are $5 each and available through March 14, 2019.

Applications and Super Permit chances are available at:

Photo of a fishing rod and a perch lying on the ice next to an ice fishing hole.

#4 of Grab your poles and ice auger and try your luck ice fishing at one of your many lake-based state parks.

In Eastern Montana, there was a recent catch of a 17 lb. Lake trout at Hell Creek State Park, and Tongue River State Park offers perch, crappie, Northern pike and walleye. Don't forget to stop by Tongue River Marina for minnows.

In Billings at Lake Elmo State Park, hook into some crappie, perch or trout. Cooney State Park has fantastic fishing for rainbow, walleye and ling.

In the Helena area, visit Spring Meadow Lake State Park for rainbow and Cutthroat trout, perch and large-mouth bass or Black Sandy State Park for rainbows, walleye, perch and ling.

In Northwestern Montana, Lake Mary Ronan State Park offers salmon and increasingly good perch opportunities. Logan and Thompson Chain of Lakes State Parks offers opportunities for Kokanee, Lake trout, Northerns, and perch.

Before you head out, be safe and check the current ice conditions!

Winter Storytelling graphic

#3 Winter Storytelling - Celebrate the Salish tradition of telling stories during the long, dark winter with the Winter Storytelling Series at Travelers' Rest State Park in Lolo. Saturdays during January/February, the park hosts a diverse array of presenters who share stories through oral traditions, music, history, memoir and more. These presentations are made possible with support from Travelers’ Rest Preservation & Heritage Association (TRPHA). TRPHA supports the park through outreach, advocacy, and educational experiences that link the past to the future. Presentations begin at 11am and are $5 per person or free with a TRPHA membership.

If you like the Winter Storytelling series or are a fan of Travelers' Rest State Park, consider supporting TRPHA through a membership or by attending the annual TRPHA Auction on March 1. Details

#2 of 80 Things to Discover at Montana State Parks is National Winter Trails Day on January 19. This annual event at Lone Pine State Park celebrates winter outdoor recreation with guided, interpretive hikes. Snowshoes are available at the park. Event details

Photo of Bannack State Park skating pond

#1 of 80 Things to Discover at Montana State Parks is the Bannack Skating Pond. Grab your skates or a loaner pair from the park and hit the ice for a brisk lap or a pick-up game of hockey. Warming fire and concessions available. The skating pond is open on weekends from 10am to 4pm while weather allows. Call 406-834-3413 for current ice conditions.

No time to drive to Bannack? Look for wild ice at any of our water-based parks:

  • Beginning at 10:00 am
  • navigation button
  • navigation button
  • News
  • Events
  • Volunteer
  • button linking to public notices
  • Learn with us
  • Protect and Respect
  • fee button
  • For Kids
  • Your Safety
  • Americorps
  • Link to Recreation Programs
  • Parks & Recreation Board button
  • Partners
  • image of nonresident park entrance pass and link to online licensing service
  • navigation button
  • Purchase our license plate
  • image and link to purchase a license plate
Web Template Design MT Office of Tourism