Visit Montana State Parks and enjoy hiking, camping, fishing, swimming, boating and more. Basic outdoor knowledge, skills and awareness will help you and your family stay safe on your next adventure.
Your visit to a Montana State Park should be enjoyable and safe. Our parks are natural environments that require alertness, planning and respect for the environment.
Our public safety program promotes responsible stewardship of state park lands and resources in a manner that minimizes social and resource impacts and provides safe and family friendly park experiences.
Read more about our public safety program and tips to help keep you and your family safe in Montana's great outdoors.
Be prepared for emergencies. Bring a cell phone for use during emergencies and learn where emergency phones and help are located in the park.
Be weather wise
Get a weather report for the area, wear the proper clothes and bring the proper equipment. Bring additional clothing for unexpected weather.
Avoid overexertion. Heat and wind may be tiring and may cause dehydration.
Do not feed or approach wildlife. Do not leave food or garbage items lying around your camp, this could attract unwanted wildlife visitors.
Swimming and water activities
Watch out for Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) in Montana waters. Report HABs.
Learn to swim; it's never too late!
Wear a properly fitted personal flotation device when in or near the water.
Distances across rivers or coves are always farther than they appear!
Dangerous currents and sharp drop-offs may not be visible.
Swim with a buddy; never swim alone.
Never dive head-first into a lake or river.
Watch your children around water. Children should remain under close supervision at all times.
Children should wear personal flotation devices when playing in or near water.
Be sure your boat is properly registered and equipped with safety devices.
Unfamiliar waters may be hazardous; exercise caution.
When on or near the water, wear a properly fitted personal floatation device.
Be alert for submerged obstacles and floating debris on lakes and sweepers, strainers and log jams on rivers.
Stay on designated trails. Steep drop-offs, poisonous plants, rattlesnakes and unstable footing may exist beyond the trail.
Get a park map before hiking park trails.
Dress properly and carry the proper equipment.
Do not hike alone. hike with a partner or group.
Stay hydrated and carry adequate water.
Montana State Parks initiated an enhanced public safety initiative in 2010 as a means of improving the integration of public safety and emergency response into state park operations.
The program includes five new State Park Warden positions who serve as commissioned peace officers in the state of Montana.
The Montana State Parks public safety program provides a proactive and engaged uniformed presence that promotes safe outdoor recreation practices and compliance with park rules and regulations through education and outreach with park visitors.
Please contact a Park Warden or other park staff to report accidents, injuries, safety hazards, or other incidents that affect your safety, satisfaction, and enjoyment when exploring a Montana State Park.