council grove state park

Council Grove State Park: Explore Montana

Welcome to Council Grove State Park, a stunning destination nestled in the heart of Montana. This captivating park offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and rich history, making it a must-visit for outdoor enthusiasts. From picturesque nature trails to a wide range of recreational activities, Council Grove State Park has something for everyone.

Key Takeaways:

  • Council Grove State Park is a picturesque destination in Montana, offering both natural beauty and historical significance.
  • Visitors can explore nature trails and engage in various recreational activities, such as birdwatching and fishing.
  • The park is located near Missoula, allowing visitors to explore the city’s attractions and nearby parks.
  • Services and facilities, including picnic areas and toilets, are available to enhance visitors’ experiences.
  • When planning a visit, consider the day-use status, park history, and nearby parks for additional outdoor adventures.

Essential Information about Council Grove State Park

Council Grove State Park

Council Grove State Park is a day-use park located seven miles west of Missoula, Montana. The park offers a range of amenities to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable visit. These include interpretive displays, picnic areas, vault toilets, and ADA accessibility. Visitors can access the park during daylight hours throughout the year.

Montana residents who pay the state parks fee with their annual vehicle registration can enter the park without additional fees. For non-residents, the day-use entrance fee is $8 with a vehicle and $4 as a walk-in, bicycle, or bus passenger. These fees contribute to the preservation and maintenance of the park’s facilities.

Amenities Hours Fees
Interpretive displays Daylight hours throughout the year Montana residents: included with state parks fee
Vehicle entrance fee: $8
Walk-in, bicycle, or bus passenger: $4
Picnic areas
Vault toilets
ADA accessibility

By providing these amenities and establishing reasonable fees, Council Grove State Park aims to create a welcoming environment for visitors to immerse themselves in the natural beauty and history of the park.

Park Highlights at Council Grove State Park

Council Grove State Park

Council Grove State Park offers several outstanding highlights for visitors to enjoy. One of the main attractions is the scenic Clark Fork River, which runs through the park. Visitors can experience the beauty of the river, surrounded by cottonwood and ponderosa pine forests. Another significant highlight is the historical significance of the park, as it is the site of the 1855 Hellgate Treaty between Native American tribes and the U.S. government. The park is also home to a picturesque old-growth ponderosa pine forest and a diverse range of wildlife, including birds, deer, and bears.

Nature’s Beauty: Clark Fork River

The Clark Fork River is the heart of Council Grove State Park, providing a stunning backdrop for outdoor enthusiasts. The river’s gentle flow and crystal-clear waters create a serene environment, perfect for fishing, kayaking, or simply enjoying a peaceful stroll along the banks. The surrounding cottonwood and ponderosa pine forests offer shade and tranquility, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the area.

A Glimpse into History: The Hellgate Treaty

Step back in time and explore the historical significance of Council Grove State Park. The park’s grounds were once the site of the Hellgate Treaty, a pivotal agreement between the U.S. government and Native American tribes. Visitors can learn about the treaty’s impact on the region and gain insight into the cultural heritage of the area through informative displays and interpretive signage.

A Haven for Wildlife: Forest and Wildlife Spotting

Council Grove State Park is a paradise for nature enthusiasts, with its old-growth ponderosa pine forest providing a habitat for a diverse range of wildlife. Birdwatchers can spot various species of birds, including majestic eagles soaring above the treetops. Deer roam freely through the forest, showcasing their grace and beauty. For the lucky observer, glimpses of bears can also be seen, adding to the sense of wonder and adventure that Council Grove State Park offers.

Park Highlights Description
Clark Fork River Experience the scenic beauty of the river and enjoy recreational activities like fishing and kayaking.
The Hellgate Treaty Learn about the historical significance of the park as the site of the 1855 Hellgate Treaty.
Old-Growth Ponderosa Pine Forest Explore the picturesque forest and immerse yourself in nature’s tranquility.
Wildlife Spot various species of birds, deer, and even bears as you wander through the park.

Activities at Council Grove State Park

Council Grove State Park offers a range of activities for visitors of all interests. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, an avid angler, a birdwatcher, or a photography enthusiast, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Bird Watching

If you’re a birdwatching enthusiast, Council Grove State Park is a paradise for you. With its diverse ecosystem, you can spot a wide variety of bird species in the area. Keep an eye out for osprey, bald eagles, and calliope hummingbirds as you explore the park. Don’t forget to bring your binoculars and capture some breathtaking avian moments with your camera!


Fishing is a popular activity at Council Grove State Park, thanks to the presence of the Clark Fork River. Cast your line into the river and try your luck catching trout and other fish species. It’s a great way to unwind and enjoy the tranquility of nature.


Immerse yourself in the beauty of Council Grove State Park by exploring its hiking trails. Meandering through the forest and meadows, these trails offer stunning views and a chance to connect with nature. Lace up your hiking boots, pack some snacks, and embark on a memorable adventure.


For photography enthusiasts, Council Grove State Park provides ample opportunities to capture stunning landscapes and wildlife scenes. From the picturesque Clark Fork River to the old-growth ponderosa pine forest, there’s no shortage of subjects to photograph. Don’t forget your camera and tripod to make the most of your photographic excursion.

Exploring the Area around Council Grove State Park

nature trails

Council Grove State Park is a fantastic starting point for exploring the surrounding area of Missoula, Montana. Located just seven miles west of the city, visitors can easily venture into Missoula to experience its vibrant atmosphere. Home to a variety of attractions, including museums, restaurants, and shops, Missoula offers something for everyone.

If you’re craving more outdoor adventures, there are several nearby parks and nature trails to discover. One great option is Rock Creek, which is known for its excellent fishing and hiking opportunities. The crystal-clear waters of Rock Creek are perfect for casting a line and catching trout. Hiking enthusiasts will also enjoy the scenic trails that wind through the surrounding forests and meadows.

Another nearby outdoor destination is Lolo National Forest, a vast expanse of pristine wilderness. With over two million acres to explore, this national forest offers an array of recreational activities such as camping, hiking, and wildlife viewing. Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature as you traverse its numerous nature trails and take in breathtaking vistas.

Hiking Trails in Lolo National Forest

When visiting Lolo National Forest, be sure to check out the following hiking trails:

  • Meadow Creek Trail: This trail leads you through lush meadows, offering stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
  • Bear Creek Trail: Embark on this trail to discover a hidden gem – a picturesque waterfall nestled within the forest.
  • Spring Gulch Trail: Perfect for a leisurely stroll, this trail takes you past babbling brooks and wildflower-filled meadows.

Lastly, Alberton is another nearby area that nature enthusiasts will appreciate. This small town is surrounded by public lands, providing ample opportunities for outdoor activities. Whether you’re interested in hiking, camping, or simply enjoying a picnic, Alberton has plenty to offer.

So, when you visit Council Grove State Park, make sure to take some time to explore the surrounding area. With Missoula’s attractions and the nearby parks and nature trails, you’ll have endless opportunities to immerse yourself in the beauty of Montana.

Services and Facilities at Council Grove State Park

picnic areas, toilets, drinking water

Council Grove State Park is dedicated to providing visitors with a comfortable and enjoyable outdoor experience. The park offers various services and facilities to enhance your time spent in the natural surroundings. Whether you’re planning a picnic, need restroom facilities, or require drinking water, Council Grove State Park has you covered.

Picnic Areas

One of the highlights of Council Grove State Park is its well-maintained picnic areas. These areas are perfect for families, groups, or individuals looking to enjoy a meal in a peaceful and beautiful setting. Equipped with picnic tables and grills, you can gather with loved ones and savor the scenery while indulging in delicious food. So pack a picnic basket and make the most of these designated areas within the park.


Toilet facilities (vault) are conveniently located throughout Council Grove State Park for visitors’ convenience. These well-maintained toilets provide a clean and sanitary environment for all visitors. So whether you’re exploring the park’s trails or enjoying a picnic, you can rest assured that restroom facilities are readily available.

Drinking Water

Staying hydrated is essential when spending time outdoors, and Council Grove State Park ensures that drinking water is easily accessible. Refill your water bottles at designated drinking water stations located within the park. This way, you can quench your thirst and stay refreshed during your visit.

Facilities Availability
Picnic Areas Available throughout the park with tables and grills
Toilets Conveniently located, well-maintained toilet facilities (vault)
Drinking Water Designated stations to refill water bottles

Park History and Planning Your Visit to Council Grove State Park

When visiting Council Grove State Park, it’s important to appreciate the historical significance of this captivating destination. The park is not just a picturesque natural setting, but it also holds a special place in the past. Council Grove State Park is known as the site of the 1855 Hellgate Treaty, a significant agreement between Native American tribes and the U.S. government. As you explore the park, take a moment to learn about the treaty and its impact on the region through the informational kiosks available.

Planning your visit to Council Grove State Park requires considering a few key factors. First, keep in mind that the park is a day-use only facility, so plan your activities accordingly. Whether you’re interested in birdwatching, fishing, hiking, or simply enjoying a picnic, make sure to allocate enough time during daylight hours to fully experience the park’s offerings. Additionally, familiarize yourself with the available amenities, such as picnic areas, toilets (vault), and drinking water, to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable visit.

For those seeking to extend their outdoor adventures, Council Grove State Park is conveniently located near other parks and nature trails. Explore nearby attractions such as Rock Creek, Lolo National Forest, and Alberton for additional opportunities to connect with nature, camp, and hike in scenic surroundings. These nearby parks complement Council Grove State Park and provide visitors with even more options for exploration and adventure.


Can I camp at Council Grove State Park?

No, Council Grove State Park is a day-use only park and does not offer camping facilities. However, there are several nearby parks, such as Rock Creek and Lolo National Forest, that provide camping opportunities.

What recreational activities are available at Council Grove State Park?

Council Grove State Park offers a variety of recreational activities, including hiking on nature trails, birdwatching, fishing in the Clark Fork River, and boating. Visitors can also enjoy wildlife viewing and photography in the park.

Are there any fees to enter Council Grove State Park?

For Montana residents who pay the state parks fee with their annual vehicle registration, there are no additional fees to enter Council Grove State Park. Non-residents are required to pay a day use entrance fee of $8 with a vehicle or $4 as a walk-in, bicycle, or bus passenger.

Can I bring my own picnic food to Council Grove State Park?

Yes, you are welcome to bring your own picnic food to Council Grove State Park. The park offers picnic areas with tables and grills for visitors to enjoy a meal surrounded by nature.

Are there restroom facilities at Council Grove State Park?

Yes, Council Grove State Park provides toilets (vault) for visitors’ convenience. These facilities are located within the park.

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