State Parks Bozeman MT

7 State Parks Near Bozeman MT: Explore Montana’s Natural Beauty

Bozeman, Montana, is a paradise for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Surrounded by stunning natural landscapes, this charming city offers easy access to several state parks that showcase the beauty of Montana. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a chance to connect with nature, these state parks near Bozeman are sure to exceed your expectations.

From hiking through scenic nature trails to camping under the starry sky, each state park offers a unique experience that will leave you in awe. Get ready to explore the wonders of Montana’s wilderness and embark on unforgettable outdoor adventures in Bozeman and its surrounding areas.

Key Takeaways:

  • Bozeman, Montana, is a gateway to several state parks that offer diverse outdoor activities.
  • These state parks near Bozeman are perfect for hiking, camping, wildlife viewing, and more.
  • Explore the rugged beauty of Montana’s landscapes and immerse yourself in nature.
  • From family-friendly parks to historical sites, there’s something for everyone in Bozeman.
  • Plan your adventure and discover the best of Montana’s state parks near Bozeman.

Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park

Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park, located 41 miles west of Bozeman in Whitehall, Montana, is a must-visit destination for nature and adventure lovers. This state park is famous for its breathtaking limestone caverns, offering a unique underground experience like no other.

Guided cave tours at Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park allow visitors to explore the fascinating underground world and marvel at the stunning rock formations, stalactites, and stalagmites. These guided tours offer informative insights into the geological history and natural wonders of the caves, making it an educational and awe-inspiring experience for all.

Aside from the caves, the park also boasts a network of scenic hiking and biking trails. Adventure seekers can embark on these trails, which provide breathtaking views of the Jefferson River Canyon and the surrounding landscapes. Whether you’re a novice hiker or an experienced outdoors enthusiast, Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park offers trails suitable for all skill levels.

If you want to fully immerse yourself in nature, the park offers camping facilities that allow you to enjoy the serene beauty of the surrounding area. Spend a night under the starry Montana sky and wake up to the peaceful sounds of nature.

“Exploring the Lewis and Clark Caverns was like stepping into another world. The intricate formations and the natural beauty of the caves are simply mesmerizing.” – Visitor to Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park

Hiking Trails in Whitehall, Montana

Whitehall, a charming town near Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park, is known for its incredible hiking opportunities. Here are some of the popular hiking trails in the area:

  • Jefferson River Canyon Trail: This scenic trail follows the captivating Jefferson River and offers stunning canyon views.
  • Mansfield Creek Trail: Take a leisurely hike along this trail and discover the beauty of Mansfield Creek, complete with lush vegetation and peaceful surroundings.
  • Whitehall Overlook Trail: This trail rewards hikers with panoramic views of Whitehall and the surrounding landscapes.

Guided Cave Tours

Tour Duration Availability Price
1 Hour May – September $12 per person
2 Hours June – August $18 per person
4 Hours July – August $24 per person

These tours offer an unforgettable adventure deep into the heart of the caverns, providing a fascinating glimpse into the natural wonders that lie beneath the surface.

Madison Buffalo Jump State Park

Madison Buffalo Jump State Park, located 32 miles northwest of Bozeman near Three Forks, Montana, is a captivating destination steeped in Native American history. This park was once a significant buffalo jump site, where Native Americans skillfully orchestrated the stampeding of bison herds off a cliff, ensuring sustenance for their communities.

To this day, visitors can embark on an enlightening hike to the top of the cliff and witness interpretive displays that shed light on the fascinating hunting techniques employed by the indigenous peoples of the region. Discover how they utilized this buffalo jump site as an efficient means of securing food and provisions for their tribes.

Buffalo Jump at Madison Buffalo Jump State Park

Madison Buffalo Jump State Park is not only rich in cultural heritage, but it also offers breathtaking natural beauty and recreational opportunities. The park’s hiking trails allow visitors to immerse themselves in the serene landscapes and appreciate the magnificent vistas that surround them. As you explore the park, keep an eye out for the diverse wildlife that calls this area home, creating unforgettable experiences for nature enthusiasts.

For those seeking longer exploration, camping facilities are available at Madison Buffalo Jump State Park, allowing visitors to extend their stay and fully embrace the tranquility and beauty of this remarkable place.

Cooney State Park

Cooney State Park, located 120 miles east of Bozeman in Roberts, Montana, offers a delightful retreat for water enthusiasts. The star attraction of the park is undoubtedly Cooney Reservoir, a pristine body of water that caters to a variety of water activities.

Water activities in Cooney State Park

Whether you’re into boating, water skiing, or fishing, Cooney Reservoir has something for everyone. The park is equipped with three convenient boat ramps complete with docks, ensuring easy access to the water for all visitors.

For those looking to extend their stay, Cooney State Park provides multiple campgrounds with electricity hookups. Experience the joys of camping near Bozeman while enjoying the park’s serene atmosphere and the marvelous recreational opportunities it offers.

Cooney Reservoir Activities

  • Boating
  • Water skiing
  • Fishing

Camping Facilities

Campground Name Campsite Amenities
Juniper Electricity Hookups, Drinking Water, Flush Toilets, Showers
Cougar Electricity Hookups, Drinking Water, Vault Toilets
Hickory Electricity Hookups, Drinking Water, Vault Toilets
Cottonwood Electricity Hookups, Drinking Water, Vault Toilets


“Cooney Reservoir is a haven for fishing enthusiasts, offering a diverse range of fish species. Cast your line and try your luck at catching trout, walleye, bass, or yellow perch.”

With its stunning natural surroundings and abundant recreational opportunities, Cooney State Park is an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you’re seeking thrilling water activities, a tranquil camping experience, or a day of fishing, Cooney State Park has it all.

Lost Creek State Park

Located 115 miles northwest of Bozeman in Anaconda, Montana, Lost Creek State Park is a hidden gem that offers breathtaking natural beauty and outdoor adventure. With its rugged, cliffed canyon and stunning water features, the park is a paradise for hikers, nature enthusiasts, and wildlife enthusiasts alike.

One of the highlights of Lost Creek State Park is the magnificent Lost Creek Falls. This 50-foot waterfall is a sight to behold and can be easily reached via a short, half-mile hike. The trail leading to the waterfall is surrounded by lush vegetation and offers scenic views of the surrounding landscape.

Exploring the park’s cliffs is another popular activity. These cliffs are not only awe-inspiring, but they are also home to a variety of wildlife, including mountain goats and bighorn sheep. Witnessing these majestic creatures in their natural habitat is an unforgettable experience.

For avid hikers, Lost Creek State Park offers a network of trails that cater to different skill levels. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a more challenging hike, there’s something for everyone. These trails offer opportunities to spot wildlife, enjoy panoramic views, and immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature.

Camping facilities are available in the park, allowing visitors to extend their stay and fully embrace the peacefulness of the surroundings. Falling asleep under the starry sky and waking up to the sounds of nature is the perfect way to rejuvenate and connect with Montana’s wilderness.

Lost Creek State Park Highlights:

  • Magnificent Lost Creek Falls
  • Rugged cliffs with wildlife sightings
  • Varied hiking trails for different skill levels
  • Opportunities for camping and immersing in nature

Visit Lost Creek State Park for an unforgettable outdoor adventure. Explore the trails, marvel at the waterfall, and embrace the serenity of this natural oasis.

Waterfall in Lost Creek State Park

Activities Facilities Location
Hiking Camping sites Anaconda, Montana
Wildlife spotting Picnic areas

Missouri Headwaters State Park

Missouri Headwaters State Park, located 30 miles northwest of Bozeman in Three Forks, Montana, is a historically significant park where the Jefferson, Madison, and Gallatin Rivers converge to form the Missouri River. This location is where Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery arrived in 1805 on their historic expedition. Visitors can explore the park’s walking trails, learn about the area’s history through interpretive signage, and enjoy recreational activities such as biking, fishing, boating, canoeing, and kayaking. The park also offers camping facilities for those who wish to stay overnight.

History of Lewis and Clark

The expedition of Lewis and Clark, also known as the Corps of Discovery, was a pivotal moment in American history. Led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, the expedition set out in 1804 to explore the newly acquired Louisiana Purchase territory. Their journey brought them to the Missouri Headwaters, an important landmark in their quest to reach the Pacific Ocean. Today, visitors to Missouri Headwaters State Park can walk in the footsteps of these great explorers and learn about the challenges they faced and the discoveries they made along the way.

Recreation in Three Forks, MT

Three Forks, Montana, the town near Missouri Headwaters State Park, offers a wealth of recreational opportunities for visitors. From hiking and biking to birdwatching and wildlife spotting, outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty to do in the area. The nearby Jefferson River provides excellent fishing and boating opportunities, while the surrounding landscapes are ideal for camping and exploring. Three Forks is a treasure trove of natural beauty, making it a must-visit destination for nature lovers.

Fishing and Boating in Jefferson River

Fishing Boating
Jefferson River is known for its abundance of trout, including brown, rainbow, and cutthroat. Anglers can enjoy fly fishing along the river’s banks and try their luck at catching these prized fish. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, Jefferson River offers a rewarding fishing experience. Boating on Jefferson River is a popular activity for both locals and visitors alike. The calm and scenic waters provide a serene setting for boating adventures. Kayaking and canoeing are also popular ways to explore the river and enjoy the surrounding natural beauty.

Giant Springs State Park

Giant Springs State Park, located in Great Falls, Montana, offers a unique blend of natural beauty and local history. The park is home to the majestic Missouri River and features the renowned Giant Springs Trout Hatchery. This hatchery is not only a fascinating attraction but also serves as a hub for fish conservation efforts. Visitors can learn about the importance of protecting fish species and even have the opportunity to feed the fish.

One of the highlights of Giant Springs State Park is the abundance of birdwatching opportunities. The park’s diverse habitats attract a wide variety of bird species, making it a paradise for bird enthusiasts. Whether you’re an experienced birder or just starting out, you’ll be amazed by the colorful plumage and sweet melodies of the feathered residents.

Aside from birdwatching, the park’s trails offer stunning views of the Missouri River and its picturesque surroundings. The cool breeze, the sound of flowing water, and the sight of untouched nature create an immersive experience that truly revitalizes the soul.

For those eager to learn more about the region’s history, the park is also home to the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. Explore the exhibits and dive into the fascinating journey of the famous expedition that opened up the American West.

A visit to Giant Springs State Park is not complete without participating in the park’s various outdoor programs and events, especially during the summer months. From guided hikes and educational workshops to recreational activities and community gatherings, there’s always something exciting happening in the park.

Key Features Activities Facilities
Missouri River
  • Birdwatching
  • Hiking
  • Picnicking
  • Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center
  • Giant Springs Trout Hatchery
  • Visitor Center

Makoshika State Park

Makoshika State Park, located in Glendive, Montana, is the largest state park in the state and offers a fascinating blend of natural beauty, paleontological history, and outdoor recreational activities. The park is renowned for its dinosaur fossils and unique rock formations, making it a dream destination for both nature enthusiasts and paleontology enthusiasts.

Visitors to Makoshika State Park can embark on self-guided hikes and bike rides through its scenic landscapes, providing an up-close experience of the park’s geology and breathtaking views. The park’s hiking and biking trails offer opportunities for exploration and discovery, with each turn revealing the park’s rich history.

Paleontology tours, led by knowledgeable park paleontologists, provide an in-depth understanding of the dinosaur fossils found within the park. These tours offer a behind-the-scenes look at the park’s paleontology lab and allow visitors to delve into the secrets of the prehistoric world that once thrived in this area.

In addition to its paleontological wonders, Makoshika State Park also offers various outdoor recreational activities for visitors of all ages. From camping under the star-filled Montana sky to enjoying a round of disc golf or trying one’s hand at archery, there are plenty of opportunities for adventure and relaxation in this breathtaking state park.


Are there any state parks near Bozeman, Montana?

Yes, there are several state parks near Bozeman, Montana that offer a range of outdoor activities and recreational opportunities.

What are the best state parks in Bozeman, MT?

Some of the best state parks in Bozeman, MT include Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park, Madison Buffalo Jump State Park, Cooney State Park, Lost Creek State Park, Missouri Headwaters State Park, Giant Springs State Park, and Makoshika State Park.

What outdoor activities are available at these state parks?

The state parks near Bozeman, MT offer a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, wildlife viewing, scenic trails, boating, water skiing, fishing, biking, and more.

Are these state parks family-friendly?

Yes, these state parks are family-friendly and provide opportunities for children and adults to explore and enjoy Montana’s natural beauty together.

Can I go camping at these state parks?

Yes, most of these state parks offer camping facilities, allowing visitors to spend a night or longer and fully experience the beauty of nature in Montana.

Are there any guided tours available at the state parks?

Yes, Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park offers guided cave tours where visitors can explore the impressive limestone caverns and learn about their natural beauty.

Are there any historical or cultural attractions at the state parks?

Yes, Madison Buffalo Jump State Park and Missouri Headwaters State Park both have historical significance. Madison Buffalo Jump State Park was once used by Native Americans as a buffalo jump site, where visitors can learn about Native American history and hunting practices. Missouri Headwaters State Park was a significant location for Lewis and Clark’s historic expedition, with interpretive signage and exhibits detailing their arrival to the area.

Source Links

Scroll to Top