What are the best rated campgrounds in southwest Montana?
"Favorite" and "highest rated" can be tricky terms when it comes to camping. My ideal and your ideal could be very different.
Mountain views? Accessibility? Cabin availability? Fire pit? Lake or river? Close to town or way back in the boonies? Everybody has their own vision of what "perfect" is when it comes to the outdoors. Keeping that in mind, we still wanted to find out what the highest rated campgrounds were in southwest Montana.
Remember that most developed campgrounds require reservations and charge a daily/nightly fee. These aren't hidden, rarely used gems...they are highly rated and popular for a reason. Planning ahead is key to enjoy the campgrounds on this list.
Langohr Springs Campground (Gallatin County, MT): Located about half way between South 19th turnoff and Hyalite Reservoir, via Hyalite Canyon Road. Easy to find and clearly marked, it will be on your left-hand side when heading up the canyon. "The campground sits next to Hyalite Creek, at an elevation of 6,200 feet. Most campsites are situated in open meadows along the creek. Some are located among scattered pine and fir trees." Overall review rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars
Grasshopper Campground and Picnic Area (Beaverhead County, MT): Adjacent to Grasshopper Creek in a steep canyon, this one is diverse...good for individual tent camping or it can handle groups. Elevation is nearly 7,000 feet, FYI. Lots of amenities but not a commercial RV park or anything. No trash cans, so it's pack out what you bring in. "The group camp ground was clean and large. It fit all 30 boys and 10 adults with ease. The horse shoe pits were a hit and got a lot of use. The campground is located near lots of other activity sites." Overall review rating 4.6 out of 5 stars.
Swan Creek Campground (Gallatin County, MT): Located about 30 miles south of Bozeman in Gallatin Canyon. "The campground offers single-family campsites. Vault toilets, drinking water and trash collection are provided. Roads within the campground are paved, but parking spurs are gravel." Overall review rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars "This campground is absolutely beautiful and just far enough off the highway to get away from any road noise."
Woodbine Campground (near Nye, MT): Woodbine Campground is located along the Stillwater River. 44 camp sites and there is a camp host on site. The max trailer length is 40 feet. Firewood is available for purchase most of the time and there are bear resistant trash bins on the grounds. Toilets are on site too. NOTE: As of Summer 2022, there are several closures in the area due to flooding damage. During the flooding of 2022, several campers had to be rescued from this area. Check with the forest service about openings and available. Overall review rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars
Nice quiet campground. Sites have lots of room and are not close together. Water available and very clean facilities. Right near the creek and the trailhead to Woodbine falls is right there too. (Woodbine Campground review)
Hay Canyon Campground (Judith Basin County, MT): This one is 'sorta/kinda' in southwest Montana, but we thought we'd include it. It's a beautiful location and only $10 per night as of this writing. However, this is BEAR TERRITORY so it's crucial and required that proper food storage measures are taken. "Hay Canyon Campground is located in the Lewis and Clark National Forest. There are 7 campsites near fishing access to the South Fork of the Judith River and scenic ATV trails. Restrooms are provided. The maximum recommended trailer length for the area is 30 feet." Overall review rating 4.8 out of 5 stars.
Ruby Valley Campground & RV Park (Alder/Sheridan, MT): This one is for those who aren't interested in roughing it, but it's very well-liked. It's a commercial place, not a forest service location. Mountain ranges galore in the Ruby Valley: Ruby, Tobacco Root and Gravelly mountain ranges and you're very close to Nevada City and Virginia City for tourist things to do. There's a pond, it's pet-friendly and you are allowed to have large events here. So, yeah...it's not really 'camping' but it's certainly not the Four Seasons either. Just depends on what you're looking for. Overall review rating 4.5 out of 5 stars.