Campground Review; Boondocking Blacktail Mountain, Nr Lakeside, MT

Campground Review; Boondocking Blacktail Mountain, Nr Lakeside, MT

Why we chose here : We had struggled to find good camping options near Flathead Lake, the state parks are expensive and tough to get into, and we wanted some peace and solitude, so we headed into the Flathead National Forest looking for somewhere to camp.

Location: GPS: 48.0062, -114.3677 

Most of the forest roads were closed for logging activities so our choices for dispersed camping were limited. The road leading up to the ski area is quite dusty and while there are a few pull-out areas here, any OHV activity would result in a dirty trailer. At the top of the mountain, near the entrance to the ski area there is a large flat area, not especially scenic, but spacious and away from the road.  It is quite a haul up here, it takes 30 minutes of constant climbing along a dusty gravel road, but we were completely alone.

Sites: Gravel surface but pretty flat where we were.

Facilities: None

Groceries: There is a small, not very nice store in Lakeside.  Best to bring groceries with you here.

Reservations: No

Cell Coverage / WiFi: We had good signal with both AT&T and Verizon. But the bandwidth went in and out. Usable but not very fast.

Price Paid: Free

Date of visit: August 2015

Other: Dispersed camping is allowed in the Flathead National Forest (This is Swan Lake Ranger District), but we found very few opportunities here. There are another couple of spots along Dayton Creek Road, but most areas are too steep for the majority of rigs. Note that there are OHV trails here, but we only saw a few people out, and no-one came very close to us.

Would we come here again? Yes, although it was a trek up and down the mountain it was so nice to be up there in peace and quiet.

Link to campground website

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Pit Stop: Kettlehouse Brewing, Missoula, MT

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