Painted Rocks State Park in Montana

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Painted Rocks State Park


Spend a night or a week enjoying the scenic beauty and the plethora of activities available at Painted Rocks State Park, located in western Montana.

  • Just southwest of the Bitterroot Valley.
  • Painted Rocks State Park offers tons of activities everyone will enjoy. 
  • Check out the colorful lichen that covers the cliffs for a 'painted' affect.
  • Boat, swim, of fish in Painted Rocks Reservoir.
  • Spend the night or the week at one of the 25 camping sites.

Overview

Painted Rocks State Park is tucked into the Bitterroot Mountains along the West Fork of the Bitterroot River in western Montana. This beautiful park is surrounded by 10,000 ft peaks and pine forests.

Not only is this park breathtaking, it is also full of outdoor recreational activities. Located on Painted Rocks Reservoir, everyone is bound to find something they enjoy. Spend a day or spend a week, swimming, boating, fishing, camping, relaxing, and viewing wildlife.

Location/Information

Painted Rocks State Park, in western Montana, is located about 45 minutes southwest of Hamilton. From Hamilton, follow Hwy 93 south and then head southwest on Route 473 (West Fork Road).

Open year round, Painted Rocks State Park offers 25 camping sites, vault toilets, grills/fire-rings, picnic tables, drinking water, a boat ramp and a dock. RV/trailers 25 feet or less in length are permitted.

For questions, permits, maps, or regulation information contact the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks.

Montana Department of Fish Wildlife and Parks
Painted Rocks State Park
3201 Spurgin Road
Missoula, MT 59804
Phone: 406-542-5500, 406-542-5531
http://fwp.mt.gov/
Email: fwprg12@mt.gov  

Activities

A plethora of activities await you at the 23 acre Painted Rocks State Park. One day may not be enough time, so pack your bags and stay the week. But remember to bring some trash bags and haul out your garbage, because this primitive area functions under a pack in/pack out policy.

Boating
Painted Rocks Reservoir, surrounded by pine forest and towering peaks, is the perfect setting for a day of boating. Motorized and non-motorized boats are allowed on the reservoir. Unfortunately, water levels can be troublesome, dropping too low for boating, especially true after the 1st of August.

Camping
With so much to do at Painted Rocks State Park, you may just have to stay and play for more then one day. No problem, this site offers 25 campsites and allows RV/trailers up to 25 feet long. Prepare your dinner on one of the grills and watch the stars light up the night sky. No staying more then 14 days over a 30 day period.

Fishing
Painted Rocks Reservoir is fed by the West Fork of the Bitterroot River. The west is known for its trout but among the rainbow, cutthroat and brook trout found in the reservoir you'll also find whitefish and dolly varden. Before you cast your way into a fine, make sure you have a fishing license. Available at any fly shop or gear store and from the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

Swimming
With the reservoir at your finger tips, swimming is the name of the game. Jump in, cool off, practice your laps, or just splash around.

Wildlife Viewing
Nestled in the Bitterroot Mountains, Painted Rocks State Park is home to tons of wildlife. Keep your eyes open and your camera focused for shots of elk, mule deer, white-tailed deer, black bear and moose. The reservoir is a stopping ground for migrating birds and waterfowl, so don't be surprised to see great blue herons, spotted sandpipers, water ouzels, or the more common osprey.

Hiking
There are no hiking trails directly within Painted Rocks State Park, but there is plenty of hiking to be found in the Bitterroot Mountains. Spend one day at the reservoir and the next exploring the mountains.

Fun Facts

Where does Painted Rocks State Park get its name from you ask? Not from paint or ancient drawings, but from nature. The green, yellow, and orange lichen which cover the gray and black granite cliffs create a wonderful painted effect along the walls. It's Mother Nature painting her own picture.


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