Logo for Discover Jefferson County, Montana

Jefferson County, with more than 550,000 acres of public land, has something for everyone – from rivers for floating to hiking and camping in the Elkhorn Mountains. An extensive trail system offers incredible opportunities for both motorized and non-motorized recreation. The area also offers a number of historical attractions and a wide variety of options for the avid hunter and fisherman.


  • Trail Etiquette
  • Boulder Trails Guide
  • Boulder Trails Map
  • Jefferson County Parks & Trails
    • Recreation - Camping

      There’s no better way to spend some quality time with family and friends than spending the night in the great outdoors. Whether you’re wanting to hike in and pitch a tent or drive in and hookup your RV, Jefferson County has plenty of great campsites that are sure to make everyone a happy camper.


      Galena Gulch

      Description
      A great little free campground on BLM land outside of Helena, MT, sites are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. The campground had a nice river flowing along the border.

      Website
      https://www.campendium.com/galena-gulch-recreation-area


      Park Lake Campground

      Description
      Park Lake Campground, located approximately 20 miles southwest of Helena, Montana, provides an opportunity to camp near the placid, lovely Park Lake. Enjoy fishing for cutthroat trout and grayling in this beautiful mountain lake, hand launch non-motorized boats or picnic along the lakeshore.

      Website
      https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/hlcnf/recarea/?recid=62843


      Freedom Point Picnic Area

      Description
      Freedom Point, part of Sheepshead Mountain Recreation Area, provides a picturesque location for weddings, receptions, large family gatherings, and group picnics.

      Website
      https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/bdnf/recarea/?recid=5698


      Sheepshead Recreation Area

      Description
      Sheepshead Recreation Area, located approximately 20 miles north of Butte, provides opportunities for day use picnicking and fishing at Maney Lake.

      Website
      https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/bdnf/recreation/fishing/recarea/?recid=5699&actid=42


      Whitehouse Campground

      Description
      Whitehouse Campground, located in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, features five campsites and great access to fishing and hiking.

      Website
      https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/bdnf/recarea/?recid=5732


      Whitetail Creek RV Park

      Description
      Whitetail Creek RV Park is a full-service RV park with 10 sites featuring RV hookups including 30 or 50 amp power, sewer, and water as well as showers and a small store.

      Website
      http://southwestmt.com/listings/13606.htm


      Toll Mountain Campground

      Description
      Toll Mountain Campground, located in Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, features five campsites and handicapped-accessible restrooms.

      Website
      https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/bdnf/recarea/?recid=5731


      Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park

      Description
      Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park is Montana's first and best-known state park featuring one of the most decorated limestone caverns in the Northwest.

      Website
      https://fwp.mt.gov/stateparks/lewis-and-clark-caverns/


      Recreation - Fishing

      Some of the finest fly fishing is found in Jefferson County, Montana. Drop a line in one of the many rivers or streams and watch the water come alive. Trout are abundant, and fishermen are scarce. What more could you ask for?


      Jefferson River

      Description
      The Jefferson River begins near Twin Bridges, Montana, with the confluence of the Beaverhead, Big Hole and Ruby Rivers, and flows for more than eighty miles to its confluence with the Missouri River in Three Forks, Montana. Review the information on guided fishing trips, floating and river conditions to plan your perfect trip.

      Website
      https://www.bigskyfishing.com/rivers/southwest-montana/jefferson-river/


      Park Lake Campground

      Description
      Park Lake Campground, located approximately 20 miles southwest of Helena, Montana, provides an opportunity to camp near the placid, lovely Park Lake. Enjoy fishing for cutthroat trout and grayling in this beautiful mountain lake, hand launch non-motorized boats or picnic along the lakeshore.

      Website
      https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/hlcnf/recarea/?recid=62843


      Cardwell Bridge Fishing Access Site

      Description
      Directions and general information to Cardwell Bridge.

      Website
      https://troutunderground.com/Cardwell-Bridge-Fishing-Access-Site/


      Mayflower Bridge Fishing Access Site

      Description
      This 20-acre site provides access to hunting, fishing, and boating.

      Website
      https://naturalatlas.com/fishing-accesses/mayflower-bridge-1500100


      Parrot Castle Fishing Access Site

      Description
      Enjoy fishing and hunting in the 33-acre Parrot Castle area.

      Website
      https://naturalatlas.com/fishing-accesses/parrot-castle-1500092


      Cargill Outfitters

      Description
      Cargill Outfitters is ready to guide you on your next adventure, whether it’s horseback riding, hunting, fishing, or wildlife watching and photography.

      Website
      https://www.ironwheel.com/


      Homestake Lake Recreation Area

      Description
      Homestake picnic ground is located in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest in southwest Montana at an elevation of 6,300 feet. This area is for day use picnicking only and a small lake at the site provides fishing. Scenic trails nearby are great for hiking, ATV riding, and motorcycle riding.

      Website
      https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/bdnf/recarea/?recid=5735


      Recreation - Hiking

      Wide-open country and endless skies are out there looking to be explored. Whether you want a short day hike or several days of backpacking adventure, look no further than the multiple trails in Jefferson County. These rolling trails will take you through pine forests, along rocky outcroppings, and next to roaring rivers. Whichever route you choose, you are sure to have a hike to remember.


      Homestake Picnic Area

      Description
      Once a flag stop for the Northern Pacific Railroad, the Homestake Picnic Area provides day use of the lake, tables, fire rings, and bathroom services. Scenic trails nearby are great for hiking, ATV riding, and motorcycle riding.

      Website
      https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/bdnf/recarea/?recid=5735


      Elkhorn Mountains

      Description
      Topographic map and information about recreating in the Elkhorn Mountain Range, an inactive volcanic mountain range that is part of the Helena National Forest.

      Website
      https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/hlcnf/recarea/?recid=82185


      Strawberry Cabin

      Description
      Explore a magnificent recreation and wildlife resource at the doorstep of Montana's Capital City, taking you from prairie to alpine, mayflies to mountain goats, and scenic driving to expert climbing routes.

      Website
      https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/hlcnf/recarea/?recid=82746


      Backpack to Casey Meadow

      Description
      Backpack to Casey Meadow in the Elkhorn Mountains on a trail that follows the creek in the meadow, leading to a steep trail full of switchbacks that takes you up to Casey Peak.

      Website
      https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/hlcnf/recarea/?recid=63053


      Hike To Casey Peak

      Description
      On the Hike to Casey Peak, a continuous climb from the road to the meadows, you’ll cover a lot of elevation, crossing a couple of creeks on your way.

      Website
      https://www.trailforks.com/route/casey-peak/


      Maupin/Willard Creek Trail

      Description
      Willard Creek Trail is a short trail segment providing access into the Elkhorn Mountains and the area burned in the 1988 Warm Springs Fire. With parking capacity for six vehicles, this is a great family trail.

      Website
      https://www.trailforks.com/route/maupin-willard-mcclellan/


      Cottonwood Lake

      Description
      Information and locator map for Cottonwood Lake.

      Website
      https://montana.hometownlocator.com/maps/feature-map,ftc,1,fid,781739,n,cottonwood%20lake.cfm


      Recreation - Horseback Riding

      Come ride with us through the wide open spaces of Jefferson County. Whether you have your own horse or want to saddle up with a local ranch, you will be treated to a beautiful view no matter what trail you decide to take.


      Iron Wheel Guest Ranch

      Description
      We offer a scenic, quiet, peaceful setting where you can relax and enjoy your stay.

      Iron Wheel Guest Ranch features friendly hospitality with fishing and trail rides in a beautiful rural setting with easy access. In spring, come enjoy watching nature wake up with wildflowers and wildlife babies as they begin to appear.

      Website
      http://ironwheel.com/


      Recreation - Miscellaneous

      Along with all of the adventure opportunity in Jefferson County, you can also find relaxation at one of the county’s many destinations. With multiple ranches available for special events and weekend getaways, one is sure to suit your style. Or, explore six acres of stunning gardens and arboretum during a visit to Tizer Botanical Gardens.


      HURL Elkhorn Endurance Runs

      Description
      A collection of ultrarunning trail races following trails in the Elkhorn Mountains.

      Website
      https://hurlelkhorn.com/


      Montana City Trails and Trust

      Description
      The Montana City Trails and Trust seeks to plan, fund, construct and maintain, expand and connect pedestrian, bicycle and non-motorized recreational trails for the benefit of the Montana City Community and northern Jefferson County.

      Website
      https://www.facebook.com/MTCityTrails/


      The Jesse A. Marcel Library

      Description
      The Jesse A. Marcel Library is dedicated to the collection and dissemination of factual information concerning UFOs.

      Website
      https://www.jaml.org/


      Sheep Mountain Climbing

      Description
      Sheep Mountain, or "Clancy," is an old school trad climbers hang out filled with granite cracks and towers, a few sport and mixed routes, and a seemingly endless amount of bouldering potential.

      Website
      https://www.mountainproject.com/area/111589639/sheep-mountain


      Radon Health Mines

      Description
      There are only four radon health mines in the United States, and all four of them are located within twenty minutes’ drive of each other in the Boulder-Basin area south of Helena.

      Website
      https://www.helenamt.com/radon-health-mines-of-boulder-basin-montana/


      4-R Ranch

      Description
      The historic 4-R Ranch boasts 900 acres of high meadows and forest land, making it the perfect surroundings for your next event or hunting escape.

      Website
      http://www.4-rranch.com/home.html


      Recreation - Mountain Biking

      Fire roads and single track trail are abundant in the hills and mountains of Jefferson County. You can go out for a short ride or make it an all-day gravel grind of an adventure. Trails in the area rate from beginner to expert status with some of the best views of Big Sky country to be had.


      Butte 100

      Description
      Information about the Butte 100 mountain bike race.

      Website
      http://butte100.com/race-information/


      Pipestone Mountain Bike Trails

      Description
      Information about Pipestone bike trails. Includes distance, difficulty, length, and directions. This page lists out the popular trails in the area.

      Website
      https://www.trailforks.com/region/pipestone-18242/


      The Best Mountain Bike Trails in South Elkhorns

      Description
      A list of the best mountain biking trails in the South Elkhorns.

      Website
      https://www.trailforks.com/region/south-elkhorns-19790/trails/


      Tizer Lakes Road

      Description
      Information about Tizer Lakes Road bike trail. Includes distance, difficulty, length and directions.

      Website
      https://www.trailforks.com/trails/tizer-lakes-road/


      Iron Mine

      Description
      Information about Iron Mine bike trail. Includes distance, difficulty, length, and directions.

      Website
      https://www.trailforks.com/trails/iron-mine/


      Muskrat Creek

      Description
      Information about Muskrat Creek bike trail. Includes distance, difficulty, length and directions.

      Website
      https://www.trailforks.com/trails/muskrat-creek/


      Recreation - Off Roading

      Kick some dust up on one of Jefferson County’s many dirt roads. The trails are open to both two and four-wheeled vehicles and provide endless views and adventures in the backcountry.


      Clancy OHV area

      Description
      The Clancy OHV area is open year-round and offers ten miles of woods trails, plenty for a full day of adventure.

      Website
      https://www.riderplanet-usa.com/atv/trails/info/montana_14000/ride_5145.htm


      Lava Mountain Trail

      Description
      The eight-mile Lava Mountain Trail was originally developed as a motorized OHV area, but is great for mountain bike enthusiasts, too.

      Website
      http://www.offroaders.com/reviewbox/showproduct.php?product=571


      Pipestone OHV area

      Description
      Information about the OHV trails and driving directions to the area.

      Website
      https://www.riderplanet-usa.com/atv/trails/info/montana_13424/ride_d722.htm


      Strawberry Cabin

      Description
      Explore a magnificent recreation and wildlife resource at the doorstep of Montana's Capital City, taking you from prairie to alpine, mayflies to mountain goats, and scenic driving to expert climbing routes.

      Website
      https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/hlcnf/recarea/?recid=82746


      Recreation - Winter Sports

      Looking for some white space to make your mark? Well, look no further. Montana boasts some of the best powder around — perfect for making fresh tracks. Plenty of opportunity is available all around Jefferson County for you to get some solid outdoor adventure when the mercury drops.


      Elkhorn Mountains

      Description
      Topographic map and information about recreating in the Elkhorn Mountain Range, an inactive volcanic mountain range that is part of the Helena National Forest.

      Website
      https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/hlcnf/recarea/?recid=82185


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