The Hell Creek area in Montana may be best known for its fossils and geological history. In addition to dinosaur and plant remains, scientists have found fossilized primates from the Cretaceous era, as well as some evidence of a massive asteroid impact.
But there is more than history here. Hell Creek State Park is a great destination for RV campers. The park is situated on the Hell Creek Bay area of Fort Peck Lake, a huge body of water. So, boating and fishing are always on tap here. The marine facilities are excellent here as well. A private marina is not just a nice place to park your boat. It also sells gas, groceries, and other boating and camping supplies. Hell Creek State Park also features a large group activity center that’s ideal for fish fries at the end of a long and fruitful day on the water. Visitors also enjoy wildlife viewing and lots of other activities.
The park has over 70 campsites for tents and rigs, some of which offer electric hookups. So, whether you like the comforts of home or enjoy roughing it, Hell Creek State Park should probably be your next RV destination. The park is open all year long, but some services are limited between October and May.
Hell Creek State Park is not too far from the Canadian border. Back in the Cretaceous Era, this part of Montana was basically a rainforest. But it was isolated then, and it’s isolated now. That’s one of the best reasons to take your RV here. Hell Creek State Park is a great place to unplug.
Besides, it’s not completely isolated. The park is just a few miles north of Jordan, which is about halfway between Great Falls and the North Dakota border. State Highway 200, which you must take to reach Hell Creek STate Park, is a rather narrow road. But it’s also well-kept, even in winter. And, since it is well north of the Interstate 94 corridor, there’s almost no traffic. So, you should have no problem navigating this straight highway in your motorhome. Hell Creek Road, which connects S.H. 200 and the park, is rather winding. But just watch your speed and you’ll be fine. Inside Hell Creek State Park, there is lots of large vehicle parking near the boat launch and the marina.
If you get the sudden urge to spend a weekend here, check out one of these 11 electric back-in sites. These sites share all the same amenities with the Upper Loop. Plus, there is a children’s play area located nearby.
The park’s largest RV camping area has 33 reservable electric sites. Most of these sites have grills or fire rings as well as picnic tables, so you may not be spending much time inside your RV. They are mostly back-in sites, but a few pull-through sites are available as well. An RV dump station is open pretty much all year. A restroom and shower area is usually available in the summer.
Don’t let the name fool you. This eight-site campground is open to everyone. There are no hookups, but a flush toilet is available during the summer. This campground also has its own boat launch and day use beach area, and those are pretty nice plusses.
These 17 no-hookup sites are located next to the lake. This campground is more of a clear, open area. So, there is very little shade, but there is plenty of room, even for larger rigs. Drinking water and flush toilets are usually available during the summer. Overall, if you want a rustic lakeside camping experience, Milroy's Cove is the place to be.
One night here and you may get a better understanding of why they call Montana “big sky country.” That nickname is not just appropriate during the day. Moonless winter nights are very dark in this part of the world. Pack your telescope in your campervan to see sharp features on nearby celestial bodies. With a bigger telescope, you can see similar features on the faraway gas giants. While you enjoy the sights, you may be peppered with shooting stars. At least, it may feel that way.
Fall is hunting season at Hell Creek State Park. No hunting is allowed inside the park, but many RV campers use the park, and specifically the marina, as a jumping-off point. There are lots of mule deer, antelope, and elk in these here parts. If you want to see them without shooting them, stick close to the western part of the park or the more isolated parts of Hell Creek Bay.
Hell Creek’s canyon-like rock formations are incredibly pretty. They are even prettier when they are dusted with, or covered in, snow. It’s almost like no other place in the West. If you want to capture the moment, there are plenty of good photography vantage points at Hell Creek State Park. Use a professional camera or the one on your smartphone. If you get the bug to leave your rig and take up painting, you can do that here as well.
Despite the area’s past, at Hell Creek State Park, roving herds of dinosaurs never interrupt your picnic lunch. There are some open picnic tables near the marina. It’s very relaxing to have lunch while boats slowly ease in and out of their docks. Further down, there are a few sheltered picnic areas. These spots are RV-accessible. They are very nice on those extra-sunny summer days, as well as in the spring and fall when the weather is more unpredictable.
There are two boat launches at Hell Creek State Park. There’s the main boat launch and another one for low-water periods. Both have RV parking areas nearby. As mentioned, there are other boating facilities here as well. In addition to the marina, there’s also a dry dock area. If you paddle a canoe, there are lots of inlets and other small bays to explore. If power boating is your thing, rev up your engine and take it out to open water. There’s plenty of space here, even on July Fourth and other busy summer holidays. Finally, in terms of boat fishing, there are plenty of good spots.
At Hell Creek State Park, the fishing calendar begins with an Ice Away event. That’s usually in early April. While the water temperature is still frigid, lake trout typically bite very well. Most of them are pretty large, with some exceeding 20 pounds. Then, around Memorial Day, walleye begin feeding in the western part of the lake. By July, it’s a walleye feeding frenzy. In late August, as the water begins cooling, chinook salmon begin biting. They remain active throughout the fall. RV campers have full use of the park’s fish-cleaning station. It's usually open from mid-May through the end of October.