Jagged mountains, dense forests, placid water and big sky meet at Logan State Park, located in scenic northwestern Montana. For those exploring some of the region’s many spectacular parks and landmarks (Glacier National Park, Kootenai National Forest, Lolo National Forest, Flathead Lake and more) Logan State Park, located off of Montana Highway 2 in between the large towns of Libby and Kalispell, makes an excellent stopover spot. But Logan is also a destination in its own right. Situated on the shores of the 3,000 acre Middle-Thompson Lake, visitors to the park have easy access to boating, swimming and world-class fishing. Towering Douglass fir, Ponderosa pine and western larch surround the campsite and blanket the surrounding hills and mountains.
Hikers and bikers can enjoy a peaceful stopover at Logan, or they can use it as a base from which to explore nearby Lolo and Kootenai National Forests, which are replete with miles of scenic mountain trails. Wildlife watchers will have the chance to spot bear, moose, deer, elk, osprey, bald eagles, loons, great horned owls and much, much more. Stargazing is also magnificent in this corner of the country.
Logan State Park boasts 37 RV-suitable sites, most of which are reservable and have electric hookups. Summers can get busy, so make sure to hold your spot if you think you’ll be traveling through.
Logan State Park is located just off of Montana Hwy 2, and is in between Kalispell and Libby, Montana (approximately 45 miles to the east and northwest, respectively). Travelers will find themselves immediately within the park after making the turn off of the highway – there are no smaller county roads to worry about. Hwy 2, like any road running through mountainous terrain, does have some sharp curves and steep sections, but it is paved, well-maintained and should not pose any serious problems to drivers. Of course, travelers should be particularly careful in winter, when snowstorms can quickly roll in over the surrounding mountains.
Parking at Logan is straightforward. Spots are divided among two loops which should be easily navigable to those under the provided length restrictions. All spots are back-in. Boat slips and the boat launch are both short walks from either of the loops; if you’re driving a boat to the launch, you’ll find a short paved route coming off of the B-Loop will get you there
As Logan stands at only 17 acres, the campground comprises most of the park. The grounds are heavily wooded and most sites have plenty of shade; of course, all sites have a great view of Middle Thompson Lake, just feet away. The campground has two small loops – both easily accessible – and a total of 37 RV-suitable sites. Of these, 33 have electric hookups, and the remaining four are primitive. No water or sewage hookups are available at Logan; however, a dump station is located just between the two loops (off-season visitors should note, however, that the station closes after October).
Firewood and ice are available for sale at the park. If you need to stock up on supplies, best to do so before arriving. The closest full-service towns are Kallispell and Libby, which are each about an hour’s (scenic) drive away.
30 of the RV sites are reservable up to six months in advanced, the remaining seven are first-come-first-served.
When thinking about northern Montana, “heat” is probably not the first word which comes to the forefront of most people’s minds. However, during July and August, conditions can become downright sweltering around Logan State Park, which does not stay as cool as the surrounding peaks. High temperatures average in the high-80s during late summer, and on some days the mercury climbs well further. Middle Thompson Lake’s clear, bracing waters provide a fantastic way for visitors to beat the heat on days like those.
From the launch at Thompson, boaters and anglers alike can explore some of the 3,000 watery acres which compose the Thompson chain of lakes (Upper, Middle and Lower Thompson Lakes). Whether you are going jet-skiing, aiming to pull a monster bass out of the water, or just heading out for a relaxing paddle, you’ll find few things to complain about at Logan. The state park also features ten boat slips, which are located right by the campsites.
Though there are no official trails within the bounds of Logan State Park, much of the area surrounding the park is National Forest land. Kootenai National Forest and Lolo National Forest offer an extensive and well-managed networks of hiking trails (as well as biking and equestrian trails). Dramatic peaks, thick forests, rushing streams and wildflower-blanketed valley pastures are all within a short drive of the park. Fishtrap Lake Trail (#1104) is one notable nearby trail which offers fantastic views of rugged county and some shallow mountain lakes.
Most winters, northern Montana receives some notoriously harsh cold spells. Middle Lake Thomspon, as such, almost always builds a healthy layer of ice on its surface, making it a great ice-fishing spot. Anglers can, of course, cast lines into the lake during the warmer months, but ice-fishing offers greater solitude and views of a completely transformed, snow-clad landscape. Smallmouth and largemouth bass, rainbow trout, pike and yellow perch are a few of the species which can be found in the lake.
Though Logan itself is too small to be a hunting ground, the surrounding forests, lakes and mountains provide some of the richest big game habitat for in the country. Bear, elk, white-tailed deer, mule deer, moose and even mountain lions can be bagged in their respective seasons. Turkey and waterfowl are popular autumn targets as well. Take a deep breath of cold morning mountain air as you, surrounded by some of the most spectacular and rugged scenery in the west, wait patiently for your game. Before heading out, make sure you are properly licensed and familiarize yourself with hunting regulations, which are put out by the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
Logan State Park and the surrounding mountains, blanketed in thick conifer forests and dotted with crystal-clear lakes, offer some of the most scenic, awe-inspiring views in the Northern Rockies. Each season brings new character to the landscape; spring brings rich wildflowers, summer enlivens verdant forest undergrowth and open pastures, fall turns aspen leaves and larch needles to brilliant shades of yellow, and winter brings a wonderland of deep snow and thick ice. Throughout the year, photographers can capture these spectacular scenes and add some real gems to their portfolio.