Pipestone Trailhead
Guide

Introduction

Get your engines ready for an outdoor adventure in Big Sky Country. The Pipestone Trailhead is maintained by the US Bureau of Land Management, and it is located approximately 15 miles east of the historic mining town of Butte in Silver Bow County.

This 30, 000-acre travel management area is a particularly popular holiday destination for motorcyclists and ATV- riding enthusiasts. Connecting visitors to over 70 miles off off-road trails, this is a playground for off-highway and all-terrain vehicles, with restrooms, loading ramps, and a diverse choice of routes available. However, that is not all there is to do here, with excellent mountain biking, an abundance of wildlife to see, and first-class climbing and mountaineering in the area. This part of the Montana backcountry is an ideal base for any adventure into the great outdoors.

The Pipestone Trailhead Campground offers primitive camping in the Montana wilderness, and there is also dispersed camping throughout the area. Whether you are thinking about visiting Pipestone for some solitude and relaxation, OHV fun or to explore the country, our in-depth guide provides everything you need to know about RV Camping at the Pipestone Trailhead.

RV Rentals in Pipestone Trailhead

Transportation

Driving

The Pipestone Trailhead is around 15 miles east from the town of Butte and it is just north of Interstate 90. The I-9O is an east-west transcontinental freeway, and it is the longest highway in the US at over 3,000 miles. If you require any supplies for your trip, you may wish to visit Butte before you head to Pipestone. Here you will find stores, restaurants, and shops that will provide any basic supplies you may have forgotten.

From the highway, take Exit 241, which is signposted for Pipestone. The dirt/gravel road leading up to the campsite can get bumpy, so drive slowly and carefully to avoid any potholes. In this area, driving conditions can get dangerous, and some roads and attractions may be subject to closure due to adverse weather conditions. Check the forecast before you leave for your trip, and plan wisely.

Parking

There should be space to park your vehicle at your campsite and there is also a large parking area near the entrance of the OHV site. At this parking lot, you can also find two portable toilets and a picnic table, as well as loading ramps.

Public Transportation

Due to the secluded location of this travel management area, it is not possible to use public transport to get there.

Campgrounds and parking in Pipestone Trailhead

Campsites in Pipestone Trailhead

First-come first-served

Pipestone Trailhead Campground

The Pipestone Trailhead Campground offers backcountry camping in the spectacular Montana scenery. Dispersed camping is available across the Trailhead area, camping is free and it is open all year round. Camping is also available at the ‘Four Corners’ site on Delmoe Lake Road. This campsite is close to the entrance for the OHV area and it has been created with bikers and ATV enthusiasts in mind. This is primitive camping, but there are clean portable toilets and there are fresh drinking and trash receptacles. Pets are allowed at the campsite but should be kept on a leash at all times.

Beaverhead Deerlodge National Forest

The Beaverhead Deerlodge National Forest has a wide array of camping opportunities and it is just over 55 miles from Pipestone. There are multiple campsites within the boundaries with varying amenities and facilities, including specific RV camping areas and group campsites.

The majority of the sites here work on a first-come, first-serve basis but some sites are available for reservation if you prefer to book in advance. There is a forest-wide stay limit, in that you are only to camp for 16 accumulated days within a 30-day period.

Seasonal activities in Pipestone Trailhead

In-Season

ATV and OHV fun

The Pipestone Trailhead OHV area consists of around 75 miles of developed trails for your enjoyment. With heart-stopping declines, hard climbs and switchbacks amongst the spectacular Pipestone scenery, this is one of the most popular riding areas in the country. There is something for all levels, and the trails are well-maintained for maximum enjoyment.

We advise that you check current regulations regarding OHV driving in Montana. For example, you will require an OHV registration decal and your vehicle must be well maintained and road-safe.

Mountain Biking

Mountain Biking is also popular in the area, with trails to suit all levels and abilities. The CDT Pipestone to Homestake bike trail is probably best suited to more advanced cyclists, with hard climbs and switchbacks. However, there are several spots on this trail where you can take a breath and admire the impressive landscape below.

If you prefer something a little easier, the nearby Blacktail Ridge trail is a bit more suited to the average rider, with some elevation but not quite as much. If you are visiting in July, the Butte 100 mountain bike race is always a popular event!

Climbing/Mountaineering

Montana is an excellent state to visit for anyone interested in climbing or mountaineering. From adrenalin boosting climbs to classic routes, the area is filled with routes to suit all levels and abilities. There are various popular climbing spots located near the Pipestone Trailhead, including the Boulder Batholith which is a favorite amongst visitors.

If you are feeling brave, the climb leading up to the 10,070 foot Red Mountain promises breath-taking views awaiting you at the summit.

Off-Season

Visit the Ringing Rocks

Situated around 18 miles to the east of Butte, this unique geological formation is definitely worth a visit when you are in the area. Also known as ‘rock gongs', the rocks here produce a melodious sound when tapped lightly with a hammer. This is caused by the environment and the composition of the Ringing Rocks, with the combination resulting in nature’s very own percussion instrument.

Hikers and mountain bikers may choose to visit the rocks via the Ringing Rocks Trails, which is a 12.7-mile round trip. You can drive part of the way, but you will need four-wheel-drive for the latter part of the trail as it can get pretty treacherous.

Rock Hounding

Montana is known as the Treasure State, and this may be due to the many opportunities to discover the precious metals and stones that the earth provides. People have been hounding for the beautiful agates around this location for centuries. The area around Delmoe Lake is also popular for those who love to hunt rocks, with smoky quartz and amethyst found in abundance here. The state is also well-known for its dinosaur fossil sites, with several prehistoric creatures being found in the area.

Skiing

If you are seeking quality powder, the freezing cold winters of Montana and the natural geography means that this could make an ideal winter vacation. As well as several ski resorts in the area, backcountry skiing is also popular, with the chance to speed through spectacular surroundings.

Mount Haggin is a well-known spot, but check out the information regarding each specific summit and weather conditions online before you head out. There is also excellent cross country skiing at Georgetown Lake, which is around 66 miles from the Pipestone trailhead campsite.

Find the perfect campsite.