Placid Lake State Park, located in Seely Lake, Montana, is one of the state parks that runs along the series of lakes called the Clearwater Chain of Lakes. The Clearwater River, which begins in the Swan Mountain range, passes through the Clearwater River Valley creating twelve lakes; the river carves out scenic vistas, small canyons, and produces numerous secluded-animal habitats along its route downstream.
Placid Lake is one of the more northern lakes in the Clearwater Chain, and Placid Lake State Park is one of the top-visited state parks along the chain as well. Placid Lake State Park is a 31-acre park known for its river and lake recreational activities. Inside of the park, the lakefront campground is a place where RVers can relax and enjoy Montana’s iconic scenery, as well as a place to set up camp and venture out and experience one of the park’s many activities.
Park visitors will find plenty of adventure both in and around the park's boundaries. West Glacier and Glacier National Park are just a few hours away from Placid Lake State Park. Take your RV or tow vehicle, and head to Glacier National Park, a park known for its stunning landscape. While you are there, drive on Going-to-the-Sun Road, wade in the turquoise waters, and head out to one of the 700-scenic hikes. Montana is the epitome of outdoor adventure, and no matter how long you stay, you will want to come back often.
Placid Lake State Park is located 51 miles from Missoula, and 7.7 miles from Seeley Lake, Montana.
Montana state parks have a seasonal park fee schedule, and fees vary depending on the time of year. Prices also range for residents and non-residents. Please check the website for seasonal fees to determine what your entry fee might look light for the time of your visit. Non-residents may purchase a yearly pass to have unlimited entry fees for a year.
Guests arriving late should set up camp before 10:00 pm when quiet hours begin.
The Placid Lake State Park Campground is a pet-friendly, seasonally-operating campground. The campground has multiple loops, with each loop offering differing levels of hookups. The campground has hydrants scattered throughout the facility, so campers have water within a short distance of their campsite. There are modern comfort stations with showers, as well as vault toilets, and a place to purchase firewood and ice. All of the RV sites have an asphalt driveway, a picnic table, and a fire ring. Some of the spaces have waterfront views, and although the majority of the sites are back-in, there are a select number of pull-through spaces with the largest site accommodating RVs up to 46 feet in length. When reserving your site, you can choose from 50-amp, electric-only sites or primitive sites with no hookups. Quiet hours are from 10:00 pm to 7:00 am. All noise, including generators, should abstain during these hours. Campers should also note that proper storage of food and waste is required. Bear-resistant garbage dumpsters are located throughout the campground, and a bear-resistant locker is available for campers who don’t have a hard-sided vehicle.
During the summer, boaters come from all over the state to boat on Placid Lake. The lake permits many different types of watercraft from canoes and kayaks to motorized pontoon boats and ski boats. Launch your vessel from the boat ramp, located inside of the main park. If you are staying in the campground, inquire about renting a slip during your stay. Slips are located near the campground, so it’s easy for guests to get out onto the water quickly from their RVs. Please review Montana boating regulations before heading out on the water.
The park has many areas for day use activities. If you like water activities, the lake has a swimming area near the northeast side. If you prefer family-friendly games, the park has horseshoe pits and volleyball courts available. People who like picnics have a few options for a meal outdoors. There is one picnic shelter inside of the campground, and there are more picnic tables, fire grates, a boat dock, and restrooms available in the day-use only area, located a mile and a half past the campground on North Shore Road.
Every Saturday night during the summer, Montana State Parks host educational programs for people of all ages. The events are family-friendly and informative, as well as free and open to the public. Topics vary, but generally, there are programs created to teach people about Montana’s natural resources, or classes structured to educate people about the area’s wildlife. Art classes, fishing clinics, and lessons on bear safety are just a few of the other programs offered. The events are not always hosted at Placid Lake. The local parks rotate hosting the events, and Placid Lake is one of the three area parks offering classes.
Bring your boat and access the clear waters of Placid Lake from the park’s boat launch. Placid Lake has many fish species including bull, brook, brown, rainbow, and cutthroat trout, and yellow perch, kokanee salmon, largemouth bass, and mountain whitefish. Don’t forget to pick up your fishing license before heading to the park, the state of Montana requires that all anglers over the age of 12 have and possess a valid fishing license. Order your license online, or pick one up at most of the sporting good stores in the area.
Montana has many different permissible hunting areas located in and around Placid Lake State Park. Big game, small game, trappers, and waterfowl hunts are just some of the types of hunting done near Placid Lake. Plan your hunt on public land or National Forest land depending on the season. Hunters will need a valid Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks permit as well as the proper tags and hunter safety classes. Contact Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks for detailed hunting information.
Montana’s scenic landscapes and its many rivers and lakes create the ideal habitat for animals. Placid Lake, known for its greenery provides park guests with plenty of opportunities to see wildlife. The water attracts many different species of birds, both migratory and non-migratory. Look for osprey, waterfowl, common loons, bald eagles, great blue herons, and red-necked grebes during your stay. As with any wildlife that passes through the park, please keep a safe distance and enjoy the animals and birds from afar.