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Montana is known for its beautiful scenery, excellent fly fishing, and remote RV camping opportunities. Book an RV in Deer Lodge County and spend a few days experiencing everything Lost Creek State Park has to offer. This park, founded in 1957, is in the heart of Montana’s copper country and is surrounded by a wealth of mining history.
Lost Creek State Park is in southern Montana, just over 100 miles south of Missoula and 30 miles northwest of Butte. But despite its relatively close distance to these cities, it still offers a feeling of serenity. Lost Creek State Park is 502 acres and is known for its feature 50-foot waterfall in the northwest corner of the park. The park itself sits in a 1,200-foot deep canyon bordered by limestone walls and vivid pink granite rock formations, split up by bands of brilliant green pines. You can spot bighorn sheep and mountain goats on these steep walls if you look closely. Lost Creek is shaded by pines and large stands of aspens that turn bright gold in the fall.
Lost Creek State Park has two signature hikes. The first is an extremely short, easy hike to the base of the falls. It’s less than a tenth of a mile from the parking lot and features an interpretive display. If you want to see more of the area, you can follow a much longer trail that starts at the parking lot, traverses northwest of the falls, and crisscrosses through forests and meadows. The trail passes an old mining cabin and gives you excellent views of the surrounding mountain ranges. You can go as far as you like, and make it as long as an 11-mile out-and-back if you have the time.
The trail above the falls – and other trails near the park – are well-known by mountain bikers. The first part of the trail follows an old, wide mining road, but it eventually turns into single-track a few miles in. The gradual climb up makes for a moderately intense workout, which will be followed by an enjoyable descent back down to your camp.
There are many ways for Lost Creek State Park campers to enjoy the park's wildlife. Bring some binoculars or telephoto camera lenses to spot the mountain goats clinging to the canyon walls and the bighorn sheep that occasionally pass through also. The small creeks in the parks are full of beaver dams, and you also stand a chance of seeing the furry engineers who built them. Anglers can fish for brook trout in Lost Creek; a fishing license is required for anyone 12 and older.
You’ll find 21 primitive campsites at Lost Creek State Park. The campsites close to the entrance could possibly accommodate a motorhome rental up to about 27 feet long, but the park doesn’t recommend anything longer than 23 feet. Once you get further up into the canyon, closer to the waterfall, maneuvering becomes difficult even for smaller RVs. Some sites lack shade, and it can get hot in the summer, but if you get there early, you might be able to get your pick of beautiful shaded campsites. The campground is closed from winter through early spring. If you need a bigger site or visit during winter months, you can try more accommodating RV parks in nearby Anaconda.
The campground at Lost Creek State Park is mostly dry, so don’t expect a lot of comforts you might find elsewhere. Restroom facilities consist of vault toilets, and there are water pumps within the campground. There are no showers, hookups, or a dump station. Each site does, however, have a picnic table and fire ring. You’ll need to pack out your trash as there are no trash services at the Lost Creek State Park RV campground. Pets are allowed as long as they’re kept on a leash.
The closest place to stock up your rental RV at Lost Creek State Park isn’t too far away. Anaconda is just ten miles to the south, and although it’s a small town, you’ll find plenty of gas stations and outfitters for resupply. Anaconda, with roots in mining, is full of beautiful old brick buildings and Victorian homes. While you’re there, be sure to check out the Copper Village Museum and Art Center, located in the distinguished old City Hall building. You can also hit the links, backdropped by stunning mountain ranges, and eat at one of the town’s many old pub-style grills.
If you haven’t had your fill of mining history, visit Butte, just 45 minutes southeast of Lost Creek State Park. Butte is home to the Mineral Museum, Copper King Mansion, and the World Museum of Mining, offering both above and underground tours.
After leaving Butte, you can continue southeast to Bozeman or northeast to Helena, where you’ll find even more of the fly fishing and motorhome camping opportunities that make Montana a prime destination for adventurers traveling in a camper rental.