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Placid Lake State Park and its adjoining campground are located in the stunningly beautiful Clearwater/Swan River Valley region. Nestled between the Swan and Mission Mountains and close to lakes Seeley, Swan, and Inez, the region is a year-round hot spot for outdoor recreation. The city of Kalispell and Flathead Lake (one of America’s largest natural lakes) are also less than two hours' drive from Placid Lake. The region is considered to be a gateway to the Bob Marshall Wilderness and Glacier National Park. While there are a number of excellent campsites in the Clearwater/Swan River Valley, Placid Lake Campground is one of the most convenient places to stay if you want to enjoy all of the great things the valley has to offer.
Sites at Placid Lake Campground include electrical hookups and access to drinking water, but no hookups for water or sewage; there’s a dump station on the edge of the park, though. Restrooms consist of pit toilets, but there are shower facilities if you don’t want to use your rental while motorhome camping. For the most part, the sites are rustic, with the intention that visitors come to enjoy nature and the amazing recreational opportunities rather than campground amenities.
Placid Lake Campground is connected to Seeley Lake and Kalispell via Highway 83 and is just a short distance from Highway 200, which connects the larger cities of Missoula and Great Falls. While both of these are slower two-lane highways, there’s never too much traffic (unless a herd of deer is crossing the road), so it never takes too long to drive to the next town or one of the nearby trailheads.
Placid Lake State Park and several wonderful lakes upriver of it are ideal for watersports when you’re RV camping in Western Montana. Canoes, kayaks, powerboats, and jet skis are all welcome on the lake, and there are a boat ramp and dock facilities near the campground. If you need to rent a boat, there are several shops in Seeley Lake that can hook you up with one.
Those looking for a thrill will enjoy floating the nearby Blackfoot River, which has a few Class II and Class III rapids - enough to keep you on your toes, but not too scary for beginner paddlers (or inner tubers). Again, kayaks and rafts can be picked up in Seeley Lake or Missoula, which has a variety of sporting goods stores.
Getting a rental RV near Placid Lake Campground also puts you within spitting distance of the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex, the second largest roadless area in the Lower 48 states. The “Bob” has a massive network of trails for everything from day hikes to multi-week backpacking trips. Some of the most scenic trails can be found near Holland Lake, about forty-five minutes north of Placid Lake.
If you’re interested in taking a road trip with your RV rental, the western entrance to Glacier National Park is about two hours' drive from the campsites at Placid Lake State Park. Lake McDonald is just a few miles from the entrance and is a fantastic place to rent a kayak and paddle around in its glacier-fed waters. Park rangers at the Apgar Visitor Center can help you choose a hiking trail suitable for your experience and fitness level, and if you want to do some backcountry camping, this is also where you’d pick up the permits to do so.
If you need to buy any supplies while RV camping at Placid Lake Campground, the little mountain town of Seeley Lake will be your most convenient option as it's only 15 minutes' drive away. It’s primarily a logging community, but also serves a lot of tourists hiking in the Bob Marshall Wilderness or snowmobiling in the nearby Swan Mountains. There’s a small grocery store there, plus quite a few gas stations with dump facilities, several souvenir shops, and a handful of restaurants to choose from.
Those curious about the history of the town can visit the Seeley Lake Historical Museum, housed in an old barn on the south end of town. It’s fairly small, but the barn’s horse stalls are set up to display Seeley Lake’s culture and how natural resource extraction shaped its history.
If you need an even bigger selection of dining and entertainment options, Missoula is about an hour's drive from the campsites at Placid Lake Campground. It’s one of the largest cities in the state and also home to the University of Montana, which makes for a more vibrant nightlife than you’d find in Seeley Lake. It’s also where the closest shopping centers, movie theaters, and most of the urban amenities are located. Missoula also has the largest concentration of craft breweries in the state, so if you’re a hophead, this is the place to be when you book an RV in Missoula County.