Montana Sets Bar High With National Forest Camping At Quartz Flat
When traveling through Montana there is a portion of the state which suddenly opens up in such an inviting way as the National Forest and Mountains start to give you the first glimpse of the upcoming PNW environment. Tall trees welcome you and on a cool fall day the crisp air produces a beautiful fog over the mountains.
As I entered into this section of the 2 million acre LOLO National Forest I initially pulled into a rest area to make lunch only to realize that the exit point for the rest area was actually also the shared entry point for the Quartz Flat Campground.
The immediate sense of comfort abounded as large campsites became visible as I drove down the entry and the opening of the 2 loops welcomed me in with open arms. Sites were well shaded and had ample ground to spread out and get comfortable for a stay from a day to 14 days at only $10 a night or $5 for those with the Senior Access pass.
I was very surprised when I noticed that Loop C was designed for smaller RVs, Vans and Tent campers and Loop A was designed for larger units which required pull through entry. There was attention to detail for any possible traveler, something which commonly is not considered in design of National Forest campsites.
But far beyond the size this started to reveal to me that it was not your typical campsite on National Forest land for many other reasons. There were both vault toilets and flush toilets at the location scattered throughout camp and drinking water spigots available at central points.
For tent campers the forest bed offered a lush and soft pad for set up and with sites being quite large there was a tranquility which came from camping here. All sites were equipped with fire rings and tables but a select few were the location of bear boxes. After leaving Yellowstone where each site had a bear box this was bit confusing to me as to why there were limited bear boxes but this did not deter me.
Additionally there is a dump station and trash collection at the Loop C entry point, very uncommon for these type of sites. There also was a trail which began on the C Loop and traversed 1/2 a mile with information available at the main road with free brochures.
Departing this loop, I thought I had seen it all, but boy was I wrong!! There was an entire other campground on the opposite side of the highway, accessible by a tunnel which passed under the highway itself. This campground near mirrored that of the A & C Loops however appeared a bit closer to the highway.
If you are visiting this campground make sure you bring everything with you, there is no store nearby for a quick stop.
Check dates of closure for this campground. When I arrived there were signs posted at the pay kiosk of closure beginning September 16th.
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