Montana has some real gems when it comes to state parks. National parks sometimes get all the accolades, especially when you've got Glacier and Yellowstone out your backdoor. But Montana's state parks are some of the best in the country. If it's been a while since you've discovered a new one, might we suggest one of these...

Montana residents who pay the $9 state parks fee with their annual vehicle registration have no daily entrance fees to state parks. For residents who don't include this in their vehicle registration, non-resident day use fees apply.

LOST CREEK STATE PARK: (Anaconda, MT) This is a 500 acre park situated at 6,200 ft. elevation. This mountainous park has the creek, steep cliffs, a 50 foot waterfall, lots of wildlife and 25 campsites available. There are Forest Service trails leading out of the park if you want to go for a longer hike than what the park offers. It's a pack in/pack out situation, and it's open about mid-May until late November, weather dependent.

Lost Creek State Park - MTFWP
Lost Creek State Park - MTFWP
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ACKLEY LAKE STATE PARK: (Hobson, MT) Located about 40 miles north of Harlowton. "Loved the fishing here. Only place I've been able to fish for Tiger Muskie so far." There are two boat launches on the lake, and 26 campsites. From this state park, you'll be surrounded by the Little Belt and Snowy Mountains. Although easy to get to, this state park is kind of in the middle of nowhere.

Ackley Lake State Park - MTFWP
Ackley Lake State Park - MTFWP
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SPRING MEADOW LAKE STATE PARK: (Helena, MT) This is an urban state park on the west side of Helena. It might seem an odd choice for a 'hidden' park but if you've never experienced how convenient it is, you should stop by the next time you're in Helena. Sometimes you don't have the time to drive many miles to visit a state park. This convenient one makes the list for it's amenities - it's got a lake, nature trail, wildlife, swimming, a pavilion that can be rented, etc.

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SALMON LAKE STATE PARK: (Seeley Lake, MT) If you spend a lot of time near Seeley Lake, Salmon Lake State Park won't see very 'hidden' to you. But if the Clearwater River chain isn't on your radar, this Montana state park is a gem - as long as there isn't road construction nearby. The water is usually pretty clear, and there are plenty of spots for young children to play in the water.

"Love this place (Salmon Lake State Park) for both tent camping and trailering. Most of the sites are back-in though. Electricity posts are 30 and 50. There are water faucets scattered all over to fill your tank. Easy in/easy out. Lovely lake for canoes or kayaks."

Salmon Lake State Park - MTFWP
Salmon Lake State Park - MTFWP
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