Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park (Whitehall, MT)

After a night with friends in Couer d’Alene, we headed toward Butte, MT so we could camp at Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park. Lewis & Clark Caverns was formerly a National Park, but then changed to Montana’s very first State Park.

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The campground is right off the road, and was very easy to find. It wasn’t far from Butte, so if you need to run to town for something it is an easy trip. There isn’t much shade through out the campground, although once the sun drops behind the hills you will feel the relief of the the heat (this happened around 8:00p). It is fairly dry and can get hot, so just be aware. We were in spot E4 and we noticed some of the spots in the A Loop seemed to get a bit of shade.

There is a really nice playground for kids which was great after being in the car to run some of the energy off. The kids were having a blast and this appears to be a popular campground for families. I was warned to watch for rattlesnakes and we kept an eye on things. We didn’t see or hear anything, so they seemed to keep their distance in the campground. Hiking in the area you might see them more readily.

The campground has toilets, showers ($2.00/5-minutes), and our site had a fire ring, picnic table, water and electric.

There is a visitor’s center right next to the campground that gives information about the caverns which are up the hill about 5 minutes by car. You can pick up a Jr. Ranger Packet and badges here as well!

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In the picture, the top trail takes you to the cave and the bottom trail returns you to the visitor’s center.

20130930-130421.jpgMake sure you head up the hill to see the view, even if you aren’t able to go into the cave. It is a bit of a hike to get to the cave entrance (about a half mile and there is a slight incline), and being at altitude makes it even harder than usual.

20130930-130452.jpgThe cave is one of the best I have been to. It is a series of steps up and down, you have to slide along the rock at one point, and you get to see some amazing formations. All tours are guided by rangers, which will give you better understanding and explanations, full of plenty of puns and jokes, of everything you are seeing. It was great! If you are lucky, you might even see some of 20130930-130446.jpgthe bats that call the caverns home! The fees
to tour the caverns are $10/adult and $5/kid.
This is an area I would love to bring my husband back to, as he wasn’t able to join us. It is a really amazing and ever-changing place. The campground gives you everything you need as well and we would recommend staying here. It is only about 2 hours from the West Entrance of Yellowstone also, which gave us an easy drive to Madison Campground for our next night of our trip.

 

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