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part ofCanyon Ferry Lake, Bureau of Reclamation
Status: Open through Thu Dec 31 2015   Season Dates


Hellgate Campground and Group Use Shelter Area is located 30 miles east of Helena, Montana, along Montana Highway 284 or 21 miles north of Townsend, Montana. In July of 1805 the Lewis and Clark Expedition traveled through the Canyon Ferry area exploring and mapping the Missouri River. When Lewis visited the area he described it as a “beautiful and extensive plain country of about 10 to 12 miles wide which extended upwards further than an eye could see.” In the 1850s the gold rush hit the Canyon Ferry area attracting miners from all over the United States in the hopes of striking it rich.

Natural Features:

Hellgate Campground and Group Use Shelter Area sits along the banks of Canyon Ferry Reservoir in an open valley between the Big Belt and Elkhorns mountain ranges. Along the bank of the reservoir there is a narrow riparian canopy that provides partial shade.


Canyon Ferry Reservoir offers a wide range of year-round recreational opportunities. Water related activities include everything from swimming and fishing to sailing and motor-boating. Canoeists and kayakers explore the many quiet backwater bays. Jet skiers, windsurfers and water skiers skim the summer waves, while winter draws ice fishermen and ice skaters.


Hellgate Campground and Group Use Area Shelter is the largest developed campground on Canyon Ferry Reservoir with 69 campsites. The campground provides a mixture of single and double campsites, three group use shelter areas with electric, boat ramp, parking area for boat trailers and several day use picnic sites.

Nearby Attractions:

Hellgate Campground and Group Use Shelter Area is located halfway between Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park. The city of Helena, Montana, the state capital, is 25 miles away and the city of Townsend, Montana, is 21 miles away. For up to date events visit, click here

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Accessible Boat Dock
  • Accessible Boat Ramp
  • Accessible Campsites
  • Accessible Drinking Water
  • Accessible Flush Toilets
  • Accessible Grills
  • Accessible Parking
  • Accessible Picnic Areas
  • Accessible Picnic Shelters
  • Accessible Pit Toilets
  • Accessible Sites
  • Accessible Vault Toilets
  • Bay Access
  • Beach
  • Beach Access
  • Boat Ramp
  • Boat Trailer Parking
  • Boating
  • Campfire Rings
  • Canoeing
  • Day Use Area
  • Drinking Water
  • Drinking Water (Peak Season)
  • Entrance Station
  • First Aid Kit
  • Fishing
  • Flush Toilets (Seasonal)
  • Grills
  • Group Camping
  • Group Site (Reservable)
  • Horseshoe Pit
  • Host
  • Ice Fishing
  • Jet Skiing
  • Kayaking
  • Lake Access
  • Parking Area
  • Paved Sites
  • Pets Allowed
  • Picnic Area
  • Picnic Shelters
  • RV sites
  • Recycling
  • Sailing
  • Self Pay Station
  • Swimming
  • Tent sites
  • Tubing
  • Water
  • Water Activities
  • Water Skiing
  • Water Spigot
  • Waterfront Sites
  • Wildlife Viewing
Within 10 Miles
  • Dump Station
Know Before You Go
  • All campsites are to be considered single unit sites unless marked as a double site. Single campsites are limited to one camping / sleeping unit per campsite. An exception will be made for parents with young children; Parents may have one additional tent for children under the age of 18.

  • RVs, vehicles and trailers must be parked on the gravel/pavement and within designated areas of the campsite or established parking area provided.

    Group Use Shelters:
  • Shelters allowing overnight camping will be limited to the number of campsites allowed at each shelter and restricted to designated campsites at each shelter location.
  • No electrical source for camp trailers or RVs is available at shelters.
  • Campsites are available for each of the following shelters:
    Shelter A - 15 campsites $170.00 / night.
    Shelter B - 10 campsites $130.00 / night.
    Shelter C - 5 campsites $90.00 / night.

  • Pets must be physically constrained by a leash under 6’ in length or a structure. Do not leave pets unattended. It is your responsibility to clean up after your own pet.

  • Quiet hours are from 10:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. This include noise from generators and vehicle engines.

  • Abandoned or unattended property will be addressed in accordance with 43 CFR Part 423.23

Getting There:

GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
46.61766, -111.64013
46°37'4"N, 111°38'24"W

From Helena, MT: Head east along Co Rd 430/Canyon Ferry Rd from Helena, MT, continue for 38 miles to the Hellgate Campground and Group Use Shelter Area sign and turn right. Continue straight until you reach the campground.

From Townsend, MT: Head north on Hwy 284 for 21 miles and turn left at the Hellgate Campground and Group Use Shelter Areasign. Continue straight until you reach the campground.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

7700 Canyon Ferry Road
Helena  MT  59601

Phone Number:

Project Office: (406) 475-3921
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