Bear Creek Campground - MT

Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest

Bear Creek Campground is located at the base of the western slope of the Madison Range in southwest Montana. It's part of an administrative site that also includes the Bear Creek and Bear Creek Bunkhouse rental cabins and a trailhead for entry to the Lee Metcalf Wilderness Area. The small campground features 12 campsites, 6 on each side of the creek. The six sites north of the creek include facilities for horses/stock, while those south of the creek are non-horse use only.  This is the only campground on the west side of the Madison mountain range so it can be expected to be crowded and busy during hunting season. There is very little firewood available anywhere near the campground.

The campground will be undergoing improvement installations in the spring/early summer of 2023. Each campsite will have a parking site, picnic table and fire ring. There are two centrally located water hydrants, with water usually being available fro mid-May through September and a centrally located bear box for food storage. There are two SST outhouses, one on each side of the creek. Campsites 7 - 12, on the north side of the creek, are equipped with hitchrails and corrals for horses. Horses are not permitted at Campsites 1 - 6. Additional corrals are planned to be installed at the trailhead but there may not be a corral guaranteed for each campsite.  

Need to Know

Natural Features

At the base of the Madison mountain range, the campground is situated in a draw between hills on the edge of the National Forest. The Lee Metcalf Wilderness is immediately to the east and a State wildlife management area to the north. The trailhead, at the site, provides access to the Middle Fork and Trail Fork trails, as well as access to ascend Sphinx Mountain, a prominant peak in the range. Most campsites are shaded by Douglas fir and aspen trees. 

Nearby Attractions

The Lee Metcalf Wilderness is adjacent to the campground. The west entrance to Yellowstone National Park is about 70 miles to the southeast. Lewis and Clark State Caverns is about 60 miles to the north.


Hiking, horseback riding and hunting are very popular activities by visitors to this campground and parking may be difficult to find during peak season. The Middle Fork and Trail Fork trailhead is located only steps away. Because the trails lead to designated Wilderness, no motorized or mechanized use is allowed on the trails. The trailhead is the starting point for those climbing Sphinx Mountain. From December 2 until noon of May 15, the Wildlife Management Area just north of the campground is closed to all entry except to those who stay strictly on the trail and are only passing through to Forest lands. It is open for recreational use the remainder of the year.    

Contact Information


Madison Ranger District 5 Forest Service Road Ennis MT 59729


Madison Ranger District 5 Forest Service Road Ennis MT 59729

Rental Options

Learn more about gear rental options for your trip

Driving Directions

From Ennis MT, travel south on US Highway 287 eleven miles to Cameron. Turn left onto Bear Creek Road and travel on pavement for 3 miles, turn right and pavement ends. Travel 1.5 miles and turn left. Travel one mile and turn right. Travel just under one mile and turn left at the old school house. Finally travel 2.3 miles to the campground. All turns have Bear Creek signs and, along the last 2.3 miles, landowner signs indicate private roads. Coming from the south, follow US Highway 287 to Cameron and follow previous directions from there. 


Available Campsites

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