Bannack State Park

Bannack State Park, Montana
Bannack, Montana

Bannack is the site of Montana's first big gold strike. News of the strike got out on July 28, 1862 and there were more than 3,000 people living at the site within one year of that. It wasn't too many years after that, though, that the value of gold started dropping off, and the gold miner populations started dropping off, too. Today, more than 50 preserved log and frame buildings still stand along Main Street in a town that was once being considered for Montana's capital. The buildings are being preserved (protected) but not being restored (exploited).

All 1,529 acres of Bannack State Park are open year-round, while the visitor center is only open from Memorial Day through Labor Day. There are 28 camp sites with fire rings/grills, nearby vault toilets, picnic tables, drinking water and trash cans. The visitor center offers flush toilets. Nearby Grasshopper Creek also offers some pretty good fishing.

Every year during the third weekend in July, Bannack Days happens, with historic activities, events and displays that recall the early days of Montana's settlement.

Fees: $5 per vehicle for day use; $3 per person for walk-in, bike-in; $15 per site for camping, May 1 to September 30. Maximum vehicle length in the campground area is 35'. The stay limit is 14 days in any 30-day period. Pets are allowed but only if kept on a leash.

To get to Bannack State Park: Get off Interstate 15 at exit 59 (Highway 278) and go west on Highway 278 for 18 miles to Bannack Road. Then turn and go south 4 more miles. The entrance to Bannack State Park will be on the left.
Photo of Bannack State Park courtesy of Travel Montana.
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