Montana state parks
A calcite stalagmite in the Paradise Room that has grown to the top of the room's ceiling.
Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park tour guide Pam Schroeder explains to a group of tourists the various features of the Paradise Room, the largest cave in the park.
An illuminated stairway carved into the limestone leads tourists up to the Paradise Room at Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park.
Tourists make their way through the man-made tunnel which serves as the exit for the caves at Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park. The Civilian Conservation Corps built the 538-foot-long tunnel in the 1930s.
This base of a limestone stalagmite is made from material being dripped from the ceiling onto the formation.
Tourists stand next to one of the large calcite stalagmite formations inside the Paradise Room at Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park. The room is considered to be one the most decorative caves in the northwest United States.
Per Hogsten and his son Phillip of Lund, Sweden, explore the caves at Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park.
Tourists return from the caves at Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park.
Calcite formations line the walls of the caves at Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park.
The amphitheater at Travelers’ Rest State Park near Lolo.
Sluice Boxes State Park south of Belt in central Montana boasts plenty of options for hiking, fishing, rafting, swimming and much more.
Cooney State Park.
Tongue River Reservoir State Park near Decker was the fifth most-visited state park in Montana last year.
Floaters prepare for a trip on the Smith River.
An abandoned farmhouse north of Pompeys Pillar sits under the stars of the Big Sky. The house was lit with a hand-cranked LED flashlight.
Overlooks at Lone Pine State Park feature breathtaking Flathead Valley vistas. On a clear day, you can see Flathead Lake, Big Mountain, the Jewel Basin and Glacier National Park.
Area residents in the know will tell you that the best sunsets on Flathead Lake can be viewed from Wayfarers State Park.
Boating, swimming, water-skiing and fishing are popular activities at Whitefish Lake State Park.
Fish Creek merges with the Clark Fork River in the popular Alberton Gorge.
The setting sun casts a warming light on cliffs at Wayfarer State Park on Flathead Lake.
Makoshika State Park encompasses 11,538 acres.
Makoshika State Park includes a campground with 16 sites, a group picnic area and an outdoor amphitheater.
Makoshika State Park includes a newly remodeled visitor center and a gift shop at the park entrance houses a Triceratops skull and other badland interpretive displays.
Makoshika State Park is named after the Sioux word for badlands.
Makoshika State Park houses the fossil remains of such dinosaurs as Tyrannosaurus rex and triceratops.
Makoshika State Park takes its name from a Lakota phrase meaning "bad land" or "bad earth."
Giant Springs State Park is open year round, from 8 a.m. to sunset.
Giant Springs was discovered by the Lewis and Clark Expedition in 1805 and is one of the largest freshwater springs in the country.
Visitors to Giant Springs State Park can visit the fish hatchery and visitor center or walk along the Rivers Edge Trail, among many other activities.
Visitors to Medicine Rocks State Park can see thousands of inscriptions on the sandstone pillars dating back centuries.
Medicine Rocks State Park features soft sandstone rocks that have weathered over time, creating a unique landscape.
The Milky Way streaks out from a sandstone medicine rock at Medicine Rock State Park painted with a red light.
Lake Elmo State Park includes a 1.4-mile hiking/nature trail.
The 123-acre Lake Elmo State Park has a playground and a shelter for social events.
Visitors to Lake Elmo State Park can fish on the lake.
Lake Elmo State Park features a 64-acre reservoir inside the city limits of Billings.
Lake Elmo State Park is open daily, year round, from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Visitors to Lake Elmo State Park in Billings can swim, boat, sailboard, fish, picnic, birdwatch or stroll around the lake.
Chief Plenty Coups State Park honors the Crow chief.
Chief Plenty Coups State Park preserves the log home, sacred spring, and farmstead of Chief Plenty Coups. It is is a National Historic Landmark.
Chief Plenty Coups State Park is on the Crow Reservation in south-central Montana, 40 minutes south of Billings.
A two-hour tour of Chief Plenty Coups State Park south of Billings is being offered on Friday.
Pictograph Cave State Park is open in summer from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and the visitor center is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Pictograph Cave State Park was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1964, because of its archaeological significance.
Prehistoric hunters who camped in Pictograph Cave left behind artifacts and more than 100 pictographs, or rock paintings.
Celebrate the 75th anniversary of Montana State Parks with this collection of stories on our state's prized locations.