After leaving Bozeman we headed east toward Billings. We try to drive no more than 2.5 – 3 hours between stops – both for our sanity and our kids. The drive all the way between Bozeman and Billings was a bit long, so we knew we wanted to stop somewhere in between. We had spent so much on expensive campgrounds the first part of July that we really wanted to try more boondocking – or camping without water and electricity – in more primitive spots. This has the advantage of being much cheaper, but also, the atmosphere far surpasses being in a private RV campground.
Montana has something called Fishing Access Sites – and many of them offer overnight camping for a nominal fee – like $8-$15/night! At Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park we found a copy of this Montana Fishing Access Field Guide and it was incredibly useful for finding locations that allow overnight camping.
About halfway between Bozeman and Billings there is a sweet little spot on the Yellowstone River called Indian Fort Fishing Access point, near Reed, Montana. It’s right off I-90 and had very easy access with our trailer. Cost was $12/night (without a fishing license) and it’s first-come, first-serve spots. I admit – I was nervous driving into the campground, thinking the place would either be abandoned in a creepy way or filled with creepy people. I didn’t know what to expect, but we agreed to drive through and evaluate it before making the decision on whether to stay or not.