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Idaho Montana campground recommendations

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  • Idaho Montana campground recommendations

    Planning a trip up Highway 12 through Lolo Pass and into NW Montana in mid to late Sept. Hoping someone can give me recommendations for campgrounds that I can get in and out of fairly easily with a dually and 32’ trailer (29L). Forest Service site doesn’t give a lot of info/pics. Not to concerned about hookups, just accessibility.
    So far I’m looking at Winchester, visiting old friends in Nez Perce and Grangeville, then down to Orofino and Kamiah, and up to Ronan, Kalispell, and Thompson Falls. In years past used to motorcycle camp on this route, but can’t remember (probably not paying attention) accessibility. Drove through in the car a few times recently, but had time deadlines to meet so didn’t explore.
    Also looking for interesting places to see; museums, points of interest.
    Thanks in advance,
    Roger
    Roger & Kelly, Crayonn (Goldendoodle)
    2009 Arctic Fox 29L
    2019 Chev 3500HD Duramax Dually, Retractable tonneau, Edge gauges, Torklift hitch/camper tiedowns.

  • #2
    There are a lot along the Lochsa coming up the Idaho side. Our favorite is the one at Powell Ranger Station. It is reservable and (bonus) has electric. And you can walk to Lochsa Lodge for dinner or a toddy. Hwy 93 from Lolo to Ronan is pretty barren of camp spots unless you go commercial. Montana State Parks have upgraded in recent years. Do a web search for their info. There are a lot of boondock areas around Kalispell and T Falls but you need to stumble on them. Just too many to list and we keep sorta close mouthed about our favs. One I will share is Thompson Pass from T Falls to Murray Idaho. Beautiful route, minimal traffic and several good boondock sites as you get to Murray. Good burgers and a neat little museum in Murray.
    Ken and Rita Madsen
    2018 GMC 3500 Duramax, 2016 27-5L

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    • #3
      Thanks Ken.
      Powell is the one I was trying to remember. Lots to do within short distances, I vaguely remember trying to walk the trail after a night of toddy’s at the lodge, always seemed to forget the flashlight……
      In Murray are you talking about something Pole restaurant? Haven’t been there in 30 years….
      used to be a boondocks area within a couple miles of Thompson Pass on the west side, is it still there? Had a beautiful view of the valley, but if I remember right it was a pretty rough slow going road about a mile or so off the hiway and only marked as a forest service road.
      used to spend a lot of time in these areas in the 80’s and early 90’s when I lived in Spokane and Missoula. Wife now has only been through on quick business trips with me, likes to visit old western and mining towns and museums.
      Roger & Kelly, Crayonn (Goldendoodle)
      2009 Arctic Fox 29L
      2019 Chev 3500HD Duramax Dually, Retractable tonneau, Edge gauges, Torklift hitch/camper tiedowns.

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      • #4
        Thompson Pass is a good paved road. It is narrow and twisty, not made for speed. A bit steep, but nothing a modern RV shouldn't be able to handle although an exhaust brake is handy on the downhill section. Only about 5 miles of hill each way so it's not too long. I don't remember the name of the bar/burger place, but you can't miss it in the middle of downtown Murray. Idaho side is a pretty drive along the river to Kingston.
        Ken and Rita Madsen
        2018 GMC 3500 Duramax, 2016 27-5L

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        • #5
          Originally posted by MtCamper View Post
          Thompson Pass is a good paved road. It is narrow and twisty, not made for speed. A bit steep, but nothing a modern RV shouldn't be able to handle although an exhaust brake is handy on the downhill section. Only about 5 miles of hill each way so it's not too long. I don't remember the name of the bar/burger place, but you can't miss it in the middle of downtown Murray. Idaho side is a pretty drive along the river to Kingston.
          Try these:

          Bob
          ======
          Happy former owner of a AF 22G (2001-2010), AF 25R (2010-2013), and cross-town "cousin" (2014-2021). Currently enjoying a 2016 AF22G (2021- ).
          ---------
          2018 Dodge 2500 Laramie Crew Cab SWB, Cummins, 4X4, Leer, 1200#/12,000# Equal-i-zer.
          Retired, very.

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          • #6
            Spragpole is the one I was thinking of. It’s been a lot of years……
            Roger & Kelly, Crayonn (Goldendoodle)
            2009 Arctic Fox 29L
            2019 Chev 3500HD Duramax Dually, Retractable tonneau, Edge gauges, Torklift hitch/camper tiedowns.

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            • #7
              We are out on the Camas Prairie. Bear Den RV in Grangeville is nice, would recommend the Monastery and museum at Cottonwood, lots of interesting history. Neat old train trestles. Sounds like a great trip, have fun!
              Jack and Laurie
              2003 Chevy Duramax 2500 and 2012 GMC 3500 Duramax
              2013 Desert Fox 27F
              2010 Honda Rancher AT FPA
              2018 Honda Rubicon
              2019 Honda Talon X

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              • #8
                I had forgotten about Cottonwood, used to drive through there once a week for years. Sales territory took me to Orofino, Kamiah, Stites and Grangeville. Still remember getting snowed on in Grangeville over 4th of July.
                Roger & Kelly, Crayonn (Goldendoodle)
                2009 Arctic Fox 29L
                2019 Chev 3500HD Duramax Dually, Retractable tonneau, Edge gauges, Torklift hitch/camper tiedowns.

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                • #9
                  West of Orofino is the Pink House Recreation Area. Used to be boondocking but now it’s a small RV Park. BLM right on the river $9/night with Senior Pass.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by HRA View Post
                    Thanks Ken.
                    Powell is the one I was trying to remember. Lots to do within short distances, I vaguely remember trying to walk the trail after a night of toddy’s at the lodge, always seemed to forget the flashlight……
                    In Murray are you talking about something Pole restaurant? Haven’t been there in 30 years….
                    used to be a boondocks area within a couple miles of Thompson Pass on the west side, is it still there? Had a beautiful view of the valley, but if I remember right it was a pretty rough slow going road about a mile or so off the hiway and only marked as a forest service road.
                    used to spend a lot of time in these areas in the 80’s and early 90’s when I lived in Spokane and Missoula. Wife now has only been through on quick business trips with me, likes to visit old western and mining towns and museums.
                    Sorry about hijacking your post. Your comment sparked an old memory. Fishing off the WA coast, we pulled into Neah Bay to get ice at the cannery. Neah Bay is on the Makah Indian Reservation and is a dry town. Some of us hitchhiked to the nearest town with alcohol for a few drinks. Me and another crewman got pretty "toddyed out" and by the time we started back to the boat there was ZERO traffic and no hope of a ride. The old rural roads had a pretty noticeable crown and as we staggered back to Neah Bay we were stumbling so badly we kept falling into the ditch, which we found to be hilariously funny at the time. Hours later we did make it back to the boat and bravely endured our hangovers that day as we headed back out to the fishing grounds. Oh, the folly of youth. (my wife would now make some comment about underdeveloped prefrontal cortex lobes. )
                    Kim + Betsy
                    I do all my own stunts....just ask my wife.
                    2017 AF 35-5Z
                    2017 F450 Lariat

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                    • #11
                      Columbia Falls RV Park is very nice. Convenient to Kalispell and the West Glacier area.
                      2015 GMC Sierra 3500HD Dually 6 liter Gas, DC, LB, 4.10's, 2016 AF 990

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by GeoBoy View Post
                        Columbia Falls RV Park is very nice. Convenient to Kalispell and the West Glacier area.
                        Second that .... We stayed there last fall and loved the clean, quiet park. Close to Glacier NP, Whitefish, shopping, etc.
                        Travel Blog: www.rocklinroamers.wordpress.com

                        2015 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD:SRW, Duramax / Allison 6.6L Turbo-Diesel, Extended Cab, Long Bed, 4x4, Reese 16K Hitch, 50gal In-Bed Fuel Tank (85 gals total)

                        2016 Arctic Fox 29-5T:Six-Point Leveling System, Fireplace, Two A/C's, Two Honda EU2000i Generators, TST "507" Tire Monitoring System, King-Size Bed, Progressive 'Hard-Wired' 50amp Surge Protector, 16gal Water Heater, Slide-Toppers, Power-Reel, 'G Rated' Sailun Tires.

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                        • #13
                          Thanks for the recommendations. Pink House and Columbia falls are now on our list. Pink House will be perfect as a friend lived up Bobbit Bench Rd right across the highway. Can’t get the trailer up his driveway, to many switchbacks on a 10’ wide track. SB with SRW and a 16’ boat takes an hour to go a mile and a half…..
                          Roger & Kelly, Crayonn (Goldendoodle)
                          2009 Arctic Fox 29L
                          2019 Chev 3500HD Duramax Dually, Retractable tonneau, Edge gauges, Torklift hitch/camper tiedowns.

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