Crystal Lake Campground

Area Status: Closed

Crystal Lake Campground is in the shadow of Mt. Harlow at an elevation of 5,700 feet. The 28 campsites are large and widely spaced, and recent removal of hazard trees has left each camp site with expansive views of the surrounding mountains. The largest slot can accommodate a maximum trailer length of 45 feet and is a suitable campground for large RVs. Crystal Lake Campground opens around June 2nd and closes in late October.


Nearby trailheads lead to the Crystal Lake Loop Trail and a trail which leads to ice caves.  In the summer, Crystal Lake is well-suited for canoeing. The lake is stocked with rainbow trout. During drought years, the lake may dry up by late July.

All campgrounds on the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest are first-come, first-served. Reservations are not available. Camping is limited to 16 consecutive days in one location. A campground fee is required. Please pay at the self-serve campground fee station. Campsites cannot be reserved by simply paying for the site; camper must be present. A food storage order is in effect from March 1st to December 1st to prevent human-bear conflicts on the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest. Store all unattended food and attractants properly. Please see Food Storage Order for specifics. Open and close dates can vary depending on snowfall conditions. Please call the local district office or check our website. Leashed dogs are welcome. Horses are not allowed in campgrounds. Motorized OHVs must stay on the campground road. The campgrounds include access to potable water during the warmer months, and all have at least one handicap accessible vault toilet. Each campsite has a fire ring and/or grill, and a picnic table. Even if water is unavailable, campground fees are still required.


At a Glance

Current Conditions: As of 6/12/24 the campground remains closed while contractor finishes up
Fees: $20 per night for single unit
Usage: Light
Closest Towns: Lewistown, Harlowton, Stanford.
Water: Potable Water
Restroom: 3 Toilets
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Judith Ranger District 406-566-2292

General Information


From Lewistown travel west on US HWY 87 (aka: US Hwy 87-North) 8.7 miles to Forest Access sign (Crystal Lake Road). Turn left onto Crystal Lake Road (dirt) and go 5.3 miles to a Y intersection. Bear left and go 3.9 miles to Recreation Area sign. Turn left at sign, continuing on Crystal Lake Road, and go 12.7 miles to campground. Crystal Lake Road varies from a narrow two-lane road to single-lane. The last 5.7 miles are paved.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Campground Camping

No. of Sites 28 single site(s)
Reservation Info Not reservable
No. of Accessible sites 3 of 28

Lake and Pond Fishing

Viewing Scenery



Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  • Hunters With Disabilities
    These maps show access routes for hunters with disabilities that are licensed as required by the State of Montana. Access requirements and specifics are defined in the first page of this brochure.


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