Missouri Headwaters State Park Montana

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Missouri Headwaters State Park

Established where Lewis and Clark discovered the Jefferson, Madison, and Gallatin rivers joining to form the Missouri River, Missouri River Headwaters served as a key location to early Native Americans and pioneers.

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  • The 532-acre Missouri Headwaters State Park is 4,045 feet high and located 31 miles from Bozeman, Montana, off I-90, near Three Forks.
  • Droulliard Fishing Access is a popular site for trout fishing.
  • Sacagawea, a Native American woman, was taken captive at Missouri River Headwaters and returned with Lewis and Clark in 1805.

What can I see and do at Missouri Headwaters State Park?

  • Wildlife Viewing: The Missouri Headwaters provide a lush habitat for many bird species, as well as other wildlife such as beaver, mink, river otter, deer, and moose.
  • Hiking: There are 4 miles of hiking trails that wander through meadows, along rivers, and to scenic vistas. An interpretive nature trail is also fun to explore.
  • Ranger Programs: During the summer months, weekly ranger interpretive programs offer insight into the history and ecology of the area.
  • Fishing: As the confluence of three fantastic fishing rivers (Jefferson, Madison and Gallatin), anglers will find many areas to fish.
  • Camping: Stay the night at a campsite (or in a Tipi!) at the Missouri Headwaters Campground. Make Reservations Online.
  • Rafting: Nearby rafting opportunities are fun for the whole family. Take a look at these Whitewater Rafting Outfitters.
  • Headwaters Heritage Museum: Located in Three Forks, Montana, the Headwateres Heritage Museum features Lewis and Clark artifacts, items from the pioneer fur trade, Native American history, and area railroad history. Open June 1-Sept 30, 9am to 5pm, Monday – Saturday, and 11am to 3pm, Sunday. Call 406-285-4778 for details.
  • Scenic Drives: Driving west along the Jefferson River to Lemhi Pass, visitors can explore the area where Lewis and Clark first crossed the Continental Divide. Driving east, visitors can check out Bozeman’s Museum of the Rockies, or follow the Yellowstone River to Pompey's Pillar, a National Monument, located 15 miles east of Billings, Montana, to see William Clark's signature carved on this sandstone bluff.

Where is the park?

The 532-acre Missouri Headwaters State Park is situated 4,045 feet high and is located 31 miles from Bozeman, Montana, off I-90, just a few miles from Three Forks. Take I-90 East of Bozeman and head 4 miles northeast of Three Forks, off of Hwy 205, then onto Hwy 286 to Missouri Headwaters State Park.

When is it open?

The park is open year-round.

How much does it cost?

  • Daily Entrance Fee: $5 (for out-of-state vehicles)
  • Overnight Camping: $12/night
  • Tipi Rental: $25/night
  • Montana State Parks Passport: $25/vehicle

Who can I call if I have more questions?

Call the park directly at (406)285-3610.

Missouri Headwaters History

Sacagawea, a young Native American woman, was taken captive at Missouri River Headwaters and returned with the Lewis and Clark Expedition as an interpreter and guide in 1805, to the headwaters which form the beginning of the Missouri River. Sacagawea then guided the explorers into what is now the Gallatin County area near the Yellowstone River.

The three rivers forming the Missouri Headwaters, the Gallatin, Jefferson, and Madison Rivers, all served as a prime hunting area for Native American tribes, like the Blackfeet, Shoshone, Flathead, and Crow. Famous pioneers like Jedediah Smith, Jim Bridger, William Sublette, and Kit Carson also explored the Missouri Headwaters.

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