Dispersed camping is allowed on state trust land with the appropriate permit and with certain restrictions. 

  • Dispersed camping on state trust land is allowed with a Conservation License.  
  • Camping that is incidental to hunting or fishing is permitted through your conservation license, and no additional permitting is required. 
  • Group camping requires a special recreational use license.


Camp within 200 ft of a customary access point or navigable water body.


Camp within 50 ft of a customary access point.  Motorized vehicles must be parked within 50 ft of a customary access point.  You may not drive further to set up a camper or trailer.   

On leased or licensed land:

2 days

On unleased/unlicensed land:

16 days within a 30-day period

Within designated campground:

16 days within a 30-day period

Most trust land east of the continental divide is leased. Forested land west of the divide is generally unleased.  Contact the local DNRC field office to confirm if land is leased.

Dogs: Pets must be on a leash or otherwise controlled.

Horses: Horses overnight must be restrained and cannot be within any stream riparian zone for more than one hour. Feed must be certified weed seed free.

Campfires and Firewood: Campfires are generally permitted within designated campgrounds and on unleased/unlicensed land.  Campfires are not allowed on leased land.

Cutting firewood on trust land requires a separate permit from the local DNRC field office.  See our Firewood and Christmas Trees page for more information.

To help stop the spread of invasive insects and diseases, always buy, or cut local sources of firewood.  www.dontmovefirewood.org

Fireworks:  Fireworks are not allowed on state land.

Montana has many options for public camping, including many areas that are managed specifically for recreational use, including developed campgrounds.  

Camping at State Parks, Fishing Access Sites, Wildlife Management Areas are managed by Montana’s Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP). Check out the FWP camping page for more details. 

There are also developed camp sites and more opportunities for dispersed camping on federal land across the state.   Check out this interactive Forest Service map of camp sites, and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recreation page for more info.