Camping Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park in Southwest Montana
Camp Montana: I’m talking with Ria today. She’s going to tell us all about Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park in Montana. Ria, why don’t you get us started by giving us a little bit of background on Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park?
Ria: Yeah, Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park is Montana’s first State Park. Pretty much the attraction was then just the uniqueness that we had a cavern, so cave tours were a big draw. Over the years then, we’ve developed hiking trails, which we allow mountain bikes on a large portion of those, and then of course we have this campground. And so, I know you’re going to ask me specific questions about that, but I would say that now the large portion of our group is now outdoors as well as in the cave.
Camp Montana: I absolutely love caves, and so I’m just a little bit more curious about that. How long are the tours? How far does it go down into the ground? Things like that.
Camp Montana: Really?
Camp Montana: And how far down underground does it go?
Ria: You know, it’s about three hundred feet difference in elevation throughout the cave. You kind of do two complete circles to come out underneath where you go in.
Camp Montana: Fun. Now, what types of camping do you offer in the campground?
Ria: Yeah, we have nine electric sites, and then we have 30 sites that are not electric. So, they’d be accommodating tenting or else they’d allow you to use a generator up until ten ‘o clock at night. We have three cabins and one teepee in the summer. Plus we have a group use area at the end of the campground, so you could camp as a group separate from the rest of the campground, and it has a pavilion with picnic tables, a barbecue, a little utility sink, and a fireplace.
Camp Montana: Okay. And what are some other attractions around that area that you might recommend checking out if I were staying at Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park?
Camp Montana: Perfect, two more questions for you, Ria. If you were going to spend just one hour at Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park, how would you spend your time there?
Ria: There is a hiking trail that has a self-guided nature trail along part of it, and you could easily do it in an hour. It is called the (Unclear 3:14.7), so upper visitor’s center, and they just call that the Nature Loop because you can do that self-guided tour and it’s usually in the shade. Plus you can get a view up on top of the mountain and look down into the canyon, so that’s what I would do for just one hour.
Camp Montana: Sounds gorgeous. And last question: if you were going to spend just one night at Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park, which specific site would you stay at and why?
Ria: You know, our most popular sites are the electric. I’m assuming because people like to have the amenities of whatever they bring in. So, if I was doing it, honestly I don’t have an electric setup, so I would try to go into probably the B or C Loop and be farthest away from what I would consider most of the people using in the Park. We do have a playground in the center there, and then you’re not right on top of the playground, but your kids could go play. And I think I would do something like that, so probably in the C Loop.
Camp Montana: All right, perfect. Well, thanks for that tip and thank you, Ria, for taking a little bit of time out of your morning to tell us more about Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park in Montana:
Ria: Okay, thank you.