Just a little bit west of Glacier National Park is where the Lolo National Forest property begins and there are many recreational options in this vast wilderness area. Since it can literally take all day long to do a tour of the Going To The Sun Road through Glacier National Park, bedding down shortly after the ride is done is what most folks do, but this is where things can become complicated. The campsites in the west end of Glacier are nearly always booked full well ahead of time, which can present problems for casual visitors passing through. Fortunately the neighboring Lolo National Forest presents some camping options and there actually are a few hidden gems waiting to be discovered!
The Cascade Campground is a small roadside camping spot in the Lolo National Forest that only has 10 campsites and it is hidden behind a bunch of tall trees. It is very easy to just drive past this cozy little spot, because this section of road is a fly by traffic area for tourists heading from the west end of Glacier National Park to Interstate Highway 90 in St Regis, Montana. People simply speed on by without hardly even taking notice, so the Cascade Campground definitely is hidden in plain view.
The Cascade Campground is about 17 miles east of St Regis on State Road 135. This road parallels the Clark Fork River through a long canyon, so there are plenty of fly fishing opportunities to be found on the roadside. In fact, it is just a short walk to a picturesque bend in the river, so the Cascade Campground is an ideal spot for setting up a basecamp. There is no shortage of wildlife in this area, so be sure to keep a camera ready for a once in a lifetime photo opportunity!
Hiking, fishing and goofing off is all there is to the activity list at the old fashioned Cascade Campground. The Iron Mountain Trail Wagon Road Terminus is in this campground, so a hiker does not have to look far for a good trail to follow. There is a hand pump water well on site and there are rustic facilities. Picnic tables and fire rings are located under the tall trees, so there is plenty of shade to go around. Bear safe food storage is essential in this place and it is best to keep children and pets within view. The squirrels provide plenty of entertainment and catching some trout for dinner is as easy as taking a leisurely stroll down to the Clark Fork River. As far as roadside campgrounds that are hidden in plain sight are concerned, it does not get much better than this!
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