Tower Rock State Park is located next to Interstate Highway 15 about halfway between Helena and Great Falls, Montana. The Missouri River runs right by Tower Rock and the National Forests surround this area, so it is easy to imagine that this is an outdoorsman's paradise. The headwaters are located a day's drive northeast in the Missouri Breaks National Monument and the river certainly does become more powerful in this area. Signs of both ancient river and glacial erosion can be seen in this region, which borders upon the Rocky Mountain Range upheaval zone. Towering basalt mountains are seen in the distance and evidence of volcanic activity can be seen as well. In fact, one of the most obvious confirmations of powerful geological forces in this region actually is the massive Tower Rock landmark, which is composed entirely of solid igneous material!
Tower Rock State Park is small in size and it is managed as a day use natural study area. There is an information kiosk area along Old Highway 91 that provides information about the geology in this area, which is fascinating to read. Information about the Lewis and Clark Missouri River expedition is also provided, so some historical insight can be gained. This entire region once was a primary native bison hunting ground and Tower Rock served as a very recognizable landmark when arriving from distant places. Lewis and Clark also noted that by doing the difficult climb to the top of the 400 foot tall rock, great views of the entire Missouri River valley region could be experienced.
There are no 4x4 trails, no shelters and basically there is nothing unnatural to detract from the beautiful scenery at this small riverside park. There is only the majestic Tower Rock landmark and a unique nature preserve that beckons to be experienced. Casual hiking over the low ground and following the paths to the saddle of the bluff is what most visitors do, while heading uphill over the bare rocks to the top of the ridge is an option too. The grassy areas are perfect for a spring season picnic and every seat is guaranteed to have a great view of Tower Rock. This is one little Montana State Park that you do not want to miss, so be sure to keep Tower Rock in mind when planning a trip!
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