Cottonwood Campground, Townsend, MT

Canyon Ferry Lake

Free Camping on Canyon Ferry Lake, MT

Cottonwood Campground is a small camping area managed by the US Bureau of Reclamation, but on land administered by Montana Department of Fish Wildlife & Parks. It’s a free campground with only four (4) RV campsites, but enough room for a few more rigs. The campground was originally intended to serve fishermen, but is often used by folks solely interested in camping.

us bureau of reclamation logo


US Bureau of Reclamation, Canyon Ferry Field Office

Canyon Ferry Field Office:
Tel: (406) 475-3921


GPS: 46.34880, -111.53315
Reservations: first-come, first-served
Camping Fee: none
Maximum Stay: 14 days
Amenities: Tables, grills, trash cans, pit toilet


Canyon Ferry Lake Camping Rules, published by USBR, 2022
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Cottonwood Campground, Townsend, MT

How Crowded: Rarely visited by campers, this small campground offers four (4) official campsites, one of which is a well-shaded pull-through intended for disabled persons. One other site is a concrete pad, with the other two located on grass lots. The area is mostly visited by fishermen there for the day.

How Noisy or Peaceful: Most of the noise comes from trucks passing along Highway 287. There are also train tracks on the other side of the highway, and you will hear train noise every so often.

Cellular Phone Signal: Cellular signal comes in good with Verizon and T-Mobile, but fair to average with AT&T.

Road Conditions: Entrance from Highway 287 is a dirt road that immediately goes down a small dip, which is not so bad, but could be troublesome getting back on to the highway. Otherwise, access through the small camping area is well-packed dirt, suitable for 2WD.

Amenities Within Campground: Picnic tables, fire rings, trash cans, pit toilet.

Cost of Camping: free.

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