Thursday, July 10, 2014

Campground Review: Delmoe Lake, Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest Butte, MT

As I continued my eastern trek into Montana I spent my first night at a casino just across the Idaho-Montana state line along I-90.  Not much to review about a gravel parking lot but they DID provide free hookups.  From the casino I continued to Butte and then up a 10 mile forest road through the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest which is about 15 miles northeast of Butte.  Within the forest lies Delmoe Lake where the US Forestry Service maintains a beautiful campground.  It was July 3rd and I literally got the last campsite before the big holiday weekend.

A big part of my site was taken up by huge boulders.
Heres the Delmoe Lake data sheet:


Hookups:                                None
Fire ring:                                 yes
Water Access:                        yes
Dump station:                          no
WiFi:                                       no
Level sites:                              yes
Laundry:                                 no
Store:                                     no
Pool:                                       no
Shade:                                    yes
Verizon reception:                   4G, 2 out of 4 bars
Millenicom reception:              2 out of 4 bars
Cost:                                      $8 per night for up to 16 days

My picnic table was a little slanted.
 There are 25 RV campsites at the campground which is located on the southern side of Delmoe Lake, some are situated right on the lakefront and some, like mine, are behind the lakefront sites.

View from my campsite through the lodge-pole pines.


When you "check-in" at the campground you fill out a fee envelope and insert a check made out to the US Forestry Service or cash for as many nights as you plan on staying, in my case 4.

Often it's tough finding kindling for campfires--not here!
The sunrises over Delmoe Lake in the dawn were pretty awesome!

The sun just coming over the hills surrounding Delmoe Lake.
The weather during my stay was just spectacular --80's during the day and high 50's at night.  Four perfect days in a row!

Boulders along Delmoe Lake's waterline.
The national forest is home to a growing population of black bears even though I never saw one.  A friendly Forest Service ranger stopped by my campsite to warn me against leaving my charcoal grill out overnight -- bears can smell food residue from the grill for up to a mile!

A calm Delmoe Lake as seen from my campsite.
I recommend camping at Delmoe Lake with the caveat that campsites are available on a first come basis, there are no reservations, don't show up at 6pm on a Friday and hope to get lucky.  On a busy weekend (like the 4th of July) it would be easily possible to drive the extremely bumpy 10 miles in to the campground and then not have any campsites available.  I realize now how lucky I was to get the very last available site but man was it worth it!

Thanks for reading!