Salmon Lake State Park in Montana

Missoula Montana
> Parks
> Salmon Lake State Park

Salmon Lake State Park

Located in western Montana, Salmon Lake State Park is not only picturesque, with its clear waters and coniferous forests, it is also an excellent place for a day of watersport fun. Read More

  • Salmon Lake State Park is barely an hour northeast of Missoula.
  • Open May 1st to October 31st
  • Take your boat out for a spin on Salmon Lake.
  • Cast away for trout, whitefish or the toothy northern pike.
  • Come for the day or camp for a week.


Salmon Lake State Park is home to it's namesake Salmon Lake, which is one of the most beautiful lakes in the chain of lakes on Clearwater River. Conveniently located directly off the highway, Salmon Lake boasts tons of water sports amidst a picturesque and scenic backdrop.

Western larch and ponderosa pine create a woodland setting and a sense of solitude. You have a number of recreational uses to choose from including swimming, boating, fishing, camping, relaxing and wildlife viewing.


Salmon Lake State Park, located in western Montana, is only about an hour away from Missoula. From Missoula, take I-90east to Hwy 200 east and head west on Hwy 83. Located directly off the highway, near milepost 7, you will see both the lake and signs for the park.

The park offers 20 campsites, flush and vault toilets,showers, grills/fire-rings, firewood, picnic tables, trash cans, RV dump station, and drinking water. The amphitheater, located on a slight hill, is used for interpretive programs.

For more information contact the Montana Department of Fish Wildlife and Parks.

Montana Department of Fish Wildlife and Parks
Salmon Lake State Park
3201 Spurgin Road
Missoula, MT 59804
Phone: 406-542-5500, 406-677-6804
Fax:     406-542-5529


May 1st to October 31st


  • Camping: $28.00
  • Electricity: $6.00
  • Vehicle (non-resident day use): $6.00
  • Bike/Walk (non-resident day use): $4.00


Salmon Lake State Park is the water sports enthusiast's home. Swim, boat, or fish your way through the day. If you tire of the water, try your luck at the horseshoe pit.

Day-Use Only
There are two day-use areas. The larger of the two is located directly off Hwy 83 and provides picnic tables, fire grills, a restroom, a concrete boat ramp, and a 60-foot courtesy dock. The best part is the long shoreline which provides great swimming access, just stay within the buoys. The smaller day-use area is adjacent to the campsite and includes a restroom, picnic tables, a 40ft dock and a small shelter.

You will find more then your usually trout in the waters of Salmon Lake. You may catch a whitefish, kokanee salmon, perch or even the toothy northern pike, but don't be surprise if you end up with a rainbow, cutthroat, brown, or bull trout. Don't fish without a permit or the only thing you will catch is a hefty fine. Purchase a fishing license at any fly shop or gear store or through the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks.

What are you waiting for, jump in, splash around, and have a good time. Salmon Lake, with its slightly cooler waters is a refreshing respite from the hot summer day. The larger day-use area offers a long shoreline for easy swimming access.

Paddle your way along Salmon Lake from a canoe or kayak or rev the engine and get out some water skis. Both motorized and non-motorized boats are allowed, but make sure you follow a bit of boat etiquette out on the water.

Spend a night under the stars. Salmon Lake State Park offers 20 campsites, one of which is disabilities accessible. Slots are first come, first served so don't hesitate, especially on the weekends. There is electricity for purchase and dump stations for RV's. RV/trailers must be 25 feet or less. Park gates are closed and locked from 10pm to 7am nightly.

You won't find strenuous trails in this state park. There is a foot trail that circles the grounds. May not be much, but it will still get those legs moving.

Interpretive Programs
With the addition of an amphitheater, Salmon Lake State Park is able to offer interpretive programs to park visitors. These run the spectrum from small, informative theatrical productions to lectures about the natural habitat of the area. Check the bulletin board for upcoming events.

Wildlife Viewing
Salmon Lake State Park can't boast a lot of big game, but it does have a lot to offer birders. Keep your ears open for the song of the common loon and your binoculars focused for sightings of great blue herons, osprey, red-necked grebes, and other waterfowl.