Blankenship Bridge | Established Campground

United States

Details

Verified:
6 months ago
Altitude:
948.5 masl
Website:
None
Phone:
None
Contributor:
patfux

Amenities

Electricity:
No
Wifi:
No
Kitchen:
No
Restaurant:
No
Showers:
No
Water:
Natural Source
Toilets:
Pit Toilets
Big Rig Friendly:
Yes
Tent Friendly:
Yes
Pet Friendly:
Yes
Sanitation Dump Station:
No

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Vast river bed, great views, busy on the weekends.

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Beautiful busy spot! I showed up after dark, but everyone seemed quiet and respectful. You could hear the train passing pretty often. I have low clearance 2WD so the drive in on the sand and rough road was not fun but doable. Good cell service and about 15 minutes from Glacier.

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This is one of our favorite camp spots where we have met some of the best people. Such a welcoming spot with beautiful views and close to Glacier. Vans and campers are only allowed on the West side of the bridge.

*very smoky here as of August 4*

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Place is definitely open. The signs with no camping are on the opposite side of the road. Plenty of other campers during the high season but also loads of space.

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Just driving through but say many many vans and campers parked in the shore still, not sure about it being closed for overnight camping, but lots of people hanging out!

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Stayed here for 1 night, lots of other travelers, no "no overnight" sign on this side of the bridge/road (the 3 other slopes had an obvious sign) but there is a sign stating camping allowed up to 3 days.

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This place is permanently closed.

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This spot along with turnout directly across road are both closed, one has ‘area closed’sign and other states no overnight camping. Pull offs along this road also say no overnight camping.

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We stayed here for about 2 and a half weeks on and off, trying to mostly stick to the 3 day limit - we would usually go stay somewhere else for a few days either in the park or up to banff for one weekend. The limits are likely in effect because the locals wanting it shut down. The better we do at following them, and keeping these places clean, the better chance they will exist when we come back.

Over that period of time here were our observations

1. This place is great! And it really grew on us!
2. Yes it gets crowded, but as long as you go further than the shoreline, back into the tree areas where there are some more defined camp spots, you always feel pretty secluded.
3. Portapotties must have been replaced right when we got there, they were the cleanest I had used. By the time we left they were getting a bit worse for the wear, and a day or so before we pulled out they were removed all together, presumably for the “end of the season”
4. This was the only place around west glacier we found good & reliable internet. Bars does not always = internet. This place had 2-3 bars, and fast LTE. Even without booster. We were able to get work done.
5. We never found it loud, although the shoreline looked like a bit of a party at times.
6. Getting in was fine, (we pull a small fiberglass scamp trailer) Even when it got rained on some, but high clearance is helpful. Most vehicles could probably do it with enough thought/care.

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Great location, plenty of space next to the river for many rigs and toilets near by. Relatively busy but everyone was respectful. Small burn rings mark the most common parking spots.

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What a lovely place to stay. Incredible views. Lots of fishermen and people white water rafting/kayaking. Stayed here 3 nights in a row and had no troubles at all.

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Nice spot along the river. Was pleasantly surprised, but as others have said it is very busy. Everyone was respectful to the nature and quiet. People fishing. (Good trout spot).
Porta potties are ok-ish but can use some cleaning. But I was surprised they were there at all. Cell reception is great in some spots and poor in others.

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Wide open rocky beach. Probably around 10 other vehicles camping. Several site rules when you enter posted. Not too high of clearance required but the entry off-road path can become more worn and make navigating long, low clearance vans a challenge.

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Great spot, please keep it great and continue cleaning it up. Great people were there throughout the week, no issues.

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Lots of space on the bank of the river. Road in requires some clearance and gets very muddy when it rains.

There's been a lot of pressure from locals for the Forest Service to shut this place but as of August 2022 it's still officially open for boondocking.

https://www.montanarightnow.com/kalispell/flathead-natl-forest-reopens-blankenship-for-overnight-camping/article_7f0baf56-0788-11ed-a159-239f9c182e63.html

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Great place, as everyone has said. Just a warning to everyone - the cops get a lot of complaints from locals about this spot and are starting to come around (usually on the weekends) to enforce the 3-day stay limit. I heard from some campers that the cops actually took pictures of some vans. The cops seemed cool and did not want to kick anybody out, but were just doing their job and responding to the calls from locals. Wouldn’t recommend staying longer than 3 days in a row, unfortunately.

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From HWY 2 drive over river take the first left. Down a uneven road to the river from there atleast 1/2 mile of disburse camping locations. A pair of honey buckets are in location to keep bad stuff in a designated place. Peeps can stay here 14 days National Forest, I’m sure no one is checking. To West Glacier Park entrance maybe 15 min.. WiFi 1-2 bars depending your server…
Peeps are fly fishing, having camp fires. Location is one of many out spots for Rafting Companies..

By the way West Entrance RV has free WiFi. Just ask if you can park near main office and do your thing..

We did 2 nights here perfect spot..

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road in completely flooded. no idea how deep it was but I saw a guy go through in a lifted ram and it looked liked the water came up to his floor boards. wasn't gonna send it in the crosstrek. the road along the river also looked washed out

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Temporarily closed because the water level of the river is high.

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i love this spot so very much! got a great nights sleep here and woke up to the most beautiful views in the morning. highly recommend, just clean up after yourself! good verizon- able to stream. little drive on a very minor puddle and bumpy road less than a half a mile long though!

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Going to add comment here in a bit - am checking out how I can see this spot in my mobile app

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I wouldn't not recommend staying here if you don't have 4WD or a lift kit. We were here in the beginning of October and it was muddy + full of dips in the road. Wasn't worth the risk for us in our Promaster.

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This place looks like a fantastic camp spot, unfortunately, the road in was very rutted and flooded when I got there and not accessible in my stock sprinter. 4x4 required if wet.

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Cannot enter 10 meters before having pot holes bigger than my 2WD minivan can handle. They are currently wet, so I can't quite see how deep they are. oh well

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Stayed here on a Tuesday night with at least 30 other campers. Busy, but beautiful and free. Good cell service on ATT.

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Lots of people here but large enough area that everyone had space. The short road at the west end of the bridge to get here is badly rutted. It would be hard to travel it if wet. 2 bars Verizon.

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Great views, not far from glacier national park. Pretty busy, with people coming & going. Cell service on Xfinity, no service with T Mobile hotspot.

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Waiting on the Sun Road timer to count down so we swung over here to cook dinner and pick a camp for tonight.

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This won't be free for much longer the way it's being abused by campers and overlanders.

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This place is awesome. The entry to this site is the dirt road on the right RIGHT before you hit the bridge. It’s very lumpy, we got down it just fine in our 22ft 2wd transit. Just take it veerrrry slow. Then you hit a 3 fork, take the one on the left which is flat and you’re at the rocky beach!
Great place to stay if you want to meet other van/RV/car campers and most everyone is visiting glacier. If you want to make friends, stay on the huge stretch of rocky beach. If you’d like to be more private, take one of the dirt paths to the forested part and find a private-ish beach spot! We took a more private spot and walked down to the main beach to meet other travelers and have fun, but could recluse back to our spot if we wanted alone time. We did hear music playing down at the main stretch while we were in our private spot winding down for the night, didn’t bother us at all but it would have if we were parked at the main beach. Lots of dog owner and super friendly people with recommendations for glacier! Also a gorgeous spot with cold glacier water.

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Don’t *quite* get all the hype about this spot. It’s nice if u wanna be on the water & near a ton of people but it is so so busy. People driving into the site all hours of the night & morning, & driving on the rocks sounds like glass breaking. Dogs barking constantly & cars driving over the bridge are pretty loud. Accessible in my ‘89 Ford Econoline. Would stay here again if in a pinch but I prefer a bit more privacy!

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I was planning to stay here a few nights but too many people. Locals said the area maybe closed to camping in the future because of trash and debris left behind

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To add to this - between 1 and 3 bars of ATT, however, even with high signal levels it was on and off at times.

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As described by many here, but I wanted to help clear things up with the state of the road in.

The whole bridge area is busy and has a lot of people out with their dingys and chilling during the day. The actual free 3-day camping area is accessed (coming in from the West along Blackenship Road) via a small dust / dirt road on the right, pretty much in the middle between the end of the corner and the beginning of the bridge. The first 100 feet of the dirt road is a bit lumpy but ok. After this you will reach a 3 way split. Take the one on your left, which, at the time of writing, is a long smooth bend. The paths straight ahead and on the right are rutted and uneven.

Once on the riverside stones you can either find a spot to post up there if it's not too busy, or drive about 200 feet south and take the dirt road into the forest, on your slight right.

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Beautiful spot w tons of vans & trailers

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A few nights and days here. Great spot to hit while waiting to go into Glacier after 5ish pm and before 6ish am.

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Great spot next to Glacier. The road to the beach is in terrible shape, don't try if it is raining. Please be careful on the rock beach, we saw two ford transit stucked in the rocks! We opted to park in the forest, not the beach, for this reason.

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Pulled in at 10pm. Over 30 cars at the spot. Road down go river requires high clearance, 4x4 Recommended. only one bar of ATT which I would not call excellent. Decided to try someplace else

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Might not want to come here in the spring. The access to the river bed was flooded. And the road getting in was all flooded rutted up just barely made it in and back with my promaster. Mine isn’t beefed up at all though. I walked over to the spot, and it looked sick. Wish we could have made it.

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GREAT PLACE FOR FREE CAMPING. It’s like rv/van/tent heaven. Couldnt ask for a better place. Entrance to the river side is a bit tricky, just take your time. Love this spot!

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Great free camping right on the river. Very rough, narrow, sandy road coming down from the paved bridge. 3-day limit.

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We stayed here after going to Glacier NP. There were a lot of cars parked already but we found one place with no problem. Someone told my husband is better to leave if no one else is there as locals can try to scare you.

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Crowded but so much space that is really OK. Free. On the river to swim or fish. Firerings. The road is ugly and dusty at the beginning but even with low clearance is it really OK. People coll and quiet. No amenities.

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A lot of great spots close to the river. Verizon service is good at times. Our 2wd Promaster has no problem getting in and out. Be careful though because a few people got stuck while we were there. Remember to pack it in and pack it out. There are no trash cans. Bears have been frequenting the area so please save a bear’s life and do not leave food outside. Remember to put out fires as well. Should be cool to the touch before leaving.

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Camped here on weekdays in August. Seemed like spots were full around sun-down bc that’s when cars started turning around. The road looks intimidating but if you take it real slow you will be fine. DO NOT PARK TOO CLOSE TO THE RIVER, especially on the riverbed rocks closest to the entrance/ bridge. It looks like a tempting place to park but over the course of 3 days, I watched vans and trucks have to be towed out over and over again. Loved how friendly and communal everyone was, I’d camp here all month if I could!

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Most awesome campsite to date for me!
AT&T LTE the whole time, right on the river, two semi-full portapotties, many campers but there’s tons of space so you feel pretty spaced out from everyone. The road coming in is sketch AF and hella bumpy but I saw almost every kind of car tackle and conquer it.

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Awesom campsite. Bumpy short stretch of road to get down to the sites.

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Absolutely loved this place, wide open so the sky is spectacular at night. Right by the water so you have something to do during the day. Really enjoyed this little place. Definitely busy but everyone seems pretty cool.

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Wonderful spot! Great people. Would stay here every time. Took it slow on the drive in and made it fine in our Astrovan

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Like all three other reviews! Best boondock site West of Glacier. Very busy, all types of rigs can get down here.

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Just like all the other descriptions. Very busy, not crowded but lots of campers. Bar none the best boondock site west of Glacier!

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Amazing spot if visiting Glacier NP or the nearby area, or just want to hang out by the river. Gravel near the bridge is soft, but beyond that is hard packed and easy to navigate.

Fish to be caught in the river or just play in it. Also had an otter swim up on us.

Very few bugs, especially on the river's edge.

Weekends can get pretty packed, but most folks are respectful of space and don't crowd you. But definitely show up earlyish if you have a preferred spot.

Pit toilet on the other side of the bridge if needed, pretty short walk.

The road in looks sketchy, but isn't too bad. Promaster handled it fine, neighbor in a Prius was fine, guy towing a 30ft trailer was fine, all good.

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Awesome spot. Great community atmosphere here in August 2020... the river is the perfect temp to swim in and cool down. Crystal clear water.

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Spent 3 lazy days here floating in the river. Hands down best camp spot in the Glacier area. Tons of spots. 2wd accessible. Good vibes. 3-bar Sprint roaming.

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Fantastic spot, we stayed for a couple days. The river is warm enough to have a short bath. plenty of firewood around, one just needs to collect it. NO Bugs. Just perfect.

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Great spot for camping and seems to be very popular.. the main area is all gravel along the river and its just a bumpy dirt road away from bridge, handled it fine in a rear wheel drive van.. highly reccomend checking this spot out if youre gojng to Glacier

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Highly recommended! Came here after reading reviews. Great spot. The entry into the beach was a little rugged especially because it had rained, so on some conditions some cars might bottom out, but it’s definitely worth checking out. Plenty of space to have your own spot either on the beach or just or in the back. Plenty of drift wood to make a fire and overall beautiful place. We only stayed for a night, but would definitely come back.

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Stayed two night around this area. The road was too rough for us to go down with a Promaster 2WD but there might be another entrance. Anyway once you’re at the bridge there are 4 different areas you can park at for the full night

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loved this spot & highly recommended. was pretty muddy and bumpy getting in, but my Astro van made it! ...saw several other smaller vans as well. wouldn’t suggest for bigger rigs / trailers.

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High levels of mud and water pits to get through, but it’s free camping, there’s ample firewood, and a great spot for a refreshing wake up dip in the river in the morning.

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Very cool spot along the river. You can drive down the road further for more space, peace and quiet. There are man-made fire pits but no toilets along the river. There is one near the bridge. I highly recommend this spot if you’re looking for free camping in the area. Signs posted allow for 3 days of camping.

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One of our top 3 of our two month trip. What a nice place. sound of water, calm, clean and a lot of drift wood to make a campfire. Yes the entrance is a little saggy but we had no problem with our GMC Savana. The only downside is the noise of the train but nothing very disturbing.

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Road in had bumps too big for our promaster van, we would have bottomed out for sure. Higher clearance required, but it looked like a nice spot

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We did not try to make it with our 96 Roadtrek 210. There are holes so big that the whole van would fit in, which is ok. But in one place, as soon as you get out of one, you get in another one, which creates a big bump over which we could not go over since we’re longer. We saw smaller cars and vans (sprinter type) making it through.

The official dispersed campground is southwest of the bridge. Northwest of the bridge, it clearly says no overnight/camping.
Northeast is the busy place with in and outs of water users, kayaks and rafts. The « day use only » sign has been removed from sight.
Southeast is quieter, that’s where we stayed for the night.

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I liked this place a lot. Of course it’s popular so that may bring on some loud people that don’t care about travelers wanting to sleep beside a river. I was able to find my own personal spot where sounds of others did not bother me.

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Gorgeous free spot right on the river. Beautiful multicolored smooth stones. Near a bridge and the take out spot for rafts/kayaks. Quite a few others camping here overnight as well. Yes, the little road in is rough, but it’s hardpacked. No problem for our 2WD Sprinter with BFG KO2s.

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Right on the river, nice but busy. Rafters put in here.

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Lovely place near West Entrance to Glacier National Park. Right on the water with multiple spots all around. Options to either park right on the beach or behind. Free and service with Verizon and AT&T. We wanted to stay longer, but continued on with our road trip. If we’re in the area again we’ll definitely be camping here again!

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Great spot, people here are definitely not very bear aware/leaving grills and some stuff out at night, pouring pasta water onto the ground next to campsites, etc. Beautiful though right along the river and free, hard to not love it.

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Beautiful little location, pretty busy when we arrived (granted its July 4th holiday so was expected) no places off the little dirt track available but have come over the bridge and found a little spot 😊

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Perfect free place to stay when visiting glacier. The road is rought but we suceed with our Vanagon westfalia. Park directly on the beach with the river. A lot of space and fire pits. Quiet. Enjoy!

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There's a big "Day use only" sign now... Open 6am-10PM. Seems like RV are still camping here...

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Sprinter approved . We parked the furtest way from the bridge , it states 3 days max. They never checked stayed longer . Best winter hiding spot.

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I love this place! Been here in July and now in October. Still really nice! You can hear trains but not too loud.

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High clearance recommended for the road down to the beach. People pull trailers (21tf) down with trucks. Be aware of the rocks near shore. Softer than it looks. We got stuck but pulled out by a truck owner within minutes. Very busy spot on a weekend but surprisingly quiet.

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Really nice place right at the wide riverbank, river good for swimming and water sports. Lots of people during the weekend, but clean and relatively quiet. On National Forest land and stay limited to 3 days.

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I dig the area to the left of the bridge.

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Its a free Huge area in the Flathead National Forest with many places to stay. Official it's allowed to stay here 3 days. From the asphalt road goes a little narrow bumpy road to the river, then you have to drive approximately 100 yards along the river, then right. I am not sure if it's suitable for big rigs, because the street from the asphalt road to the river were you drive in is so narrow and can make many scratches in you RV..... I think for an Dodge sprinter it will be ok... but the places are big enough.
On the Parking places on the street you can find Pit-toilets.

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