Tongue River Reservoir State Park: Your Perfect Getaway in Southeast Montana

Tongue River Reservoir

Discover the Beauty of Tongue River State Park

Are you seeking a serene camping spot to bond with your family amidst stunning natural landscapes? Look no further than the captivating Tongue River Reservoir State Park in southeast Montana. This hidden gem offers an array of activities to keep you and your loved ones entertained. From camping, boating, and fishing to wildlife watching and nearby historical sites, this Montana State Park has it all.

Camping Facilities at their Finest

During our visit to Tongue River State Park, we decided to set up camp in one of the first come, first served sites. While options were limited in late June, we were fortunate enough to secure a spot since we were tent camping and didn’t require any hookups. However, if you prefer the convenience of hookups or want to guarantee a spot before your arrival, we highly recommend making a reservation.

Playground at Tongue River State Park

Premier Camping Facilities

At Tongue River State Park, you can choose from a variety of camping options. They offer 81 reservable camping sites, with 27 of them being double occupancy campsites with electric hookups. To secure your campground reservation, simply visit Reserve America.

-The park boasts eleven year-round campsites on Campers Point, all of which offer electricity.
-Over 80 non-reservable, non-electric camping sites are available.
-Most sites are equipped with fire rings and picnic tables.
-A dump station, water faucets, and a fish cleaning station are available during peak season.
-Vault toilets are conveniently located throughout the campgrounds.
-Boat ramps with docks can be found at Camper Point and Pee Wee North.
-Day use areas, such as Campers Point and Sand Point, offer sheltered picnic tables and a small yet popular “beach area” for swimming and picnicking.
-Park office hours during peak season are from 8 am to 4 pm daily. Keep an eye out for campground hosts during the summer season.

RVs at Tongue River State Park

Tongue River Reservoir Marina: Your Gateway to Adventure

Located at Camper Point, the Tongue River Reservoir Marina is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Here, you can:

  • Rent boats, including pontoons, to explore the reservoir.
  • Fuel up at the convenient gas dock.
  • Stock up on snacks, bait, and other essential camping and fishing supplies at the on-site store.
  • Treat your taste buds to delightful ice cream from the summer-operated ice cream counter.
  • Access public restrooms for your convenience.
  • Obtain fishing and hunting licenses as well as non-resident park passes.

The Tongue River Reservoir Marina is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, weather permitting.

Marina building at Tongue River State Park

Exciting Activities to Embark On

The Tongue River Reservoir itself is the biggest draw of this state park, offering a plethora of exciting water-based activities. From boating, water skiing, and jet skiing to the thrill of fishing, there’s something for everyone. Tongue River Reservoir is renowned for its “State Record” fish, including crappie, walleye, bass, and northern pike. If you’re a fan of fly fishing, head to the Tongue River below the dam for an unforgettable angling experience.

During our visit, we observed fellow campers swimming from the lakeshore near their campsites or exploring the lake on paddleboards and kayaks. Although the evening breeze occasionally made it trickier for those on lightweight SUPs and kayaks, we couldn’t confirm if it was a regular summer occurrence.

Wildlife enthusiasts will be pleased to know that Tongue River Reservoir State Park offers excellent wildlife viewing opportunities. Keep your eyes peeled for osprey, blue herons, deer, pronghorn, and even bald eagles.

In winter, the park transforms into a winter wonderland, attracting ice fishing enthusiasts and ice skaters alike. If you’re into cross-country skiing, consider exploring the pristine landscapes surrounding the reservoir and nearby Rosebud Battlefield State Park.

Man fishing at Tongue River State Park

Other Attractions Near Tongue River Reservoir

While Tongue River Reservoir State Park offers endless entertainment, there’s much more to explore in this corner of southeast Montana. Here are a few nearby attractions worth visiting during your stay:

Little Bighorn National Battlefield

Located just north of Tongue River Reservoir State Park, Little Bighorn National Battlefield commemorates the historic Battle of the Little Bighorn. If you’re traveling from Billings or I-90, you’ll find the turnoff to the park right at Little Bighorn Battlefield. We’ve previously written an article about our experience at Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, which you may find helpful.

Rose Williamson leads a tour at Rosebud Battlefield State Park

Rosebud Battlefield State Park

Situated approximately 25 minutes northwest of Tongue River Reservoir, Rosebud Battlefield State Park marks the site of the Battle of the Rosebud. This historically significant battle played a crucial role in the events leading up to the Battle at Little Bighorn, ultimately contributing to the defeat of the US Army. To learn more about Rosebud Battlefield State Park, feel free to read our article about visiting Montana Battlefields.

Tongue River Breaks Hiking and Riding Area

For outdoor enthusiasts seeking hiking, mountain biking, or horseback riding opportunities, the Tongue River Breaks Hiking and Riding Area is a must-visit destination. Located about an hour northeast of Tongue River Reservoir State Park, this BLM-managed area features miles of scenic trails. Despite its remote location, Google Maps amusingly labels it as a “Hiding and Riding Area.” With no motorized use allowed, this area provides an ideal setting to explore on foot, by bike, or on horseback. You’ll be captivated by the stunning 30-foot tall sandstone pillars reminiscent of Medicine Rocks State Park.

Two Moons Historical Monument

Don’t miss the chance to visit the Two Moons Historical Monument. Two Moons, a Crow Indian chief who fought during the Battle of the Little Bighorn, surrendered to the US Army afterward. However, he managed to escape and returned to his homeland in the Tongue River Valley. While the monument itself might not be visually striking as it sits within a chainlink fence, it offers a poignant reminder of Two Moons’ connection to the land he cherished.

St. Labre Mission’s Cheyenne Indian Museum

Located in Ashland, the St. Labre Mission is home to the Cheyenne Indian Museum, boasting an extensive collection of Cheyenne artifacts and providing a fascinating glimpse into the mission’s history.

Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks sign at Tongue River State Park

Prepare for Your Trip to Tongue River Reservoir State Park

Before embarking on your adventure to Tongue River Reservoir State Park, here are a few essential tips:

  • The nearest town to the park is Ashland, Montana, which is a small town with limited amenities. It’s advisable to plan ahead and bring all the necessary supplies or consider making a trip to Sheridan, Wyoming, for groceries and other essentials.
  • Sheridan, Wyoming, located about 40 minutes (30 miles) from the reservoir, is the closest sizable town. Hardin, Montana, is approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes (75 miles) away, while Billings, Montana, is a 2-hour (112 miles) drive.
  • Ensure your vehicle has a full tank of gas. You can refuel at the I-90/Hwy 212 intersection, Ashland, or Sheridan.
  • Expect spotty cell service in this part of southeastern Montana and northern Wyoming, so prepare accordingly.
  • While Tongue River Reservoir State Park is not situated within the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation or Crow Country, it’s crucial to respect that the park is located on the ancestral homelands of several tribes, with parts considered sacred.

Tongue River State Park lakeside

Discover the Hidden Charms of Tongue River Reservoir State Park

Tongue River State Park offers a serene and remote retreat in the heart of Montana and Wyoming. Whether you’re an avid angler, a passionate boater, or simply seeking tranquility by the water’s edge, this park offers an idyllic setting for your outdoor adventures. Take the time to explore the breathtaking landscapes and immerse yourself in the rich history of this remarkable region. Ambassadeur Hotel welcomes you to create unforgettable memories at Tongue River Reservoir State Park. Plan your visit today!