Over the past couple of months entries we have been adventuring and boondocking our way across western Montana. In the “Owls & Cows” entry a couple of weeks ago I mentioned a FAS (Fishing Access Sites) complete with a low cost campground. FAS provide public access to bodies of water under the jurisdiction of the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) across the state. Best of all for RVers is that many FAS offer free or low cost camping ($7 with a Montana fishing license, $12 without – senior discounts too!). Most camping locations feature vault toilets, picnic tables and fire rings.
The Fishing Access Sites Field Guide has information on over 300 FWP fishing access sites on lakes, reservoirs, ponds, rivers and streams in Montana. The guide is available in a print directory*, as a downloadable pdf or eBook. You may also use their website to search for access sites by; Fishing Access Sites by Name, Nearest City/Town, Fishing Access Sites by Lake, Fishing Access Sites by Stream or With ANY of four ADA Accessibility Levels. Clicking on a site will provide a picture of the sites, if camping is permitted along with rates, a link to a map, location, length of stay allowed, coordinates and other useful information. The guide makes finding a campsite quick and easy. Even if you are not an angler, FAS campgrounds are conveniently located across the state and make a great base camp for any RV based adventure. If you carry a copy of the Montana State Gazetteer by DeLorme, you will also find the FAS called out with a circle with an internal arrow which will help to pinpoint them on your route. While FAS are not boondocking (my favorite kind of campsite) they are the next best thing.
Waterfront camping for free or low cost in the beautiful state of Montana, just another adventure in RVing!
Note: Campsites at a Fishing Access Site (FAS) are only available on a first come basis. FAS campsites are not the same as campsites at a Montana State Park.
*Available at Fish Wildlife Parks regional offices and sporting good outlets.
Dave Helgeson’s many roles in the RV industry started before he even had a driver’s license. His grandparents and father owned an RV dealership before the term “RV” had been coined, and Dave played a pivotal role in nearly every position of an RV dealership. He and his wife Cheri launched their own RV dealership in the Pacific Northwest. The duo also spent 29 years overseeing regional RV shows. Dave has also served as President of a local chapter of the Recreational Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), worked on the board of advisors for the RV Technician Program of a local technical college, and served as a board member of the Manufactured Home and RV Association. Dave’s reputation earned him the title of “The foremost expert on boondocking,” bestowed by RV industry icon, the late Gary Bunzer (The RV Doctor). When he’s not out boondocking, you’ll find Dave in the spotlight at RV shows across the country, giving seminars about all things RVing. He and Cheri currently roam in their fifth travel trailer, with Dave doing all the service, repair and modifications to his own unit.