Palisades Campground in Custer National Forest, Montana

Saturday, August 26 – Sunday, August 27

The Best Little Trailer at Beaver Lodge FAS, Red Lodge, Montana

Our second day camped at Beaver Lodge fishing access site, the crew and I ride into Red Lodge.  

I pick up some groceries at the Beavertooth Market.  We also stop at Family Dollar. I buy two identical dog dishes to replace the ones Reggie and Roger have been using.

Maybe if their dishes are identical, Roger won’t be quite as eager to eat out of Reggie’s dish.  Ha, unlikely.  Oh well, these look nicer . . . .

I also buy bottled drinking water as I haven’t found a public, drinking water spigot.

Our third day at this camp, the search begins for our next camp.

The three of us ride through Red Lodge, turn onto West Fork Road, and take another turn onto Palisades Road.

The mountains are blurred with smoke from forest fires.  Today is not as bad as what we’ve seen recently.

The road becomes gravel and then we roll into the woods.

A bridge over a small creek takes us into Palisades Campground.

It’s a small, primitive, national forest campground.  Only six sites, two vault toilets, picnic tables, fire rings, bear-proof food storage containers, “pack it in, pack it out,” and two hiking trails.

The sites are near the hiking trails except for two that are on another short lane.  Reggie and Roger help me investigate the sites.

The design of the campsites is a place to park your rig with a short path going to the picnic table and fire ring with another short path (only a few yards) to the babbling stream.

Sweet!  And there’s no camping fee!

The sites are very un-level and they’re short. Only one will accommodate a large rig.

We walk down the lane to the two sites separate from the main campground.

One is an overgrown tent site and the other looks wonderful.  Unfortunately it is occupied. I’m about to turn the crew around and head back to the Perfect Tow Vehicle when I pause.

Wait a minute. . . Their truck is perfectly lined up to their fifth wheel.  Like their hitching up.  I wonder . . . . 

“Excuse me,” I call out to the man at the truck.  “Are you leaving?”

“Yes, we are.  In about ten minutes.”


We return in ten minutes and look it over.  

It’s a big, lovely, shade-and-sun site and it’s next to a small pool of clear water . . .

“Oh, and there’s a waterfall!”

On the return to our camp at Beaver Lodge, I consider hitching up and moving to Palisades Campground right away.

No, I’ll take a chance and wait until morning. 

Monday, August 28

In the early morning the PTV takes the crew, the BLT, and myself over to Palisades, and we back into that lovely campsite.  It’s a bit of a job positioning the BLT because the site is sloped.  As it turns out, I can only bring the tongue down so far which leaves the BLT nose-up, but not too badly.

At least my head will be higher than my feet at night . . . .  I don’t care.  We’re here . . . .

“I love this campsite!”

In the next episode. . .

RVSue and her canine crew have a close encounter with a resident of the forest!




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50 Responses to Palisades Campground in Custer National Forest, Montana

  1. Joy says:

    The fires in Montana are crazy.

  2. Marcia GB in MA says:

    Another great campsite!

  3. Jolene/Iowa says:

    Oh my goodness, what a lovely campsite! I would love it too! Montana is beautiful, so sad for all the fires. Stay safe!

  4. mayble says:

    well there’s a cliff-hanger for ya!
    can’t wait to see what/who it is

  5. Jan NH says:

    Beautiful site…love the waterfall.

    So now I’m curios to hear if matching dog dishes keeps Roger away from Reggie’s dish :).

  6. MollyLuvsRoadtrippin (WA) says:

    I just love this site – being next to the sound of the flowing water is my absolute favorite way to camp. Oh, plus FREE! I hope you find a water source (maybe a spring spigot is around there somewhere given the hiking trails) and enjoy a long peaceful stay.

  7. Kat in WA & SoCal says:

    Lovely campsite – I can imagine putting my chair in the pool, sitting with my feet in the cool water and reading my Kindle. That’s living the Good Life!
    I’ve read your posts since you were asking Tioga George questions about full-timing and have read all of your posts AND your Blogarino’s comments since you started your blog. Have enjoyed every campsite you’ve had (even staying at a couple in Utah in my 21′ Rialta). A retired English teacher, I use my RV to take me on genealogical jaunts to NY, PA and points east where I boondock as I visit libraries, archives, cemeteries and courthouses. A great way to see the US and to write. I just wish I had your talent to find awesome boondocks near lakes and rivers!!
    Good luck on your continued journeys – I look forward to “joining” you on your travels and continue to enjoy your beautiful pics!! Please give Reggie and Roger a long ear scratch from me.

    • Elizabeth in WA says:

      Wow, love this site!!! A WATERFALL…YIPPEE….but sounds like you need to be a bit careful of critters too!!

      • Elizabeth in WA says:

        Oppsss…got this in the wrong spot perhaps…but I also wanted to say how much fun your journeys sound, Kat…we have found much more interesting and useful information in county courthouses, libraries etc…maybe one day we can get back to it again when we are not so busy with grandchild care!!

    • Archae says:

      Hi Kat,
      I am planning a trip to the East Coast next summer, and am curious about where you boondock in New York and Pennsylvania. I am doing genealogical research which will take me into New England and would appreciate any tips on boondocking that you could offer. Many of the Walmarts near cities don’t allow overnight parking. Where do you boondock in Connecticut and Massachusetts? Thank you for any suggestions you can provide.

      • Kat in WA & SoCal says:

        I have a 21′ Rialta RV which is unobtrustive enough to urban boondock in hospital parking lots where I could very well be overnighting with a patient, on the street alongside of city parks (sometimes they even have electricity at their shelters), in parking lots of archives, on streets near public libraries, in residential areas (I never park on the front door side of the street but along the side yard), in front of empty lots, in parking lots of 24-hour grocery stores, and along the side street of malls. Parking on college or university campus Never works, and I always chose an area alongside a city park that does Not have play equipment where children will be. I do not bring out my chairs (except in city parks) and I keep a “low profile” by not playing loud music. I drive around looking for good spots in the morning and then usually stay in the Archives or libraries until closing when I drive to my prechosen spot. I have been awakened only once – in SanFrancisco outside a branch library – I just told the policeman I was waiting for the library to open the next morning and he said, “Well…..o.k.” and let me stay. I never park in the same place two nights in a row (except when I found a lovely place alongside a millstream outside of Carlisle PA where I was researching my ancestors in the Carlisle Historical Center – I stayed every night for a week enjoying the waterfall and all the birds and wildlife!) And once in PenYan NY the Historical Center invited me to stay in their driveway with an electric hookup for almost a week. If I am at a Costco, I ask if I can stay “out of the way” in the parking lot and have always been given permission. Good luck finding those elusive ancestors – finding parking is easier!!! Kat

        • Archae says:

          Wow, you are the expert in urban boondocking! Thank you so much for your response. All of those suggestions are really good. Now I feel much better about trying it. Also, scouting out the area in the morning before the library is a really, really good way to find a space!!! Then it’s okay to get lost in your research, and stay til closing time. Thank you, again, for all of your suggestions.

  8. Cat Lady back home in Central City, La says:

    Sue, is it possible to turn the passenger side mirror toward the window just a smidgen so we can see the boys faces as they’re watching the scenery go by? Seems like we could see them better in earlier pictures. Thank you, Sue.

  9. Sam in the Ozarks AR says:

    The Bald Eagles and the Canadian geese are in NW Arkansas a month early. It must be because of the fires in the north, Sam

  10. Rover Ronda (WA) says:

    Yay! Another awesome campsite! I’m so glad you’re keeping a running log of all your stops for us to reference. Thank you 😊

  11. Cinandjules 🌵 says:

    Wow! You totally scored the best site. Love the waterfall!

    Had to chuckle about turning in your mirror! The right side mirror is positioned so one can see the end of the trailer..when changing lanes. Blind spot on the right side is huge!

  12. Barb from Hoquiam says:

    Omgosh! That is the perfect site!!!

  13. Diann in MT says:

    Beartooth Market.
    That is a nice place except like you have pointed out, the sites are a little difficult. I have hiked all over near that campground.
    Hope you are enjoying the open road wherever you are, Sue and Crew!

  14. Judy in East Texas says:

    Sue and the Crew, again I have to say you never cease to amaze me with your wonderful campsite finds as well as the pictures that just enhance my dreams. I have pages and pages of your travels thru Montana so I can start my adventures next summer. This is better than having a travel guide.

    Stay safe out there friend, Judy

  15. Diann in MT says:

    Beartooth Market.
    Palisades is pretty. I have hiked all over nearby.
    Good thing you checked out the sites. I always thought they looked really short and uneven. Now, I know for sure. I like the nearby FS campgrounds up by the Pass, but they cost.
    Keep on keepin’ on, Sue and Crew. It was wonderful having you around. Come on back some day!

  16. Jenny Johnson says:

    WOW!!! Keep us in suspense—but we will wait —
    Love your new campsite it loves lovely and you have your very own waterfall -that is special —

    OH BTW I was not even in the top 25 today — the hurrier i go the behinder I get

  17. ValGal (westernWA) says:

    Incredible find of a site! WooHoo! Hope you enjoy lounging by the waterfall.

    I hope the slope is not bothersome.

    Roger says it would be awesome, but it needs flowers. 😀

  18. Crystal the T@B owner says:

    Well I’m really behind in blog reading and have a ton of catching up to be done, but wanted to drop in to say we’ve almost been crossing paths. I traveled from southern IL to Glacier NP mid August, and stayed the evening of August 18 in the city park in Harlowton MT, Chief Joseph park, when you were down the road in Grey Cliff. I met T@B friends in Great Falls, and we traveled together to Glacier. While there, and on our return, we saw many Casita trailers. I rarely see them in IL. While in St. Marys-East Glacier there were 3 in our campground on the same day. I’m still catching up after returning home on Labor Day. If anyone saw 3 or 4 T@Bs traveling together through MT, WY, SD, NE, MO, IL….and my friends in TN, we had a wonderful time. So glad we went, because those areas we visited and/or stayed have been evacuated.

  19. Diane Ely says:

    Sue: Hope the close encounter (in the next episode) wasn’t one where you had to use your horn, the one you installed in response to another encounter!

  20. Geri in the FL panhandle! says:

    Love the waterfall!!!!!! What another great campsite!
    Thanks to everybody for your prayers! Chuck was released from the hospital this morning YAY!!! IRMA decided
    she likes the east coast, sparing us!!! Yay!!! My cup runneth over !!!

    • weather says:

      Wonderful news, Geri!!! Thanks for letting us know.

    • Teri Live Oak Fl says:

      Glad Chuck is out of the hospital. Walmart was out of water on Tuesday. About a week before the storm will be near us. I think Houston scared people.

      • Geri in the FL panhandle! says:

        It sure scared me and I have been through quite a few! Will you be evacuating Teri? Live Oak is liable to get pretty dicey! If you have a camper, the campground next to us is almost empty…. CoastlineRV. They have website if you need to come!

    • Jan NH says:

      So glad you are not in Irma’s path and happy to hear Chuck is out of the hospital.

      Stay safe to you and anyone who may be near the path of Irma.

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Happy, happy, joy, joy!!

    • Elizabeth in WA says:

      Oh such good news…thanks for sharing…Hope his recovery goes speedily!! LOTS of worries about this nasty storm yet…most of our kids and grandkids live in central NC!! But we rejoice when any area misses it too!!

  21. Pat from Mich. says:

    Waterfalls are my favorite! I could spend the summer in that site!

  22. Joe Bruner says:

    You have had some great fortune with camping spots. This one looks ideal… and a stream no less! We’re having to evacuate our site in Savannah due to Hurricane Irma. Next trip I’m going somewhere away from the ocean – like Montana!

    • Judy Johnson in upstate S.C. says:

      Don’t pick Montana for a while, Joe. Smoke from fires chased us all over the state. Also followed us to Glacier, Banff N.F. and now at Jasper N.P. Good news is that it should rain tomorrow. We may just dance in it! If any of you ever have the chance to drive the Icefields Parkway between Banff and Jasper, do it. Spectacular glaciers and milky aqua waters!

  23. Pat from Mich. says:

    My dogs always think the other dogs have better dinners than theirs. My Hershey is an accomplished thief – she can wisk a treat right out of someone else’s mouth! I saw a video once of a litter of puppies with their bowls all lined up. One puppy would switch to the bowl next to his, that pup would move down the line and so one until the last pup didn’t have a bowl. He trotted to the other end and resumed his dinner. Too funny.

  24. Marilu in Northern California says:

    My thoughts are with all in the path of Irma and those recovering from Harvey.
    Be safe Blogorinos.

  25. Joyce Sutton says:

    I passed through those places twice earlier in the year and did not know there were campsites at the fishing access. I saw the signs pointing to them and the kids would have been happy without wifi if they could fish. Good to know. The fires are burning where we were in Orville earlier and polson and donners ferry. It a shame. It’s so pretty there.

  26. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    I agree with the others, this is a lovely campsite and the photos of the water are beautiful.
    Gosh Geri, I guess I missed the post about Chuck but glad he is okay and is back home.
    I have been worried about my sister with hurricane Irma, she lives in Ruskin near where the Manatee River dumps into Tampa Bay. She is planning on going North and inland, even though it seems to be going more toward the East coast.
    I am praying for those in Irma & Jose’s path as well as all those devastated in Texas.

  27. Well it looks like a “Cliff Hanger” you have there, but as always, another great post and photos too, be safe,,,, Rusty n Piper

    • Elizabeth in WA says:

      Be safe, Rusty…till the storm (storms) pass by…remember that old song? Good advice in many situations…

  28. Kat and Cookie Dog in NYState says:

    What a lovely area. As always I love your pictures, thank you so much for sharing with those of us stuck back at home….someday soon?

  29. What a gorgeous site! The trees and water are such a blessing in the hot months. Can’t wait to see if the new bowls altered behavior :-)))

    We continue to seek smoke free skies – all of Idaho has been horrible. We move into Utah tomorrow.

  30. Li says:

    Reg has such expressive ears! That is a lovely campsite and for free it seems quite remarkable. Some of the pics we are seeing of the wildfires are just so shocking, but it’s lucky there isn’t too much smoke where you are. With any luck, some of Irma’s water will fall as rain inland. Good old Family Dollar!

  31. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hi, Sue,

    You scored another waterside site! The waterfall is a bonus! 🙂 The last picture of the boys says it all – Reggie watching the water flow by, and Roger looking like he is ready for an afternoon snooze. You all are very happy and content. 🙂

    Looking forward to hearing the rest of the story!

    Thank you for sharing the lovely photos! Sending you and the adorable Crew love and hugs from me and Gracie pup! May you continue to be guided to safety. 🙂

    Sending up extra prayers for everyone affected by the hurricanes.

  32. Sandi Lierley says:

    Amazingly beautiful there. We are socked in with smoke here in Northport, Wa. Stay safe.

  33. Cynthia from San Clemente says:

    Sue, I know you are always careful, but I thought I’d pass along a notice I got in my Facebook feed – from the US Forest Service. It said because of all the fires there are a LOT of animals fleeing their homes – they are hungry and exhausted. It said to be extra careful to keep your domestic animals safe, and if possible, to put out large containers of water for the wildlife as they are having difficulty finding water. It also said to be especially wary of snakes, some of whom are poisonous, being driven from their homes. Wishing you safe travels and rest!

  34. weather says:

    That place along the stream is among the prettiest you’ve camped beside. I can see why you loved it there. The trees providing shade while letting the light dance through, the ground’s many levels making a waterfall, placing the ferns, mosses, and delicately leaved plants at perfect heights, the feathery look of the pine branches…just beautiful! Seeing it at different times throughout the day must have been wonderful for you.

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