What about camping a Fishing Access Site? — Grey Bear, Montana

Wednesday, August 9 (continued)

About six miles before we reach the town of Big Timber, the crew and I disembark Interstate 90 (Exit 362) to investigate camping at Grey Bear Fishing Access Site (FAS).

We haven’t camped at Montana’s fishing access sites this summer and I’m curious to see if they might provide another option for us.

On the frontage road I look for the typical FAS sign, brown and white with a fish about to bite a hook.

Making the turn, we cut between two fields.  

This is an agricultural area, mostly private or state land, so it’s a good thing Montana has set aside places where one can access the Yellowstone.

We cross the railroad tracks and my anticipation grows.

As it always does when approaching a new camp!

Oh, I hope this is good . . .

We come to another FAS sign on the right and a bridge beyond the sign.

I turn right and drive down into that area. I discover the boat ramp with parking space, but no campground.

Gee, where the heck is the campground?

We go across the bridge, turn around, come back, and this time I find the entrance to the campground on the opposite side from the boat ramp.

(NOTE:  It isn’t until I see these photos that I’m aware of how smoky it is around us at this camp.)

I missed the entrance when we passed it before.

The dirt road into the campground has several big depressions in it and two of them are full of water.  These puddles extend across the width of the road, but they aren’t deep and the PTV wallows through, dragging the Best Little Trailer behind.

Odd to see puddles.  I don’t think it rained recently.

We come to a pleasant area shaded by big cottonwood trees.  

I park and let the crew out.  We walk the campground together.

These sites are nice.  It would be easy to acquire a neighbor though. 

The best site, one next to the river, is occupied by people who look like they’re here to play in the water and have a picnic.

Reggie, Roger and I board the PTV and drive toward the entrance.

Seems like there was a dirt road branching off here somewhere . . . There it is!

We bump over a two-track path and come to a lone campsite.  I jump out to look it over.

Wow!  I like this!  Right next to the river!

Pretty nice for a fishing access site, eh?

The view from our back yard, looking upstream . . .

The view from our back yard, looking downstream toward the bridge . . .

 The view from our back window . . .

I hook the tether for Reggie and Roger to the picnic table.  They like our new camp, too. Excitedly they explore with their noses.

When we first drove into Grey Bear FAS, I picked up a pay envelope from the self-pay station.  My heart sank, so to speak, when I figured out the fee for us to camp is $18 a night!

I get out my checkbook and pen.

“Well, it’s a high fee for a place with no amenities other than a picnic table and fire ring. Here ya’ go, Montana . . .  I don’t mind. . . . This is a beautiful camp and you’ve been very good to us this summer. ”

I pay for two nights and it turns out it was well worth the fee.

rvsue

NOTE:  If you are curious about the cost for a non-resident to fish in Montana, the total fee for the necessary licenses is $50 for two days, $75 for four days, $81 for ten days, or $111 for the entire year.  See details at this link.  — Sue

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77 Responses to What about camping a Fishing Access Site? — Grey Bear, Montana

  1. Cynthia from San Clemente says:

    First?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      CYNTHIA! YOU DID IT AGAIN! 🙂

      • Cynthia from San Clemente says:

        I know – honestly, I don’t really sit on my computer. It’s just that since we got home from vacation, I’ve had a lot of paperwork to catch up on at my desk and I’m probating my step-dad’s estate, so that requires me to be on my computer a lot.

  2. Joy says:

    Love your view!

  3. Cynthia from San Clemente says:

    I really like this camp. It’s nice that you found a more private spot, but generally, I think fisherpeople (I’m being gender neutral here – rolls her eyes) tend to be fairly quiet. The river looks like it is moving pretty rapidly – are those little whitecaps caused by movement or is it windy? I’m saying a special little prayer for you and Spike today. So glad you have the R&R boyz to love on!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      How sweet of you to remember Spike on the anniversary of his passing. Thank you for the prayer.

      The white caps directly behind our camp are caused by a big rock. There are rapids above and below our camp, not clearly visible in the photos.

      You’re right about “fisherpeople.” They tend to be quiet folks. When you’re naturally a recluse like I am, you want to be away from everybody, even the quiet ones. 🙂

      • Cynthia from San Clemente says:

        About Spike – I’m glad you don’t think I’m wierd. I always put a note on my calendar when a friend’s loved one passes away, so I can say an annual prayer for them. I have a dear friend who had a baby who was stillborn, so her child’s birth date and death date are actually the same. She said very few people remember or say anything on that “anniversary” and it makes her feel as if her child is never acknowledged. It got me to thinking about how tough the anniversary of a death can be – I know I get very melancholy around the dates of my parents’ and pets’ passings –
        so I like to acknowledge those events in other people’s lives.

  4. LeeJ in Northern California says:

    That is a beautiful spot!
    Did you see the eclipse this morning? I wonder if people that were jamming the interstate this past weekend enjoyed It? I got a much better view on the live stream from National Geographic, lol.
    We keep having intermittent smoke here in Klamath Falls, forest fire west of us..oh well!
    Have a lovely day and pet the doggies for me!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lee J,

      No, I didn’t have glasses to look at the eclipse. I did notice an unusual type of grey this morning. I probably wouldn’t have thought anything of it if I weren’t aware of an expected eclipse.

      Hope the air clears for you soon…

      SECOND PLACE! 🙂

  5. Suzicruzi from The 'Couve says:

    😎 Hey guys! I guess top 10 isn’t bad, considering I don’t look at my screen much. Sue- you and the pooches are lookin’ mighty fine these days! How was your Eclipse experience?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      THIRD PLACE, SUZICRUZI!

      Our eclipse experience was a non-experience (see reply to LeeJ above). 🙂

  6. Jean in Southaven says:

    I love this camp. Some of the pictures remind me of Arkansas close to the St Francis river in the western part of the state. I bet it is not as hot though. I haven’t commented in awhile. But I have read the blog and loved the pictures each time. I am going to have to visit Montana someday.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jean,

      Several blogorinos have gone AWOL lately. I figure people are enjoying summer activities.

      Good to hear from you again. Yes, do come to Montana when you can.

  7. ReneeG from Idaho says:

    Well, seems I’m in the top ten and I even read the entire post. I enjoyed it. I always imagine myself being there at your campsites. It sure gets me through the days sometimes. I’ve seen the FAS signs around and knew you could camp at them, but we just haven’t . . . yet.

    ” . . . turns out it was well worth the fee.” Hmmm, I’m curious and looking forward to the next chapter.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, ReneeG,

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Your feedback about imagining yourself being at our campsites is the reaction I hope for in my readers. I’m blessed to live in these beautiful places and I want others to share them with me (but not in person!).

      Well, I don’t have a dramatic story to tell about why this camp is worth the fee… but make sure to read the next post anyway! 🙂

  8. Reine in Plano (when not camping) says:

    Glad you found a nice spot. We took our life (er Casita) in our hands and let our son and his family borrow our truck and Casita to go view the eclipse. I think they’re crazy. They left Sunday morning about 10 AM from Dallas and finally spent the night at a truck stop in Lonore City, TN at 3:25 AM. That’s traveling with a 6 year old and a 1 year old. He rented a generator so they would have AC. Then they went on to Ten Mile, TN today to view the eclipse. Now they’re headed back and will probably arrive Tuesday at 6:00 AM. Like I said, I think they’re CRAZY but I love em. Now if they will just get our truck and Casita back safely.:)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I can’t help but chuckle at your comment, Reine. What’s crazy to us “mature” folk is an adventure for those younger. They’ll learn, as we did. 🙂

      You’re kind to let your precious truck and Casita leave home…. You’ll be able to relax once family and possessions are with you again!

      • Reine in Plano (when not camping) says:

        Yep, we’ll feel better when both the kids and the rig are back where they belong. Then we can get the Casita and truck ready for OUR next adventure.

        • Chris B and Diego says:

          I’m impressed, Reine. Letting your Casita travel that far from home without you and Paul in it!! My husband is afraid to take the trailer out on his own because he might mess up my baby. He calls it “Chrisita.”

  9. Your campsite looks almost exactly like the one I just left, also at a fishing access site but in Saratoga, WY, on the N. Platte River. But $18….that IS pretty pricey! (The ones in WY are free) I would love to go to Montana but I’m really afraid of grizzlies. I don’t think my little aluminum camper would resist a determined bear, and I DO cook bacon many mornings! And I can’t afford to pay for campsites, darn it. But I sure enjoy seeing MT through your eyes; thank you!

    • Diann in MT says:

      Oh, Little Bitty. Please don’t be afraid of grizzlies. They usually roam around where people are scarce. They would probably hate to be caught in a campground as only pesky little black and brown bears choose this. And truth be told your “hard sided trailer” is protection enough. I camp up in the mountains where black bear actually hang out and the FS has even supplied bear proof food and goody containers mostly for the tent camping folk.
      Cook your bacon, sit at your table, and enjoy. Just store your food securely, as in “don’t leave in out in the open” on the front seat of your tow vehicle. The frig in your camper is very safe.
      There are many places in Montana where no grizzly roams. Sue is at one right now. Come and enjoy our streams and valleys. (Sue should be on the Montana Tourists Council!)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      There are many fishing sites in Montana that are free…

      • Susan in south central WA says:

        Montana should say that it is a fee site before you drive down to it. This is camping robbery!! (like highway robbery but a campground space instead) Glad you enjoyed it though. 🙂

    • Pat Hall, Wy5 says:

      There’s a BLM campground 7 miles from Sinclair that is on the North Platte. I was there a few weeks ago and it was great.

  10. Dawn in MI says:

    Sure looks pretty!

  11. Cinandjules 🌵 says:

    Nice spot. Maybe one day you’ll throw a line in. Fishing, for me at least, is soothing.
    A nice rainbow trout….yummers!

    Uh….was there an eclipse?…nothing different down here! Hah with all the hype, people traveling, jockeying for the best view! I’d rather see the northern lights! Different strokes for different folks….right?

    Silly Roger dodger playing king of the recliner! Have a great evening!

  12. Cinandjules 🌵 says:

    PS
    Are those foxtails? Be careful if they are…the kids can snort them, get them stuck in the back of their throats and in between their toes!

    If you walk through them and they stick to your socks…heads up!

    • Diann in MT says:

      And inside their ears!

    • Cynthia from San Clemente says:

      You are so right! We were on a family camping trip once and my DIL had to make an emergency trip to a vet with her new puppy because he got a foxtail in his throat. Scared the you-know-what out of all of us!

      • Cinandjules 🌵 says:

        BTDT..(caught behind the tongue..couldn’t figure out why he was gagging) yes pretty scary! They have face nets for dogs…in case you can’t avoid them. But after every outing I’d check between the toes and found tons of them. They will burrow in, get infected and if they make it to the bloodstream…all is bad.

        I think foxtails are a regional thing..

  13. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    Lovely site. I took time out from work today to enjoy the eclipse. Bought my glasses 2 weeks ago and we sat in the lawn chairs at the edge of the garage, while Angel stayed in the garage, occupying herself with a soup bone. They wanted to know how the animals reacted to the total eclipse, not much. Angel was lying on our old sofa out of site of the eclipse and watched us.
    Need to get back to work.

  14. Geri in the FL panhandle! says:

    I love the views from the BLT window! This looks like a very nice place to call home for few days!
    You are caught up to real time now! YAY! Glad to see you here with us!
    Eclipse was a non event here, heavy clouds bringing a drizzling rain kinda took care of us seeing the eclipy though! However it did get much darker here for a few minutes!
    Well, I am getting busy cleaning my jalapeño and banana peppers. I will put them to soak over night and tomorrow put them in a chopper! I chop them with onion, garlic and cilantro then I freeze small portions to add to soups or pinto beans and even corn bread come cooler weather! Sort of a homemade salsa or relish.
    Good to see you next to this pretty water out of the worst of the smoke! Hug R & R from us!!! 💜 to you!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Check the date of this post… I’m not caught up yet. Your pepper freeze is smart.

      Running out of power, have to keep this short.

  15. R. says:

    What a lovely and peaceful spot. As always great pictures too. I should make a list of campgrounds you stayed in so maybe can use some of them in 2018 while driving to Alaska.
    Sue, maybe you want to remind your followers that one week from today a price of Senior Pass is going to go up to $80.
    There is going to be another option of annual senior pass at $20.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      R…. There is a list of our camps available from the header titled “Camps of 2017.”

  16. Stephanie Albany OR says:

    Have never been to MT but on my list. After much angst and indecision I decided not to hit the road in an RV. It was exciting to think about for a short while but deep in my heart know it is not for me at this point in my life. Maybe my next life! Instead I am buying a park model mfg’d home in a former RV park they are converting to small stationary homes. Get the rustic, friendly setting but no wheels, no black water and no driving. I think it fits me better. Still in Oregon just outside Salem so all the perks of the big city but amongst the trees. I’ve been quiet as I struggled with my decision but am moving next week so well on my way to being settled. Still enjoy your blog and still plan to be a faithful reader just not on wheels. Vicarious living even more important so keep your stories coming. Btw, was in the path of eclipse totality, sitting in my front yard, and one of the most awesome things I’ve had the privilege to experience.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You do what is right for YOU, Stephanie. I’m glad you made a decision that you feel right about.

      Wow, I didn’t think an eclipse could be “most awesome.”

    • Rover Ronda (WA) says:

      Like you we enjoyed the eclipse from our yard. My husband set up his telescope with its solar filter. Even though we were only at ~90% totality I was much more interested than I expected to be. Strangely impressive. We watched it cross all the way from when it first started waxing to the end. 😎

      • Stephanie Albany OR says:

        Yes it was impressive Ronda. Difference was seeing it in person I think. My whole neighborhood broke out in screams, clapping and cheers at 100% totality. It was something. Lived up to and exceeded the hype.

        • Sarvi in OR says:

          I too thought it was pretty awesome. Although I could have watched it from my back yard, I spent the weekend at the Bi-Mart Willamette Country Music Festival, so I watched it with several thousand other people. The cheer that went up at the moment of totality was actually pretty amazing itself.

          Did you hear any fireworks? My daughter was at home and said people in Pine Meadow (which is right behind my house) were lighting off fireworks. Stupid!!

          • Stephanie Albany OR says:

            Yes we did have a few fireworks. With all those emergency alerts they sent re high fire danger was surprised at how a few just had to do them anyway. I love Oregon. One reason I decided to stay here. And living in a converted RV park just smacks of irony!

  17. Patricia says:

    Hi Sue
    Have not replied in quite a while. Living and enjoying vicariously thru ur travels. One of these days I will be out there with u!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good to see you again, Patricia! Nice to know you’re still riding along with me and the crew!

  18. Interesting, I’ve never seeing camping at a Public Fishing spot. We love the Big Timber area. Hope that smoke is moving out as we heading to Idaho and Montana the next couple weeks.

  19. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hi, Sue!

    It looks like that little rascal Roger is trying to steal your recliner! I bet Reggie found something to be interested in, and Roger had to hop off the chair to check it out. 🙂

    Did you see the eclipse today? We had about 85% coverage here. Myself and a couple dozen coworkers watched the eclipse for about 15 minutes, until the coverage was at it’s peak. Some had the special glasses, and a couple guys do ironwork on the side, so they brought in their shields, another made a pinhole camera with an old box, and another with two sheets of paper. Just about everyone made sure that they shared the glasses or shields, so all could experience the phenomenon. It was a cool moment, both in the sky, and experiencing the kindness shared among coworkers. 🙂

    Sending you and the Crew love and hugs from me and Gracie pup! Have a good evening – take good care, Sue. 🙂

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Ooops….just saw your reply to Lee about your non-event regarding the eclipse! 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, Denise,

      Your description of the community of eclipse-watchers confirms what I’ve suspected for a long time — that you are very pleasant to be around. 🙂

      Hugs and love accepted happily… Sending some to you and Gracie pup! Have a wonderful day…

  20. weather says:

    Camping at a fishing access site might not have occurred to me without your having shown how beautiful that campground is. Thanks, Sue, for adding another option to the list of possibilities that I would otherwise have overlooked. The view looking upstream is so picturesque. It reminds me of several paintings, how nice seeing that from your backyard must have been. I wonder what made the already occupied site, that you considered the best one there, special.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, weather,

      The other site was the best of those in the shady area because it was open to the river and had easy access to the river. I thought it was the best site until I found the one we settled into, which was away from the rest and didn’t seem like it was in a campground at all.

      I’ll be showing more camps at fishing access sites. We’re in another one right now. 🙂

  21. Dawn in NC says:

    I was all set for the eclipse, but got clouds instead. It was quite disappointing! Nothing much to report on my end. Thanks for letting me travel vicarously through you. It always perks me up to see new posts.

  22. Clifford Parker says:

    Have been enjoying your posts. Our campground was closed because of the Sunrise fire and we were required to leave. We left for home on Aug 6 but plan to be back next summer.
    Quartz-Cliff

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Welcome to my blog, Clifford! Thanks for stopping by. I’m sorry you were driven out of your campground.

  23. Gary says:

    Hi Sue, I love Montana and have been enjoying your travels there. I am a resident of MT since my retirement, my sister moved there 15 years ago, but I seldom find myself there since I travel full time also.

    Two years ago I was exploring Eastern Montana for the summer and camped several places near where you are now. Not too far away is Pompeys Pillar, on the Yellowstone River. There you can visit the only physical evidence left by Clark (Lewis and Clark). He carved his name into the pillar. It’s quite a site. As I was leaving for the Winter, I drove South and stayed near the Little Bighorn. Another great place to visit our history.

    As always, enjoying your blog….Safe Travels

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Gary,

      I never heard of Pompeys Pillar National Park. Thanks for enlightening me. I looked up images of the park and it does look like an interesting place.

      Keep enjoying my blog… I wish you safe travels and many happy camps.

  24. Libby Nester WV/PA says:

    May have been a little expense, but what a view! It is absolutely awesome.

  25. Kathy (NC) says:

    Have been enjoying your summer travels so much – especially photos of the beautiful camps and the boys having so much fun. Will be in the UK for the next few weeks but I will still be following along though I haven’t found out how to see the comments yet on my tablet. Husband will help no doubt!
    Travel safely wherever you go (and I’m looking forward to seeing the where!!)

  26. Glad you found a nice, quiet spot. Love camping near a river.

  27. Chuck says:

    Another beautiful site !!! You skill at finding them is ONLY exceeded by your fantastic photography !!! Give the boys an extra piece of chicken from us !

  28. Laurie in NC says:

    We just got back from a camping trip to the Charleston SC area to view the eclipse. We were in the area of totality and it was awesome! We had some clouds but we’re able to see most stages of the eclipse and the clouds parted for a few minutes during the time of totality! It was so much more impressive than I had remembered from the only other eclipse that I saw as a child.
    We camped for 4 days, but I was ready to continue on! Once we are retired we will take long trips and Montana is one are I definitely want to visit!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m glad you had that experience, Laurie.

      Yes, do visit Montana someday. No doubt I’ve only shown a tiny portion of what this state has to offer.

  29. Pauline in Mississippi says:

    What a lovely spot!! You sure can pick them, Girl. Would love to be by a river during these miserable hot Mississippi days. Even Charlie and Sassy don’t stay out long during the day.
    It is always such a joy to find a new post from you and an adventure to gaze at all the great pictures. What a life you live! And as long as you are happy, I encourage you on.
    Give hugs to Reggie and Roger
    and a Big Hug to you!!
    Love you

  30. Helen L says:

    I hope you are receiving notices of all the items I have been purchasing laetly. I also wanted to share this link for the Annual Pass.

    Be safe out there.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Helen…. If you tell me a item you have purchased and the date that you ordered it, I’ll be happy to check.

      Thanks for the link!

      Time is running out, folks! $10 fee for lifetime pass becomes $80 August 28.

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