Missouri Headwaters State Park



Van lifers are drawn to Missouri Headwater State Park by its exciting water activities. You can paddleboard, fish, and kayak on the Madison, Jefferson, and Gallatin rivers. Hikers and bikers use paths through forests and hills to see the sights. Nomads get to know each other better around campfires under the stars. An outdoor haven for amazing van life adventures.


The journey to Missouri Headwater State Park in a van opens you to a world of breathtaking adventures. The park is where the Madison, Jefferson, and Gallatin rivers meet, making it a prime location for exciting water adventures. While kayakers brave exhilarating rapids, paddleboarders cast for coveted catches along the magnificent waterways. Trail users can enjoy the beautiful scenery as they make their way through the forest and across the hills. Around a campfire in the wilderness, travelers can bond over shared experiences and become lifelong companions. Missouri Headwater State Park is a paradise for nomads in search of life-changing experiences in nature. 

Park History

Lewis and Clark’s historic expedition has deep ties to Missouri Headwater State Park. This location was a major turning point in the discovery of the American West by the Corps of Discovery commanded by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark in 1805. The huge Missouri River’s path was largely determined by the park’s rivers, which included Madison, Jefferson, and Gallatin. In this way, tourists can follow in the footsteps of famous explorers and try to fathom the perils they experienced and the breathtaking sights they saw. The Missouri Headwaters State Park commemorates their adventurous spirit and provides access to their historic route.


Hiking in Missouri Headwater State Park offers a captivating experience. Wander through picturesque trails winding amidst lush forests and rolling hills. Discover hidden gems, encounter wildlife, and immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature. A hiker’s paradise within the park’s breathtaking landscapes.


Camping in Missouri Headwater State Park is a delightful experience for nature enthusiasts. Set up your tent amidst the scenic surroundings, enjoy the serene ambiance, and stargaze at night. The camping fee of $26 grants access to this idyllic haven, providing a memorable outdoor retreat for all.

Stephen Ambrose’s Undaunted Courage

Stephen Ambrose’s book “Undaunted Courage” beautifully captures the spirit of exploration and adventure of the Lewis and Clark expedition, making it a perfect companion to Missouri Headwater State Park. As you visit the park and witness the convergence of the Madison, Jefferson, and Gallatin rivers, you can’t help but connect with the explorers’ incredible journey and appreciate the area’s historical significance. Ambrose’s vivid storytelling brings the expedition to life, enriching the experience of exploring the park and deepening your understanding of the remarkable achievements of Lewis and Clark in this very region.

Having Missouri Headwaters State Park is a privilege for our enjoyment, so please practice Leave No Trace principles.


To reach Missouri Headwater State Park from Bozeman, Montana, follow these directions:

1. Start by heading southeast on I-90 E from Bozeman.
2. Continue on I-90 E for approximately 29 miles.
3. Take Exit 298 for US-287 S toward Three Forks.
4. Merge onto US-287 S and continue for about 5 miles.
5. Turn left onto MT-2 E/MT-287 S and follow the signs for Missouri Headwater State Park.
6. Continue on MT-2 E/MT-287 S for approximately 4 miles.
7. The park entrance will be on your right.

Enjoy your journey to Missouri Headwater State Park!

References and Links:

  • Website: Missouri Headwaters State Park
  • Campsite fees range from $4-$34 per night, depending on season and available amenities.
  • Day use entrance fee with a vehicle: $8

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