Sunday, August 30, 2020

Hayes Roadside Park

   Just east of the tiny blink-and-you’ll-miss-it town of Hayes is this very nice little park. It has vault toilets, trash cans, a picnic shelter with tables, and a wonderful view of the wetlands and lake.
  No signs prohibit camping or overnight parking so we spent a peaceful night. The area is identified on maps as Hayes Lake Game Production Area and Hayes Lake State Access Area.  I couldn’t find any rules for either designation. Hayes Lake  44.37061, -101.01237


Saturday, August 29, 2020

Belle Fourche NWR

   The wildlife refuge forms a wide border around 2/3 of the Belle Fourche Reservoir. Dispersed camping is permitted and the dozens of roads that branch off of the main roads lead to private, waterfront campsites. If you prefer the amenities of a campground Rocky Point Recreation Area is also part of the refuge.

   Since just wanted an overnight stop we chose to camp in an area close to the entrance of the refuge. We had a nice view of prairie grasses and a small stream flowing into the reservoir. Refuge 44.69707, -103.72607

Friday, August 28, 2020

Two Leggings Fishing Access

  Local people use this site for fishing, boat launching, swimming, and  minor partying. Camping is limited to two nights however it doesn’t appear to be used for camping much. We parked at the east end close to the bridge to leave the best spots opened for people who wanted to fish. The west end seems to the party spot. The view of the Big Horn River and all of the little islands is really pretty.  No amenities other than a vault toilet. Traffic over the bridge dies down at night but starts up again fairly early.

  We spent just one night here and didn’t wander around outside but we ended up with tiny bites on our arms and legs. We didn’t notice the bites until the next day when they got very itchy so we have no idea what bit us. Whatever it was got in through small gaps around our screen or even through the screens themselves and were so tiny that we didn’t even realize that we had been invaded.  I had at least 50 bites on my arms, some in clusters of five to ten, that didn’t go completely away for about five days.   Camp  45.6446, -107.65801

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Itch-Kep-Pe City Park

  This campground has two loops with campsites around the outside of the loops and large areas inside the loops where people camp in groups. We arrived on a hot Saturday afternoon and  all of the sites were filled and groups were camping in the loop centers but we still found an empty spot along the edge. Many people packed up on Sunday morning and we had a choice of good campsites.
  The campground was fairly quiet even with all of the activity of the campers and day use people using the boat ramp, tubing and swimming in the Yellowstone River. The campground has tables, fire rings, water, dumpsters, and toilets. Donation requested but not required. 

  The ground is hard packed so rolling is fairly easy. The tables  have short overhangs. Campground  45.62265, -109.23912

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Livingston Depot Center

  The Depot is an unusually elaborate building for a small city like  Livingston. Built in the early 1900s of red and yellow brick with terra cotta details, it was the showpiece of the Northern Pacific Railroad’s gateway to Yellowstone National Park. Passengers could travel to Yellowstone from this depot until 1979. It now houses museum displays in the summer and serves as an event center in the winter.

   Exhibits cover a variety of topics including the construction of the depot, railroad workers, Yellowstone, and dude ranches but there aren’t any large text panels to tie displays in each exhibit together. Instead there are many small photographs with paragraphs of small type which are dull and tedious to read.

  The first floor of the museum is accessible but there’s a short steep ramp at the entry door which opens outward making entering difficult. The second floor has a large model train layout and is not accessible due to steps and no elevator.
   RVs will fit in the parking lot if parked lengthwise across the spaces. Use caution if you follow the RV parking signs. The farthest parking lot exit was closed off when we visited and the parking lot is too narrow to easily turn around. Park on West Park Street (no sidewalk) parallel to the parking lot if you are unsure. The sidewalk in the parking lot are in good condition. Museum  45.66107, -110.56428

Monday, August 24, 2020

Beaverhead County Museum

  The four buildings that make up the museum complex are connected by a boardwalk. Start at the main museum to pay the small admission fee and view the exhibits on early pioneer life, ranching, mining, and local businesses. Continue on the boardwalk to the small cabin, one room schoolhouse, and train depot that are all open to tour. The train depot has exhibits about the Lewis and Clark Expedition and the 1868 Virginia City Treaty between the United States Government and the Shoshone Tribe plus a collection of mounted birds and a model train layout.
The main museum and the boardwalk are accessible. The schoolhouse has a short step up. The cabin has a high threshold and the door doesn’t open wide enough for wheelchair access. The sidewalk slants up at the entrance door of the train depot and the door opens outward making entering very difficult. The model train layout is too high to view from a seated position.
  The parking spaces in front of the museum are too short for RVs. Park northeast of the museum on West Bannack Street, North Montana Street, or in the public lot. Museum 45.21734, -112.63812

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Barretts Station Park Campground

  Two back-in RV sites and a large gravel lot where campers are welcome to stay plus plenty of grass for tent campers makes this a easy and popular place to stop. The park is managed by the Bureau of Reclamation and has a boat ramp, vault toilets, potable water, and a large picnic area. It’s very scenic with towering cliffs rising above the Beaverhead River. A perfect spot except it’s right up against the railroad tracks which parallel Interstate15.
We parked next to the concrete handicapped parking pad. I was able to deploy my lift onto the pad and wheel along the sidewalk to the toilets and a picnic table then wheel in the opposite direction to a foot bridge over the river that led to the picnic area with paved paths to a picnic shelter and more toilets. Park  45.12924, -112.7414

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Bannack State Park Campground & Ghost Town

  In its 158 years of existence no major fires swept through  Bannack so there are still over sixty buildings standing, many from the 1860s. They have been stabilized and repaired but are not restored. About twenty are opened to tour. There aren’t any interpretive signs - the buildings are numbered and a guide that’s sold at the visitor center provides a a detailed history.  The visitor center has a few exhibits and a short video about Bannack.
  The buildings contain very little in the way for furnishings but it’s interesting to see the layer upon layer of wallpaper and linoleum, and the rambling additions that have been added onto some of the houses. A caretaker let us look through a building where miscellaneous artifacts are stored to be used in the future.
  The visitor center is accessed by a ramp at the side entrance. Five or six of the buildings are accessible. The rest have steps or very high thresholds.  None of the sites in the campgrounds are designated as accessible but most can be used. The picnic tables do not have extended tops.
  We stayed at Road Agent Campground, one of the two campgrounds in the park. Road Agent is quieter and has more trees than Vigilante. It does not have a large turn around loop and is not suitable for large RVs. The ghost town parking lot has long spaces for RVs. Bannack  45.16236, -112.99925

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Carmen Bridge Fishing Access

  The main draw at this site is the boat ramp that accesses the Salmon River but there are also three campsites that sit under the shade of large cottonwoods. The area is managed by the Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game and camping is permitted for 10 consecutive days in any 30 day period. The sites have tables and fire rings. There’s a vault toilet but trash must be packed out.
  The sites are large enough for most RVs and it’s a peaceful, quiet spot. The dirt access road passes by a private home and business so drive slowly to avoid raising dust.

  I’ve made a mystery for myself with this campsite. I like to put an official link on each post but I can’t find anything online for Carmen Creek. I have no idea how I found the site ?? so no link. 45.2294, -113.89137

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Sacajawea Interpretive Center

  Sacajawea, a teenage girl of Shoshone-Bannock heritage, traveled with her husband, Toussaint Charbonneau, as an interpreter for the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Salmon Idaho, where the center is located, was her birthplace and childhood home. Her familiarity with the language and terrain in the area helped make the expedition a success.

  The center focuses on the Agaidika Shoshone-Bannock tribes, Sacajawea’s early life and her time with the expedition. About 1 1/2 miles of trail make interconnecting loops on the flat flood plain of the Salmon River.  Interpretive signs, teepees, and wickiups are located along the trails.

  The center is accessible. A long, gentle, downhill path leads to the trails. The main trails are hard packed gravel and fairly easy to push along. The trail through the woods is narrow  with rocks, roots, and steep sections so it is not accessible.

  The parking lot has long RV spaces. Center  45.16499, -113.86562