Missouri Headwaters State Park, Three Forks

4.2
Missouri Headwaters State Park is a Montana state park that marks the official start of the Missouri River. It includes the Three Forks of the Missouri National Historic Landmark, designated in 1960 because the site is one where the Lewis and Clark Expedition camped in 1805. The park is open for day use and camping, offering hiking trails, hunting, and water-related activities. It is located on Trident Road northeast of Three Forks, Montana at an elevation of 4045ft.SettingThe bulk of Missouri Headwaters State Park is found on a peninsula flanked on the east by the Gallatin River and the west by the Missouri River and the Madison River. Small parts of the park are also located on the east bank of the Gallatin River, and an island in the Missouri just below the confluence of the Madison and Jefferson Rivers. The total park size is 532acre. The Jefferson River meets the Madison and Missouri roughly midway through the park's north-south extent.HistoryThe Lewis and Clark Expedition encamped at the confluence site on July 26, 1805. On July 28, Meriwether Lewis wrote in his journal:Both Capt. C. and myself corresponded in opinon with rispect(sic) to the impropriety of calling either of these streams the Missouri and accordingly agreed to name them after the President of the United States and the Secretaries of the Treasury and State. The expedition were likely the first white men to ever penetrate this landscape. Lewis and Clark were at first uncertain how to proceed, and scouted each of the branches before ultimately departing on July 30 up the Jefferson River. The expedition also passed the forks on its return journey on July 13, 1806.
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Missouri Headwaters State Park Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
123 reviews
Google
4.3
TripAdvisor
  • We had paid for a campsite but we're so disappointed in the campgrounds we headed into town No view of the river(s) it reminded me of a gravel parking lot.  more »
  • Pulled in here with a friend in our two trailers and rigs. Was disappointed there were no camp sites with river views. Had to walk through tall grasses to get to the water. Ran into a large snake on t...  more »
  • An important stop for anyone interested in Lewis & Clark. It's an easy hike with interpretive signage. After reading about the headwaters of the Missouri it was wonderful to see it first hand.  more »
Google
  • Very nice park with different trails and access points to the river.
  • Was awesome to see where the Missouri River starts. I have lived near the river in Bellevue Nebraska for 40+ years and it was just neat to see where it all has come from.
  • Good place to visit. They have a campground and you can go tubing down the rivers. Most of the area is HC accessible. We glad we went but it is. Nothing like the Headwaters of the Mississippi River in Itasca State Park Minnesota.
  • A beautiful and historic state park where three large rivers combine to form the Missouri. Small, but full of wildlife and scenic views.
  • This place of convergence, is peaceful to me. I love big water...
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