Camping at Seeley Lake, Montana

We had the best time camping at Seeley Lake last weekend. I can't remember the last time I spent the day in a swimsuit. We swam in the lake, read books on the sand, went for a little nature walk (just Finn and I), and sat around the campfire (eating s'mores, naturally). It was the perfect laid-back weekend.

The downside of Seeley Lake is that it's kind of crowded--by Montana standards, anyway. And there are motorboats and jet skis on the lake, which I don't love. We knew we weren't going to have a wilderness experience, so we were all in for a day at the beach.

Evening swim in the lake. We just couldn't wait.
Early morning in the giant tent.
H and I love sitting around in the morning, drinking coffee and tea while the boys sleep.
A morning swim in Seeley Lake.
Anders and dad going for a swim.
S'more time!
Playing in the sand.

A couple days at the beach is just what you need once in awhile.

Plan Your Own Trip

What: The community of Seeley Lake, named for the 1,025-acre lake at its front door, has a year-round population of about 2,000 people. Its population swells to more than twice that during the summer months when seasonal residents come home to enjoy their mountain cabins. Seeley Lake is one of a half dozen lakes in the Clearwater Valley known as the "Chain of Lakes," through which the Clearwater River flows. We stayed at the Big Larch campground, and there are two other campgrounds on the west side of the lake. None of them take reservations. Why: Swimming in the lake, walking through the larch and ponderosa pine forest. Water skiing and jet skiing, if that's your deal. Where: Just north of the town of Seeley Lake on Hwy. 83. Facilities: Open year-round. This spacious campground offers 50 camping units, a popular well-maintained beach, water play area, boat launch, telephone and year-round, non-freeze water hydrants. Handicapped facilities are available. There is a $10/night charge for overnight camping at this Forest Service facility. Who: Families, kids, adults, boaters, anglers...