Sundance Lodge Recreation Area


Sundance Lodge Recreation Area
Among the cottonwoods at Sundance Lodge

Prior to 1997, Sundance Lodge was a working ranch. Then in 1997, the Bureau of Land Management, together with the Yellowstone Chapter of Pheasants Forever and the Nature Conservancy, purchased the property. It is now a designated Special Recreation Management Area with assistance agreements between the BLM, the Yellowstone Chapter of Pheasants Forever and the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks in place for the intensive management of Sundance Lodge specifically to provide public access to the Clark's Fork of the Yellowstone River, protect wildlife habitat and provide dispersed recreation opportunities near Billings and Laurel.

Day use is allowed for photography, wildlife watching, hiking, mountain biking, environmental education and horseback riding on the designated roads and trails. Motorized vehicles are not allowed beyond the parking area. The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks has a Block Management Program that allows archery hunting and limited shotgun hunting. The BLM sometimes allows overnight camping but only for approved special events. Sundance Lodge Recreation Area is open year-round for day use activities and there are no fees involved.

To get to the 380 acres of river bottom that are Sundance Lodge Recreation Area, take US 212 south from Laurel across the Yellowstone River. About 1/4 mile past the bridge, turn left (east) onto Thiel Road and go about 1.3 miles to the parking area near the confluence of the Yellowstone River and the Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone.

Sundance Lodge Recreation Area
Clarks Fork River at Sundance Lodge Recreation Area
Clarks Fork River at Sundance Lodge Recreation Area
Photos courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management