Makoshika State Park

Makoshika State Park is Montana’s largest state park, located just outside Glendive, along the Yellowstone River. It is a park of outstanding natural beauty, referenced in William Clark’s journal as the “birnt hills” from when Clark and his party camped in what is now the Glendive area on their return journey down the Yellowstone. Makoshika is a sprawling mass of badlands layered with color and awash in classic badland formations like caprocks, hoodoos and natural bridges. The habitat is almost entirely rugged badlands with stands of juniper and pine, with some open native prairie at the “top” of the park. Large mammals like mule deer and mountain lions (though they are rarely, if ever seen) inhabit the park. Native birds such as mountain bluebirds and turkey vultures return to Makoshika each year to breed. Many other bird species, including bald and golden eagles, can also be seen. Besides its outstanding natural beauty, Makoshika is also a world-class fossil bed and a place of incredible scientific importance, especially to paleontologists. The badlands of Makoshika are part of the celebrated Hell Creek Formation, famed worldwide as one of the richest caches of dinosaur fossils on the planet. Dinosaur fossils are routinely recovered from Makoshika, including the most popular dinosaurs like triceratops and Tyrannosaurus Rex. Several fossils of particular importance to science have been recovered from Makoshika. Dig expeditions from major scientific institutions such as the Museum of the Rockies, the Burpee Museum, the University of Wisconsin, Notre Dame University, and others come to the park every summer to search for new fossil finds.

Contact Information

Chris Dantic - Manager

1301 Snyder Ave PO Box 1242 Glendive, MT 59330 US

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Other Information

  • Seasons Open

    Makoshika is accessible in all seasons, though the park road is closed beyond the Caprocks Trailhead during the winter months and can be closed below that trailhead during and after heavy snow and other winter weather.
  • Prices and Fees

    Non-resident entrance fee - $6 per vehicle; Camping - $18 resident, $28 non-resident
  • Accessibility

    The visitor center, group use shelter, and amphitheater are all handicap accessible. However, given the nature of the terrain, the rest of the park would be largely inaccessible to handicap visitors. There are no handicap accessible trails in the park.