Whether you're looking for some time alone to explore Hamilton, MT and the surrounding area or you want to take a group trip with up to 10 travelers, renting an RV is a unique way to see this gorgeous part of the country. With most rentals coming in at between $100 to $200 a night, having an RV provides the best flexibility and amenities. RVers have plenty of options to choose from, including towable trailers of varying sizes or drivable RVs for an all-in-one package. With the ability to have different pick-up and drop-off locations, you're free to plan a round-trip excursion or a one-way adventure.
Head north for two hours from Hamilton to Lolo National Forest to climb some peaks or enjoy water activities of all kinds in the 100+ lakes and five major rivers. Stay in the Lolo Creek Campground for $15 a night as long as the campground is open.
On your way there, you’ll drive through Missoula, where you can find plenty of spots to park your RV and a variety of activities that will keep everyone happy. Whether you’re in the mood to follow in the footsteps of famed explorers on the Lewis and Clark Trail or to visit one of the local wineries, there is plenty to do for a few days or weeks in Missoula.
Continue heading west to Idaho to explore the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest, where there are multiple RV-accessible campgrounds with 14-day limits. In 2012, these two national forests were combined under one name, and the area now includes 4 million acres to explore.
Hamilton, MT, is the county seat of Ravalli County and sits in the western part of the state. In fact, Ravalli County shares its western border with the state line of Idaho. It was founded by Marcus Daly, who was one of the three so-called Copper Kings who each attempted to establish their own rule over the copper mining operations in the area. Daly is said to have applied to have his businesses in Grantsdale, which was then Ravalli’s county seat. When he was denied, he established Hamilton on his own dime and got some poetic justice, as Hamilton is now the county seat. His home has been preserved and restored to its original condition by the Daly Mansion Preservation Trust, and the group offers tours of this 24,000-square-foot abode from mid-May to mid-October. History buffs should also visit the historic Ravalli County Courthouse to see exhibits about both the indigenous people of the area, the Lewis and Clark expedition, and the events that followed their exploration.
If you’re looking to spend some time outdoors, Hamilton offers both warm- and cold-weather opportunities. Although only about 4,600 people live in Hamilton full time, the city has a thriving tourism business. The Bitterroot River has exceptional opportunities for fly-fishing seven months out of the year, and Lake Como is a great place to boat, swim, camp, or hike. When the temperatures begin to drop and the snow begins to fall, Lost Trail Ski Area is about 45 miles south of Hamilton. It is suitable for all skill levels and is rated as one of the best ski resorts in the state. Those who aren’t looking to downhill can still strap on their skis and get in some cross-country powder miles at Chief Joseph Pass, which is 24 kilometers long and undergoes weekly upkeep by the Bitterroot Cross-Country Ski Club.
After a long day in the great outdoors, head inside for a drink. Westslope Distillery is a great place to relax and to sample small-batch spirits that include mead, dry gin, rye vodka, a Montana take on rum, apple brandy, and rye whiskey. Those who also want to sample reds and whites can head to Blodgett Canyon Cellars Tasting Room, which offers a selection of wines and charcuterie boards, and antipasto platters.
Missoula, Montana – Home to the University of Montana, this thriving metropolis is the third-largest city in the state and offers almost everything that an RVer in the area could want or need.
Helena, Montana – The state capital of Montana, this city has a rich history, literally and figuratively. It was settled during the gold rush, and the large concentration of 19th-century millionaires gave Helena its unique Victorian-inspired architectural features.
If you’re looking to enjoy the stunning scenery left behind by glaciers carving their way through the landscape, Glacier National Park is a must-visit park. With over 1 million acres, you'll have plenty to do. However, be sure to check vehicle size restrictions on some of the roads into, out of, and through the park, such as Going-to-the-Sun Road, because some may be impassable depending on the size of your RV.
The first national park ever formed is well-worth visiting, especially the iconic Old Faithful. Yellowstone National Park stretches across three states and has incredible views of the Rocky Mountains, as well as stunning river valleys, alpine peaks, and over 500 geysers, and multiple hot springs.
Avid winter-sports fans will be familiar with Jackson Hole, and nearby Grand Teton National Park is also a delight in the warmer months. With the 4,000-meter-high (13,000+ feet!) Grand Teton peak and many other surrounding mountains, there is seemingly no end to the camping, fishing, mountain climbing, hiking, or driving options here.
State parks are also some of the best vacation spots in this area, and the three nearest to Hamilton, MT, offer wonderful experiences for a variety of interests. Salmon Lake State Park is 32 miles north of Missoula and includes Salmon Lake and nearby mountain ranges. Tranquil and mild in climate, Salmon Lake State Park has plenty of hiking, camping, and fishing options with multiple species keeping all the salmon company.
Other wonderful aquatic opportunities can be found in West Shore/Flathead Lake State Park, which is one of six state parks along and around Flathead Lake. On-site, you'll find campgrounds for RVs and yurts, cabins, and tipis. Flathead Lake is larger in square mileage than Lake Tahoe in California, and it offers 185 miles of shoreline and 13 public access sites, so you’ll have to pick which outdoor activity suits your fancy during your stay. If you’d rather keep your feet dry, head to Beaverhead County’s Bannack State Park to explore the relics of a mining town gone bankrupt. Over 60 buildings in this ghost town offer a unique and fun experience for adults and children.
This area is rich in history and outdoor recreational activities, and it would be impossible to list them all. However, these two landmarks and one museum are some of our favorites. Darby’s Pioneer Memorial Museum is a wonderful display of artifacts relevant to the folks who made their lives out west. This museum is housed in a hand-hewn cabin that was constructed in 1886 and moved to its present location in 1958.
Of course, pioneers couldn’t have settled had the area not been explored by Lewis & Clark first, and the Lewis & Clark Pass is easily within the top 10 landmarks in Montana, allowing hikers to follow in the footsteps of that historic adventure.
If you’re looking to surf while in Montana, head to Brennan’s Wave on the Clark Fork River. This man-made wave in the river is a great place for surfers, kayakers, and body surfers to practice their shredding skills. Even if you’re not looking to train in the ongoing wave, it’s a fun place to have a picnic and to watch the folks who do get out there.
Having a nice campground is key to many RV travelers, and this area doesn’t disappoint. Head to Jellystone Park, which features standard amenities and a Yogi Bear mascot who visits the campers in the evenings. For those looking for a quiet night where they can stock up on propane and gasoline, Turah RV Park is near US Highway 12 but is relatively rural. If you want to be able to walk to the Clark Fork River, pull up to Nugget RV Park in Regis, MT, and enjoy lots of amenities and 2.5 miles of private trails.
Since Montana is such a haven of outdoor activity, there are dump stations all over the state. However, when traveling to Hamilton, head to dump stations in Missoula. Most of them are free or have nominal fees, but it’s worth it to know you can continue on your travels without your tanks overflowing. Most offer potable and non-potable rinse water.
If you like to visit the area and want to keep your RV on-site, you’ll likely need an RV storage facility. Some, like Eagle Self Storage, offer units to store your RV for $246 a month, and others, like Sherlock Storage, offer outdoor parking at a more affordable price point. Smaller RVs fit well in the units at Hellgate Canyon Storage, so you aren’t paying for space that you’re not using.
Motorhomes are divided into Class A, B, and C vehicles. On average expect to pay $185 per night for Class A, $149 per night for Class B and $179 per night for Class C. Towable RVs include 5th Wheel, Travel Trailers, Popups, and Toy Hauler. On average, in Hamilton, MT, the 5th Wheel trailer starts at $70 per night. Pricing for the Travel Trailer begins at $60 per night, and the Popup Trailer starts at $65 per night.Do you need to be a certain age to rent an RV in Hamilton?
Yes. The minimum age is 25 to be eligible to get an RV Rental in Hamilton from RVshare.Does RVshare have emergency roadside assistance?
Yes. Every RV rental booked through RVshare receives 24/7 emergency roadside assistance.Does RVshare offer one way RV rentals in Hamilton?
Yes. Prior to renting any RV, check with the owner since not all will offer this particular option.