Developed Campgrounds:

Sage Creek Campground Sage Creek Campground
There is only one developed campground in the Pryors. This is the USFS Sage Creek Campground. To get there follow Pryor Mountain Road from Bridger MT. At 22.6 miles on Pryor Mountain Road turn left at the sign to Sage Creek Campground. (This turn is 0.6 miles after entering Custer National Forest at the cattle guard.) The campground is about 0.5 miles after the turn. There are 10 campsites with picnic tables and shelters, two vault toilets, and drinking water (in season). Click here for some additional information on the campground. (Scroll down to next to last campground listed.)

Note: Overnight camping is not permitted at the Big Ice Cave Picnic Area. However there are picnic tables, and a vault toilet.

There are several developed campgrounds in Bighorn Canyon NRA east of the Pryors. These are not in the mountains, but Horseshoe Bend and Trail Creek Campgrounds and are between the Pryors and spectacular Bighorn Canyon. This area can be considered part of the “Greater Pryors” landscape.”

Primitive Camping:

There are many excellent places to camp in the Pryors outside the developed campground. Of course you should carefully follow no-trace camping techniques.

Camping on Big Pryor Mountain.  (Photo by Dick Walton) Camping on Big Pryor Mountain. (Photo by Dick Walton)
USFS and BLM: It is legal to camp anywhere on USFS and BLM land in the Pryors. Please park beside the road (within one vehicle length) and carry your camping gear to your chosen campsite.

Vehicle Camping:

USFS Custer National Forest regulations permit driving 300 ft. from the centerline of any motor-legal route in the (USFS) Pryors, but only for “dispersed vehicle camping.” You may not drive around looking for a spot. The campsite must be selected on foot first.

The Pryors Coalition strongly objects to this 300 ft. vehicle policy which threatens damage to the fragile soils and native vegetation, and the spread of noxious weeds. The threat is to a 600 ft. wide corridor along all of the many roads in the Pryors – more than 72 acres for every mile of road! We have no objection to “dispersed camping.” It is the driving off road that is of concern.

This “dispersed vehicle camping” regulation is not about camping; it is about driving and parking. Please park beside the road. It is not difficult to carry gear to a campsite – even if it takes several trips. And you are not limited to 300 ft.

BLM: The 300 foot “dispersed camping” rule does not apply to BLM land in the Pryors. BLM permits driving to dispersed camping sites up to 150 feet from the centerline of motor-legal routes – EXCEPT in Wilderness Study Areas (WSAs) and Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACECs). Driving 150 feet off-road is therefore not permitted on most of East Pryor Mountain (BLM) since almost all of the area is either WSA or ACEC.

Parking beside the road and carrying your gear to your chosen campsite is the best policy everywhere on BLM and USFS managed lands.

BCNRA: Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area does not permit dispersed vehicle camping along roads. They have established campgrounds. Camping is permitted ¼ mile or more from roads, but that is backpacking, not vehicle camping.


Backpackingin the Lost Water Canyon area.  (Photo by Dick Walton) Backpacking in the Lost Water Canyon area. (Photo by Dick Walton)
Most hiking in the Pryors is day hiking, and most camping is close to a road. But backpacking is possible on USFS and BLM land and can be very rewarding in some areas. Since water is scarce in the Pryors, adequate water must be carried. And since there is only one short designated hiking trail, backpacking usually mean cross country travel – sometimes through rugged country. Appropriate topographical maps and route finding experience are required. The small size of the Pryors and the need to carry water generally suggest one or two night trips. The reward is the opportunity to experience some secluded and spectacular places during late evening and early morning hours – and to stay longer than on a day hike. Look for areas where you can get the farthest from roads and plan your own trip.