Camping

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.

Custer National Forest regulations say that people may drive 300 ft. from any road in the (USFS) Pryors for “dispersed vehicle camping.” The Pryors Coalition strongly objects to this 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. We have no objection to “dispersed camping.” It is the driving off road that is of concern. 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.

BCNRA: Opportunities for primitive camping in BCNRA are limited. Such camping is only permitted more than ¼ mile from the road.

Backpacking:

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.