If this is a sign of how busy Montana state parks are expected to be again in 2022, then hold onto your s'mores!

The glorious Painted Rocks State Park, 25 miles south of Darby, will be accepting the first campsite reservations for the 2022 season starting Friday, November 26. This will be the second season that Painted Rocks will make some reservations sites available.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks reports that of the 23 campsites in the park, six campsites (site numbers 18 through 23), will be open for reservations in 2022 through the Montana State Parks/Reserve America website. You can also call 1-855-922-6768.

Since it's only six of the 23, Painted Rocks fans will still have a legitimate shot at first-come, first-served. I'm not sure I would roll the dice on that, but at least the option is still there.

Following Montana State Park’s reservation time frame, Painted Rocks is on a six-month rolling reservation system, meaning campers can reserve their campsite up to six months in advance of the date they are planning to stay. For example, for a camping trip that begins on May 26, 2022, reserve that campsite as early as November 26, 2021.

The 2021 season was the first time that Painted Rocks State Park had campsites open for reservations. Prior to that, all sites were first-come, first-served. After high camping demand and requests for reservations, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks staff decided to test reservations at Painted Rocks. Overall, camper feedback was positive, so the system will be used again for the upcoming season.

The park's manager, Maci MacPherson, says that all six of the campsites available for reservations accommodate tents. Three can fit RVs up to 25 feet, and three have room for RVs up to 30 feet. For other questions regarding Painted Rocks State Park or reservations, you can call Maci at 406-273-4253.

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