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Dillon Field Office
Release Date: 08/10/10
Contacts: Contact David Abrams 406-533-7617    

Parking At Madison River Recreation Sites Snarls Traffic

The popularity of Bureau of Land Management recreation sites along the Madison River has led to crowded parking and traffic congestion along the highway, officials from the BLM’s Dillon Field Office report.

“We are still seeing problems—especially at the Warm Springs Boat Launch,” said Tim Finger, Outdoor Recreation Planner with the Dillon office. “The two spots at either end of the river’s popular floating route—Warm Springs and Black’s Ford Fishing Access Site—are absolutely full while the ones in the middle are being all-but ignored.”

Finger pointed out that the other sites—“California Corner” and several small parking lots just upstream from Black’s Ford—could help relieve some of the weekend bottlenecking along the state highway.

Because of safety hazards, drivers who park in the “no parking” zone on Highway 84 along the Lower Madison River may be cited and their vehicles towed, he added. In the past few weeks, BLM workers have found many cars parked along both sides of the highway. Combined with the heavy pedestrian traffic, this creates a serious safety hazard.

As an alternative, drivers are urged to use the “California Corner” about half a mile downriver from the Warm Springs site. It has several large parking lots at the end of a short access road. Look for the turnout from the highway just past the old bridge piling in the middle of the river. This site is reserved for those using hand-launched water craft such as inner tubes and rafts.

There are also several small parking lots just upstream from the Black’s Ford Fishing Access Site. These sites can alleviate much of the traffic congestion in the Black’s Ford parking lot and access road.

“We certainly don’t want to discourage the public from using and enjoying all that the Madison River has to offer, but we hope that they’ll help us out by parking in safe, designated locations,” Finger said.

For more information, please call the Bureau of Land Management recreation staff at (406) 682-4082.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Dillon Field Office   1005 Selway      Dillon, MT 59725  

Last updated: 06-28-2012