Named after the green, yellow, and orange lichens that cover the grey and black rock walls of the granite and rhyolite cliffs, Painted Rocks is located in the Bitterroot Mountains, along the west fork of the Bitterroot River, just southwest of Darby.
Gorgeous blue water and scenic mountain vistas make Painted Rock State Park and recreation area an ideal destination for nearly any type of traveler. With over 23 acres well suited for camping, fishing, and boating – Painted Rocks is a popular place to relax and rejuvenate.
One of the main features of this incredible outdoor area is the Painted Rocks Reservoir. The reservoir was created in 1939 when the dam was first undertaken. The dam is 143 feet tall, stretches 800 feet, and can store up to 45,000 acre-feet of water. The reservoir is filled annually and water is released all summer long to benefit fish and wildlife and to support irrigation and stockwater. The reservoir is also a safe haven for waterfowl during spring and autumn migrations. Don’t be shocked if you spy Osprey, Great Blue Herons, Spotted Sandipipers, and Bald Eagles landing there.
Additionally, Painted Rocks State Park is an incredible place to spot wildlife. Moose, elk, mule deer, white-tailed deer, and black bears can all be found roaming around.
Painted Rocks State Park is typically open daily, year-round, from dusk until dawn. For more detailed information about this noteworthy, remote place to get away, visit the Painted Rocks page on the Montana State Parks website: www.visitMT.com