Painted Rocks State Park


8809 West Fork Road,Ravalli County,Darby 59829,Southwest Montana,Ravalli County

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General info

Administered by Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, Painted Rocks State Park is located 17 miles south of Hamilton on U.S. 93, then 23 miles southwest on Secondary 473. Contained within the Bitterroot Valley, this park is surrounded by history. Open year-round as a “primitive” park, Painted Rocks offers a multitude of recreational opportunities. Winter opportunities include snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and wildlife viewing. Summer opportunities include camping, fishing, boating, hiking, and water skiing. All this within a scenic, western pine forest setting!

Are The Rocks Really Painted?

Painted Rocks received its name from the green, yellow, and orange lichens which cover the grey and black rock walls of the granitic and rhyolite cliffs. The lichen forms out of the symbiotic relationship between the algae growing on the cliffs and fungi. Different combinations of each plant forms various colored lichen.

Geology of Painted Rocks

Painted Rocks State Park is located in the valley of the West Fork of the Bitterroot River. The Bitterroot Mountains that surround the park rise to an elevation of 10,700 feet. The Bitterroot Range is formed of granitic rock from approximately

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