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Western Montana campers gear up for Memorial Day weekend

camping sign
Posted at 3:39 PM, May 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-27 17:58:38-04

FLORENCE - Memorial Day is often known as the unofficial kickoff to summer and at the Charles Waters Campground every lot is full as campers celebrate the weekend outside.

Driving into a campground brings back fond memories for some.

“We've been camping for 60 years or more," said camper Tom Gillette. "And this is the best campground I’ve ever been to.”

For veteran campers Jennifer and Tom Gillette, camping brings them peace and quiet, new trails and sites.

They are on day 65 of camping and day 16 at the Charles Waters Campground. And they keep coming back to the Bitterroot.


“Mainly just having the access to all these trails up and down the Bitterroot Valley there's, I mean, we've spent a month here in the last year and a half and we still haven't hiked all the trails," Gillette told MTN News. "And that's what's nice about it. And some of them are so nice you want to do them again.”

Although the weather may get a little iffy, that won’t stop the Gillette’s from exploring.

camping sign

“And we've kind of complained, The Bitterroot Valley has been a little colder than average, I think, but I'll take this any day,” said Tom.

Many campgrounds in the Bitterroot and Lolo National forests are open, but some won't be ready for visitors until June.