CARBON COUNTY — After it was closed because of the floods, Basin Campground west of Red Lodge is back open. Though the campground was fairly empty over the fourth of July weekend, a few Montanans made it out to celebrate in the wild.
Kelly Stevenson wasn’t going to let Mother Nature ruin his fourth of July tradition.
“Every year we come up to Red Lodge around the fourth and find a camping spot and spend a couple of days up here, just over the hill but just to get away,” said Stevenson, Monday.
Basin Campground wasn’t Stevenson’s first choice, but compared to other campgrounds, it’s open.
“Usually, we go up Lake Fork and it’s all washed out, everything up there,” said Stevenson.
Stevenson’s girlfriend called Fish, Wildlife, and Parks and they told her that Basin Campground opened last Wednesday.
“First come first served, and I was up here Wednesday and there was only, by Thursday morning, only three total,” said Stevenson.
He thought the campground would be packed and was surprised at how few people were there.
“I think if people knew about it, it would have been full for sure,” said Stevenson.
It’s good news for Sabrina Charney, who didn’t even realize the campground was open when she arrived.
“We came here by chance looking for a campground. We visited a couple of other campgrounds around, Palisades for one. We tried to go up the pass and it was closed,” said Charney.
She’s been to Basin before and noticed some changes since she’s been back.
“The landscape has been totally rearranged since the flood so it’s very interesting to go running around,” said Charney.
She’s just grateful she found one campground that’s open for the summer season.
“It was a bit of a letdown seeing as Montana country is so special, to have it out of commission for the summer season especially, but you know, we made it,” said Charney.
It costs $15 per night to stay at the campground and since it’s been fairly empty, it might be a good chance to see some wildlife.
“About 50 yards over there, there was a sow, a black bear, and two cubs up in the tree that stayed up there until everybody went to bed and she disappeared during the night,” said Stevenson.
Stevenson hopes more people are able to camp at Basin and enjoy the scenery, just as he has.