Painted Rocks State Park

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Painted Rocks State Park
Map showing the location of Painted Rocks State Park
Map showing the location of Painted Rocks State Park
Location in Montana
LocationRavalli County, Montana, United States
Nearest townDarby, Montana
Coordinates45°40′53″N 114°18′03″W / 45.68139°N 114.30083°W / 45.68139; -114.30083Coordinates: 45°40′53″N 114°18′03″W / 45.68139°N 114.30083°W / 45.68139; -114.30083[1]
Area23 acres (9.3 ha)[2]
Elevation4,754 ft (1,449 m)[1]
DesignationMontana state park
AdministratorMontana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
WebsitePainted Rocks State Park

Painted Rocks State Park is a public recreation area located at the southern end Painted Rocks Reservoir, 24 miles (39 km) south of Darby, Montana. The state park received its name from the green, yellow and orange lichens which cover the grey and black rock walls of the granite and rhyolite cliffs.[2]


The reservoir is in the West Fork Valley of the Bitterroot Mountains, which was an important place for the Salish people.[2] The reservoir was created with the impoundment of the West Fork of the Bitterroot River in 1939.[4] The park was created in 1963.[3]


The park is home to elk, mule deer, white-tailed deer, black bear, and moose. In the 1980s, bighorn mountain sheep and peregrine falcons were reintroduced to the area. The reservoir is a stopping ground for waterfowl during spring and autumn migrations. Residential birds include osprey, great blue heron, spotted sandpiper and bald eagles.[2]


  1. ^ a b "Painted Rocks State Recreation Area". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
  2. ^ a b c d "Painted Rocks State Park". Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Park Origin by Date". Montana State Parks. 2014. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
  4. ^ "Painted Rocks State Park (brochure)". Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. Retrieved June 11, 2018.

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