First Amendment Activities
As in all units of the National Park Service, First Amendment Activities are welcome here. The Designated First Amendment Area for Big Hole is located south of the Visitor Center just past the tipi demonstration area next to the parking lot. For Bear Paw it is located near the restroom and picnic shelter.
First Amendment activities must not interfere with other permitted activities or regular park programing. Groups of less than 25 people are exempt from filing a permit request. Groups of 25 or more must contact the park superintendent to obtain a permit:
Phone: (406) 689-3155 x 1024
Common Violations To Avoid
National Parks Service areas do not allow activities that would destroy part of the park. If you leave the park the way it was before you arrived by following the Leave No Trace principles, you're on the right track to being a good steward of your national park. Common violations that you should avoid include:
Taking objects. Federal law prohibits digging for historic artifacts, removing artifacts, historic objects, antlers/horns, skulls, plants, rocks, etc. Leave these items for the next visitor to discover and enjoy.
Operating a metal detector. According 36 Code of Federal Regulations 2.1(a)(7) the possession or use of a metal detector magnetometer, side scan sonar, other metal detecting device or subbottom profiler is prohibited on National Park Service property.
Operating a drone or other unmanned aircraft. Launching, landing, or operating an unmanned aircraft from or on lands and waters administered by the National Park Service within the boundaries of Big Hole or Bear Paw Battlefields is prohibited except as approved in writing by the superintendent. Further details are available in the director's policy memorandum 14-05 regarding the use of unmanned aircraft.
Walking off established trails. Remember that many people died at the Big Hole and Bear Paw Battlefields, including infants, women, children, and the elderly in addition to the soldiers and warriors. Their final resting places remain unmarked. For this reason, the battlefields are sacred ground, like all cemetaries. Please respect the dead and their living ancestors by remaining on designated trails at both battlefields. Walking off trail is prohited by law.
Taking your pet where it is not permitted or failing to pick up its waste. Pets must be leashed at all times while in the park. Pets are allowed on paved roads, but only service animals are allowed in the Big Hole Visitor Center or on the trails at either battlefield. Plastic bags for pet waste are provided at a station in the visitor center parking lot at Big Hole. Thank you for your cooperation.
Fishing without a state license. Sport fishing is allowed in the North Fork of the Big Hole River at the Big Hole National Battlefield. The National Park Service and the State of Montana cooperatively manage the wildlife resources in the park, therefore you must posses a valid Montana state fishing license and you must comply with State of Montana sport fishing regulations.
Harassing or disturbing wildlife. If a bird or animal changes its behavior due to your presence, you have disturbed it.