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Painted Rocks State Park facts for kids

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Painted Rocks State Park
Location Ravalli County, Montana, United States
Nearest town Darby, Montana
Area 23 acres (9.3 ha)
Elevation 4,754 ft (1,449 m)
Designation Montana state park
Established 1963
Administrator Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
Website Painted 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.

History

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

Wildlife

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.

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