KALISPELL, MT. – May 26 – Flathead National Forest campgrounds started opening in early May and all campgrounds, weather permitting, are scheduled to be open for your enjoyment by the Memorial Day Holiday Weekend. Holland Lake, Swan Lake, Emery Bay, Murray Bay, Devil Creek, Lid Creek, Lost Johnny Camp and Lost Johnny Point, Doris Point Camp and Boat, Riverside, Big Creek, and Tally Lake Campgrounds are open.
These campgrounds and recreation areas are operated by the forest concessionaire Flathead Valley Campgrounds. The one change this year that recreationists will want to be aware of is that Holland Lake Campground has a day use fee of five dollars per vehicle, consistent with day use fees across the forest. This fee also applies to the Boat Launch at the Holland Site. Season long day use passes are available at all campgrounds operated by Flathead Valley Campground, the cost is $30. http://www.flatheadvalleycampgrounds.com/
The Spotted Bear Campground is operated by the Forest Service and is open for camping. Water and other services are available. In addition to campgrounds, boat launches and day-use areas, the forest also has 14 rental cabins. To rent a cabin or to reserve select campground sites please go to http://www.recreation.gov.
Many non-fee campgrounds can be found on the forest as well, such as Lindberg Lake Campground on Swan Lake Ranger District, Beaver Creek Campground at Spotted Bear Ranger District, Upper Stillwater Lake on Tally Lake Ranger District, and Lake View Campground on Hungry Horse-Glacier View Ranger District. http://www.fs.usda.gov/activity/flathead/recreation/camping-cabins
Forest campers and visitors are reminded that all food and food-related items must be stored in a bear-resistant manner. The Flathead National Forest is home to grizzly and black bears, and responsible human actions will help with unwanted bear encounters. Campers are also reminded to be careful with fire. Never leave a fire unattended and be sure the fire is “dead out” before leaving. If you plan to hike, be aware that conditions may be different than usual for this time of year on wilderness and upper-elevation trails. A combination of recent rain, heavy runoff and blowdown is blocking traditional routes that hikers often use this time of year. Some water-crossings may be unsafe to cross on foot or with stock.
The stay limit is 16 days on most forests in the Region. The Flathead National Forest will enforce the 16 day stay limit; campers may camp for 16 consecutive days in one site, if they plan to camp longer, they cannot camp within a 5 mile radius of the original campsite and a minimum of 7 days is required before any group or persons from the group may reoccupy the original location.
For more information about campgrounds, fees and food storage regulations on the Flathead National Forest, visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/flathead/. For the latest information on conditions and openings contact your local Forest Service office:
- Hungry Horse-Glacier View Ranger District – (406) 387-3800
- Spotted Bear Ranger District – (406) 758-5376
- Swan Lake Ranger District – (406) 837-7500
- Tally Lake Ranger District – (406) 758-5204