Flathead National Forest Campgrounds Prepare to Open for the Summer Season
By Moosetrack Megan

Posted: May 9, 2024

Kalispell, MT, May 9, 2024 — Camping season is right around the corner here on the Flathead National Forest. The Flathead has 31 developed campgrounds that provide a range of services, accommodations, and access. These range from campgrounds with roads, Wi-Fi, and cell phone coverage to more primitive locations with limited services. Of the 31 campgrounds, 13 are under management by a concessionaire through a special use permit. There are currently two concessionaires that provide customer service and high-quality recreation experiences. Flathead Valley Campgrounds operate the Tally Lake, Big Creek, and Devil Creek Campgrounds, along with several sites around the Hungry Horse Reservoir. Big Sky Recreation Company runs the campgrounds at Holland Lake, Swan Lake, and Lindbergh Lake.

We continue to make improvements to several popular sites using Legacy Restoration Funds made possible by the Great American Outdoors Act, including new water systems at the Tally Lake and Devil Creek Campgrounds. The Devil Creek Campground will have a delayed opening due to construction and is anticipated to open June 1. While Tally Lake Campground is open as usual, construction on the Campground water system has begun with anticipated completion by July. No water will be available to visitors during this improvement work and some sites may be impacted.

Holland Lake Campground will supply portable restrooms for the Bay Loop area in place of flushing restrooms while the wastewater system is inoperable. The RV dump station will be closed this season, but potable water will be available. The areas already serviced by vault toilets will remain open with no change.

This year, Swan Lake, Holland Lake, and Lindbergh Lake campgrounds are opening early and are currently on a first come, first served basis until normal reservations begin on May 17 for Holland Lake and Swan Lake campgrounds. Lindbergh Lake campground remains first come, first served all season.

In addition to designated campgrounds, dispersed camping is allowed throughout the Forest. Dispersed camping is managed on a first come first served basis and can give a one-of-kind camping experience. If you plan on camping away from a designated campsite, please research that area beforehand and follow all posted rules and regulations during your stay. The maximum stay for the most dispersed sites on the forest is 16 days, although some popular sites near water will have shorter stay limits posted.

As you start to plan your adventures, keep in mind that bears are awake and food, garbage, and other scented items attract bears. Help avoid attracting bears while camping and recreating. The food storage order for Flathead National Forest is designed to minimize grizzly bear/human conflicts. Visit our website for more information on recreating safely in bear country: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/flathead/recreation/?cid=stelprdb5347448

For more information about camping, visit our website or contact the associated Ranger Station:https://www.fs.usda.gov/activity/flathead/recreation/camping-cabins

Hungry Horse/Glacier View Ranger District: (406) 387-3800

Tally Lake Ranger District: (406) 758-5204

Swan Lake Ranger District: (406) 837-7500

Spotted Bear Ranger District: (406) 758-5376

To reserve a campground through Recreation.gov, please visit: https://www.recreation.gov/camping/gateways/1016

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