Camping In The Bitterroot National Forest Over Memorial Day Weekend

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HAMILTON. Memorial Day weekend marks the traditional start of summer.

The 1.6 million acre Bitterroot National Forest offers recreational opportunities including nearly 250 campsites across 26 campgrounds, more than 1,800 miles of hiking, boating, biking, horseback riding and more trails.

Forest officials hope visitors take note of the following safety tips, along with information about campgrounds, hiking trails, and road conditions during their adventures this Memorial Day weekend.

Important Security Messages:

  • Be prepared for changing weather conditions. Temperatures remain cool at night, with occasional rain expected.
  • Many campgrounds and hiking trails are located next to a fast-flowing, full-flowing river. Be careful in flowing water and especially when crossing rivers.
  • Several bears have been sighted in or near scenic recreation areas. Please keep the camp clean and store food properly to reduce attractants and minimize negative bear-human interactions.
  • Expect heavier than usual traffic on forest roads and trails on bank holiday weekends. Drive carefully and report floods, clogged culverts, fallen trees, or road damage to the forest service so repairs can be made.
  • Stay away from soft and muddy roads as they are dangerous and can cause surface damage and expensive repairs. Avoiding drifts can damage vegetation and soil.
  • Please stay on the marked route. Vehicle Usage Maps (MVUMs) are available on our website at www.fs.usda.gov/main/bitterroot/maps-pubs. The map shows the route for lovers of motorized recreation.
  • Bring drinking water as some of the water points at the campsite are not yet open. Please remove all junk from websites that don't have a garbage collection service.
  • Never leave a fire unattended and make sure the coals are cool to the touch before leaving.
  • Use caution when traveling and camping near dead trees, including charred or damaged areas.
  • Check with your local forestry office to see if the campground of your choice is open and what services are on offer. Some services may not be available yet, so visitors are asked to make plans and remain flexible.
  • Darby/Sula Ranger area – (406) 821-3913

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  • Recreation areas on Lake Como:
  • Campsite at Bas-Côme = open with 11 hiking trails, water, electricity, toilets and rubbish bins available. No seat reservation – Seat selection is on a first come, first serve basis. The warehouse owner is on site. $25/night.
  • Three Frogs Campground = Open with 21 parking spaces, water, accessible restrooms, and garbage disposal. No seat reservation – Seat selection is on a first come, first serve basis. The warehouse owner is on site. $15/night.
  • Picnic areas and hiking trails at Lake Como = open
  • Beach on Lake Como = open. The floating line will be installed after Memorial Day.
  • Launching a boat on Lake Como = open. The wharf will not be installed until Memorial Day because water levels are lower than usual; Contact the Darby area for updates.
  • Rock Creek Horse Camp = open with 11 campgrounds, trailer rails, feeding stations, accessible restrooms, and garbage disposal; no water. No reservations – first come, first served. $12/night.
  • Three Sisters Group Website = To book this site, visit the National Recreational Reservation System – www.recreation.gov or call 1-877-444-6777.
  • Woods Cabin = To reserve a cabin, visit the National Recreational Reservation System – www.recreation.gov or call 1-877-444-6777.
  • Recreation Ticket – Daily User Fee = Required starting this Saturday, May 28th. Admission is $5 for a car or $30 for a season pass and can be purchased at local Forest Service stores and offices. A day pass is also available on site in the recreation area. There is a daily fee for use of Lake Como from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.
  • Black Bear Campground is an outdoor campground with 6 campsites and accessible restrooms. No water. Garbage "pack, pack". No reservations. First come, first served, Russian equivalent: Eating late guests and bones.
  • Skalkahoe Pass (State Highway 38) is currently closed. For the latest traffic information, visit www.mdt.mt.gov or call 511.
  • Lost Horse Road is only six miles from the junction with Lick Creek Road. The road is closed to vehicles outside the gate due to mild road conditions and snow at higher elevations.
  • Spring Gulch Campground – Open with 11 campsites, water, trash cans and restrooms. The warehouse owner is on site. $15/night. Spring floods from the east branch of the Bitterroot River could close camp. Contact Ranger County for the latest requirements. Orders from July 1st. To book a campground, visit www.recreation.gov.
  • Indian Trees Campground – Open with 15 campsites, water, trash cans and restrooms available. $15/night. The warehouse owner is on site. Orders from May 26th. To book a campground, visit www.recreation.gov.
  • Hot Springs Campground – Outdoor with 11 campsites, dumpsters and accessible restrooms. No seat reservation – first come, first served. $12/night.
  • Martin Creek Campground – Open with 7 campsites, water and restrooms available. Garbage "pack, pack". No seat reservation – Seat selection is on a first come, first served basis. $12/night.
  • Jennings Campground – Open with 4 campsites and accessible restrooms. Garbage "pack, pack". No seat reservation – Seat selection is on a first come, first served basis.
  • Crazy Creek Campground – Open with 7 campsites, accessible water and restrooms. Garbage "pack, pack". No seat reservation – Seat selection is on a first come, first serve basis. $12/night. Call the Rangers District to inquire about drinking water status.
  • Crazy Creek Horse Camp – Open with 7 campgrounds and accessible restrooms. No water. Garbage "pack, pack". No reservations – first come, first served.
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    Stevensville Guard District: (406) 777-5461

  • Bass Creek Recreation Area:
  • Charles Waters Campground – Open with 26 campsites and accessible restrooms. The warehouse owner is on site. Drinking water and waste disposal are available. No seat reservation – Seat selection is on a first come, first serve basis. $15/night.
  • Larry Creek Group Campground – Bookable through the National Recreation Reservation System – www.recreation.gov or by calling 1-877-444-6777.
  • Blodgett Campground – Open with 5 campsites and restrooms. No water, "pack, pack" garbage. No seat reservation – first come, first served.
  • Gold Creek Campground – Open with 5 campsites and accessible restrooms. No water, "pack, pack" garbage. No seat reservation – first come, first served.
  • West Fork Guard District: (406) 821-3269

  • Camping Rombo – open with 13 campsites*, water, rubbish bins and toilets. The warehouse owner is on site. To book a campground, visit www.recreation.gov. * Drinking water is not available throughout the campsite. Water will be available on site at the campsite entrance. The water supply will be renewed in autumn. $15/night.
  • Camping Alta – open with 14 campsites, water, bins and toilets. The warehouse owner is on site. To book a campground, visit www.recreation.gov. $15/night.
  • Sam Billings Campground – Open with 12 campsites and restrooms. No water. Garbage "pack, pack". No reservations – first come, first served. $10 per day beginning May 26th.
  • Slate Creek Campground – Front Loop is currently open with water and restrooms available. The back loop is closed due to flooding. Contact the Ranger Department for the latest information on rear circuit conditions. Garbage "pack, pack". No reservations – first come, first served. $10 per day beginning May 26th.
  • Fales Flat Campground – Open with 3 campgrounds and accessible restrooms. No water. Garbage "pack, pack". There are no reservations at the campsite. To book a group site, visit www.recreation.gov.
  • Col du Ne Perce at the Paradise campsite. Not available due to snow. Call the West Fork area for the latest road news.
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    There is a 16-day limit in Bitterroot National Forest, except for the Frankish Church Wild Forest section in Idaho. Food storage regulations also apply to the Pintler Anaconda wildlife found in the Bitterroot and Beaverhead Dearlodge National Forests. The goal of food storage practices is to minimize harmful interactions between bears and humans.

    Please note that the rental cabin and the viewing platform are not cleaned between uses. As in previous years, the individual tenants had to bring their own cleaning products and clean them before and after using the site.

    For more information on rentals, campgrounds, and road and trail updates, visit www.fs.usda.gov/bitterroot.

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