Dispersed Camping

What is dispersed camping?

Many people enjoy the solitude and primitive experience of camping away from developed campgrounds and other campers. Dispersed camping is the term used for camping anywhere in the National Forest OUTSIDE of a designated campground. Dispersed camping means no services (such as trash removal), and little or no facilities (such as tables and fire pits) are provided.

Rules for dispersed camping

  • Groups over 75 people are not allowed.
  • Dispersed camping is NOT allowed in the vicinity of developed recreation areas.
  • You need to be self-contained. No amenities are provided; such as water, restrooms or trash cans. Please pack out all your trash.
  • You may camp in a dispersed area for up to 16 days. After 16 days, you must move at least 5 road miles for camping in another dispersed area and you can not return to your original campsite for 7 days.
  • Please use existing fire rings and avoid creating new fire rings.
  • Contact your local district office for information on fire restrictions. It is your responsibility to know if fire restrictions are in effect before you go camping.
  • Be bear aware and know the food storage regulations before camping. These regulations are strictly enforced.

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Dispersed Camping Areas

  • Bozeman District area description
  • Gardiner District area description
  • Hebgen Lake District area description
  • Hebgen Lake Basin Area area description
  • Sioux RD area description
  • Chalk Buttes Land Unit
  • MacNab Pond
  • Yellowstone District area description
  • Shields River Dispersed Site

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities