Darby Ranger District

The Darby Ranger District, whose office is located in the town of Darby, Montana, sits geographically in the center of the Bitterroot National Forest.  The district is uniquely situated where it boarders the three remaining Bitterroot Ranger Districts.

Darby is located at the southern end of the Bitterroot Valley where the private land of the valley splits it into a district that has a distinctive west and east half. The eastern half is characterized by rolling hills in the lower elevations transitioning quickly into steep rugged terrain to the peaks of the Sapphire Divide. This area includes a large portion of the Sapphire Wilderness Study Area. The western half transitions quickly from private land to the steep rugged canyons of the Bitterroot Range.  The western half consists primarily of the Selway Bitterroot Wilderness area.

This configuration leaves Darby uniquely situated with long stretches of urban interface along both sides of the valley.  Despite this scenario, Darby has an active and successful wildland fire use program developed over the last few years.

Darby is home to the forest wide Timber program which is responsible for the implementation of the annual forest timber target.

The ranger district is an active participant in the community and participate's in many partnerships.  A recent example of this is the district working with the Ravalli County Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) along with Bitterroot RC&D to acquire a chipper which will be used in partnership with RC&D to help private landowners adjacent to the forest to reduce fuels.

Darby is home to the forest wide recreation program and provides support for the developed and dispersed recreation program across the forest.

The Darby district has the highest level of developed recreation use on the forest, due mostly to the proximity to the population center in Ravalli County and the presence of Lake Como.  Lake Como is one of two High Use Recreation Areas (HIRAs) in Region 1.  It consists of three developed recreation sites, a beach, a handicap accessible trail and picnic area, a rental cabin and a boat dock/launch.  Lake Como is popular over a larger landscape with many visitors from Missoula and Idaho.  Other developed sites on the district include Black Bear Campground, Schumaker Campground, Lost Horse Cabin and Gird Point Look out.



Twin Lakes on the Darby Ranger District

Twin Lakes on the Darby Ranger District


Como in the winter

Lake Como in the winter