Welcome to the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest!

Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest Projects Forest Plan Revision Rent a cabin EKIP Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center Recreation Giving YOUth a Voice

It's All Yours. Go. Play.

As you get out to enjoy your Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest, we want your experience to be memorable, fun and safe! Weather conditions can change quickly in Montana, so always plan for the worst conditions. Below are some friendly reminders to consider when planning your next adventure. 

  • Always take extra gear, clothes, food, and water! Especially in cold and snowy weather, be sure to layer up to stay warm!
  • Know the road and trail conditions before you head for the hills! Call your local Forest Service office to get the latest updates. Due to some active projects or snow conditions, different roads/trails may be temporarily closed. Give us a call.
  • Pack it in, Pack it out. Help keep the Forest a clean and fun place for everyone to enjoy by packing out your garbage!
  • Be Bear Aware. Although bears are hibernating in winter, we share our national forest with a variety of wildlife and sometimes they get curious about certain food-related smells they smell! The entire Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest is covered by some type of a “Food Storage Order” and follow those rules for those areas!
  • You’re welcome to stay…for 16 days at a time. To help ensure everyone can experience a special spot, please follow the “stay limitations” on the forest. Visitors can stay in one location for up to 16 consecutive days, at which point they need to find a new place at least five miles away. Visitors should not return to their original spot within a 30-day timeframe, to allow other forest users an opportunity to enjoy the location too. If winter camping isn't your idea of fun, you should check out one of our rental cabins or lookouts! To reserve your spot, just go to www.recreation.gov.
  • You are here. We don’t have those types of maps out on the forest, so be sure to pick-up a map before you go.
  • Safey, first! We want you to enjoy your trip into the forest, and one of the best ways to do that is to be prepared! Be sure to tell someone where you plan to go, and when you plan to return!


Bob Marshall Wilderness Interactive Trail Conditions Map

Taking a trip to the backcountry and wondering what the trail conditions are right now? Well, wonder no longer! Thanks to the coordination by the Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation, trail conditions reports and updates is just a click away! View the interactive map with real-time updates!


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After providing your email address, you can subscribe to the Forest’s project mailing lists and any categories of interest. By selecting a category, the Forest will automatically sign you up for all current AND future project mailing lists that share the same interest.

Recent News


Central Montana and Missouri River RACs now accepting project proposals

The Helena–Lewis and Clark National Forest invites interested parties to submit project proposals for consideration by both the Central Montana and Missouri River Resource Advisory Committees (RACs). Each RAC will consider proposals for projects that are on or provide substantial benefits to National Forest System lands. The Missouri River RAC will consider projects in Broadwater, Lewis and Clark, and Teton counties, while the Central Montana RAC will consider projects in Meagher and Judith Basin counties. The deadline to submit project proposals is February 3, 2020. CLICK HERE for more information.

Applications open for new outfitter and guide operations on the HLCNF

The Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest is soliciting applications from interested outfitters and guides to provide services on National Forest System lands on the Belt Creek–White Sulphur Springs and the Judith–Musselshell ranger districts, known collectively as the Jefferson Division. The Forest Service intends to authorize three new special use permits for outfitters and guides providing a variety of services in the area, including snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and skiing. Applications must be submitted by January 31, 2020.

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Holter Lake-Gates of the Mountains River Recreation Plan

Review the coordinated draft management plan for the Holter Lake-Gates of the Mountains Recreation Area on the Missouri River. 

Prescription Trails

Together, Bike Walk Montana and Recreational Trails Program, are working to make Montana healthier, one step at a time!


Plant Biodiversity Flickr Set

Picture of Wildflowers on the Helena National Forest: Arnica, Indian Paintbrush, and Bluebells

Visit our Flickr album featuring Helena National Forest Plant Biodiversity for beautiful photographs of wildflowers and plants across the Forest!

Have You Seen Me?

The Helena National Forest and Montana Discovery Foundation want to team up with YOU to help report sightings of some special wildlife and plant species while you're in the woods!