Passes & Permits
The Forest Service offers many activities such as hiking, biking, skiing, camping, birding, cabin rentals, firewood gathering, berry picking, mushroom harvesting, and river rafting to name a few. Many of the facilities and services associated with these opportunities are free. However, listed below are some activities that do require a pass or permit to help maintain, manage, and improve the amenities that you enjoy.
Permits are required for all commercial and certain individual activities that occur on the Forest. For information or clarification on whether your activity falls under personal use or commercial use please contact your local forest service office. A list of the more common personal use permits are listed here.
The Bitterroot National Forest currently authorizes over 500 different special use permits on the Forest. Each year, the Forest Service receives request from individuals and business applications for authorization for use of National Forest System (NFS) land for such activities as water transmission, agriculture, outfitting and guiding, telecommunication, research, photography/video productions, granting of road and utility rights-of-ways, and recreational events. To learn more about the special use permitting process click here.
Other permits include non-commercial group permits, recreation residence permits, and research permits.
Local Forest Passes
Lake Como Recreation Area is a complex of developed recreation sites on both sides of the reservoir, including a swimming beach, picnic areas, boat launch, campgrounds, group site, rental cabin, and developed trailheads. There are fees for using the facilities and services: either an overnight fee for the use of the campgrounds, or a day use fee for using the developed day use sites within the recreation area, such as the beach, boat launch, picnic areas, etc. From Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, vehicles parked within the recreation area must display a valid Lake Como day pass. Day passes are $5, and Season Passes are $30. Day passes can be purchased on site at self-service fee stations, and both day and season passes can be purchased at Forest Service offices in Darby, Hamilton, and Stevensville, or at local vendors throughout Hamilton and Darby.
National Interagency Passes
Free for current 4th grade students.
($80) - For anyone to purchase, valid for 12 months.
(Free) - For those with a permanent disability.
($80) - For those 62 or older. Valid for the lifetime of the passholder.
($20) - For those 62 or older. Valid for one year from month of purchase. A Senior Annual Pass may be applied towards the purchase of a Senior Lifetime Pass.
(Free) - For active military personnel and their dependents or veterans. Valid for 12 months.