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!


**Youth Forest Monitoring Program** Summer, Outdoor Internships for High School Students!

2018 YFMP Crew2

If you want to spend seven weeks of your summer outside, earning money*, learning about natural resources, and making a difference on our Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest, then you should apply to our 2019 Summer Youth Forest Monitoring Program (YFMP)!! YFMP is a seven-week outdoor, summer internship for high school students who want to spend their days working outdoors and learning scientific methods and techniques that the experts use! Students will visit 50+ spots across the forest to collect and analyze data related to forest, soils, wildlife and stream health; and at the end of their internship, students present their findings and make management recommendations to forest specialists! The students' recommendations are applied to our management practices and project development. What these students do, really does make a difference on the land!! Students also get to backpack into the Scapegoat Wilderness as part of their internship, to monitor backcountry sites.    *Students receive a stipend once they complete the internship.

Check out the YFMP brochure and YFMP webpage to find out how you can apply to be part of the 2019 Youth Forest Monitoring Program student crew! Student applications are due April 12, 2019.


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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Recent News


Final Decision for NCDE Grizzly Bear Plan Amendment

The signed Record of Decision for the Forest Plan Amendments to Incorporate Habitat Management Direction for the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem (NCDE) Grizzly Bear Population, Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest, Kootenai National Forest, and Lolo National Forest (December 2018) is now available on the Flathead National Forest's website or on our "Planning" webpage.

2019 Spring Newsletter for the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex

Share in the *wild* stories from the past year--many compiled in this year's spring Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex newsletter. Get a snapshot of some of the happenings from the three managers of this special place we all call "The Bob."  Be sure to save the date for the spring meeting on Saturday, April 6th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Kalispell, at the Flathead National Forest Supervisor's Office.

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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!