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

Forest Plan Revision Button



Firewood gathering information


Many Recreation Sites are Closed


All developed recreation campgrounds are open

Please visit Recreation.gov for details on reservations for campgrounds, rental cabins and lookouts and group sites.


Continuing our Service to You During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Many of our offices are operating virtually until further notice. This means most employees are teleworking, and we are generally not doing business in person.  In the event a face-to-face meeting is needed, any person coming into a Forest office must wear a cloth mask during the entire appointment to help protect the health and safety of our employees and other customers.

However, continuing our service to you during this time is very important. Please call the office number you want to contact and leave a voicemail, and we will return your call. The voicemail inboxes will be checked regularly during business hours. Our office hours are M-F 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we all work together to minimize the impacts and spread of the COVID-19.

The Forest Service is taking the risks presented by COVID-19 seriously and is following USDA and CDC public health guidance as we continue to offer services to the public. Visitors to our National Forests and Grasslands are urged to take the precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). There are three official, government-wide sources of up-to-date information about the coronavirus: Coronavirus.govCDC.gov/coronavirus, and USA.gov/coronavirus.

Please read the Frequently Asked Questions for answers to common questions. Visitors are encouraged to use the “Find your Forest and Grassland” feature on the left side of this FAQ page for quick and easy access to local forest and grassland office hours and information.


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.
  • Safety, 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!


Follow us on Facebook!


Keep Informed


Email Updates
To sign up for updates for forest management projects or to access your subscriber preferences, please enter your contact information below.


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.


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 Wilderness Regulations & Tips

Planning a trip into the Wilderness: The Bob, Great Bear or Scapegoat?!  Before you head for the mountains, be sure to know important Wilderness and backcountry tips, rules, and regulations!! 

View All Features


Helena Hotshots - 50th Anniversary

The Helena Interagency Hotshot Crew logo depicts an eagle made of flames

The Helena Interagency Hotshot Crew is celebrating 50 years of service in 2020. Check back to this page for information and history about this group of firefighters!

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!

View All Spotlights