Outdoor Safety & Ethics

As a visitor to the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest, you will find many opportunities to enjoy and explore nature's creations. As a visitor to the National Forest, we ask that you follow certain rules designed to ensure your health and safety, to protect the Forest and the natural environment, and to promote a pleasant and rewarding outdoor recreation experience for everyone. 

The most effective way to prevent mishaps is to adequately prepare for the trip. Knowledge of the area, weather, terrain, limitations of your body, plus a little common sense can help to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. Below are some tips to help make your forest adventure a safe one!

  • Contact your local Forest Service office before heading for the mountains!
  • Take an updated forest map with you.
  • Let someone know where you plan to go and check in with them when you return.
  • Be sure to bring extra gear, equipment, clothing, food and water. Weather conditions can change quickly, so you need to be prepared for many different weather conditions.
  • Make camp before it is dark.

Additional resources to help make sure your trip is enjoyable and safe

General Information

Leave No Trace 
Leave No Weeds
Tread Lightly

Be Bear Aware & Food Storage Information

Helena-Lewis and Clark NF Bear Safety

Avalanche Information


Other Information

Northern Region Law Enforcement
Abandoned Mines Safety
Hazard Tree Information