Flathead National Forest


Welcome to the Flathead National Forest

Backpack in wild, remote places. Float the Three Forks of the Flathead Wild and Scenic River. Spend a night in a fire lookout tower. Spot a mountain goat in Jewel Basin. The Flathead has an experience for everyone.

Find your adventure

In the Rocky Mountains of Northwest Montana, just south of the Canadian border and Glacier National Park, lies the 2.4-million acre Flathead National Forest. With lakes galore, rugged wilderness, wild rivers, over 2,000 miles of trail, campgrounds, ski areas, and year-round beauty, this forest is a premiere natural landscape of the American West.

  • Great American Outdoors Act

    Mule train packing supplies to Hornet Lookout for a GAOA project

    The GAOA is allowing us to invest in recreation infrastructure, public lands access, and land and water conservation.

  • Plan Your Next Adventure

    Find out what maps are available at your local ranger district, check out our online maps, or try the interactive visitor map.

  • Holland Lake Lodge Special Use Permit Information

    Trees reflect on Holland Lake with snowy mountains in the background

    Holland Lake Lodge sits on the shores of Holland Lake in Condon, Montana. The Lodge has been under a special use permit since 1924. Find the latest information on the Permit here.

  • Bear Country Safety

    The Flathead National Forest is home to both grizzly bears and black bears. Where bears and humans occur together, conflicts may occasionally arise. The successful conservation and recovery of the grizzly bear involves habitat management and actions to minimize grizzly - human conflict potential. Find out more about recreating safely in bear country.

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Flathead National Forest Current and Recent Projects

Note: Not all projects may appear on map. See list below for complete list of projects with more information or documentation.

Developing Proposal

  • Dry Riverside

    A project to improve the diversity and resilience of vegetative communities, remove and reduce fuels to promote a fire resilient forest and limit impacts to natural resources, and provide forest products to local economy.

  • East Valley Fuels Reduction

    The primary objective is to reduce wildfire risk to communities along the east side of Flathead Valley.

  • Flathead Fuel Break Categorical Exclusion

    Three fuel breaks are proposed in strategic areas to slow fire spread and provide areas of less extreme fire behavior from which firefighters can respond to wildfires, thus aiding in wildfire suppression.

  • Private over-the-snow winter access Essex

    Proposed route is 300 yards and adjacent to the Essex Creek Rd.The area is managed as closed to motorized over-the-snow use. One single track with a width of 50-inches (snowmobile use only) would be authorized. Period of use would be Dec01-Mar31.

Under Analysis

  • 2023 Flathead National Forest Summer Special Uses

    Issuance of temporary special use permits authorizing outfitting and guiding activities and recreation events on the Flathead National Forest

  • Cyclone Bill

    Proposal includes commercial timber harvesting, noncommercial treatments, and prescribed burning to improve diversity and resilience to disturbances such as drought, insects and disease, and wildfires. Project includes road construction/maintenance.

  • Flathead Comprehensive River Management Plan

    Preparation of a river management plan for the Flathead River Wild and Scenic River system

  • Flathead Forest Plan Suitability Changes: Winter Travel Management and Recommended Wilderness

    Site-specific proposal on the Flathead National Forest to address the changes the revised forest plan (2018) made pertaining to suitability of motorized over-snow vehicle use and recommended wilderness areas

  • Mid-Swan Landscape Restoration and Wildland Urban Interface Project

    The purpose of the Mid-Swan Project is to restore and maintain terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity in light of climate change, and reduce the risk from wildfire in the WUI.

  • Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail Comprehensive Plan

    The Comprehensive Plan will develop administrative and management objectives and practices and desired conditions for the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail on public lands in Forest Service Regions 1 and Regions 6.

  • Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail Comprehensive Plan

    The Comprehensive Plan will develop administrative and management goals, objectives and practices for public lands in Forest Service Regions 1 and Regions 6.

  • Round Star Project

    A project to reduce fuels, provide egress to local communities, improve diversity and resilience of vegetative communities, and contribute to the economy.

  • Swan Mountain Outfitters - Expanded Area

    Expand the operating area for Swan Mountain outfitters to allow for greater flexibility and to adjust for changing on the ground conditions. Select current permitted uses would continue in the expanded area with no increase in service use days.

Analysis Completed

  • 2022-2023 Flathead National Forest Winter Special Uses

    The Mountain Guides Montana: 200 user days for avalanche education. Rooted Heart LLC:50 user days to provided guided snowshoe trips. Northwest Montana Adventures: 200 user days to provide guided day-use snowmobile tours.

  • Lake Five Project

    A project to reduce fuel loading near private property, improve diversity and resilience of vegetative communities, and provide a mix of forest products to contribute to the local economy.

  • Lemonade Salvage

    Salvage harvest of 250 acres of timber impacted by the Lemonade Fire with construction of  mile of temporary road.

Project Archive

Some of our older projects can be accessed in our Project Archive.