Recreation

The Flathead National Forest contains three wilderness areas, two ski areas, impressive mountain ranges, lakes, wild and scenic rivers, campgrounds, picnic areas, and cabins. Hiking, wildlife viewing, whitewater rafting, snowmobiling, and skiing are just some of the activities enjoyed year-round. Whether you prefer the solitude of hiking in wilderness or the camaraderie found at popular boating and picnic areas, the Flathead National Forest offers a multitude of recreation opportunities for all.

Finding a Recreation Area or Activity

On our website, recreation opportunities are organized by districts or activity type. Note the area on our forest you'd like to stay or explore, under the right column heading 'Areas & Activities', 'Find an Area'  select the district that covers that area, then view/select the available recreation activities. Or, choose an activity under the Recreation heading on the left side of the webpage and see where on the forest it is offered. Either way, we're sure you'll find exceptional recreation opportunities on the Flathead National Forest.

The District Vicinity Map displays the district boundaries, where they are located on the Flathead Forest, and their relation to surrounding forests and Northwestern Montana.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

Recreation Conditions Report

 Area Name Status Area Conditions
Anna Creek Cabin    For fee, reservation, and more information, visit Recreation.gov.
Ashley Lake North Campground Open to Visitor For condition information call Tally Lake RD, 406-758-5204.
Ashley Lake South Campground Open to Visitor For condition information call Tally Lake RD, 406-758-5204.
Beaver Creek Campground Open to Visitor For condition information call Spotted Bear RD, 406-758-5376.
Ben Rover Cabin Open to Visitor For fee, reservation, and more information, visit Recreation.gov.
Big Creek Campground Open to Visitor See conditions, fee, and location information: Flathead Valley Campgrounds (offsite link)
Challenge Cabin    For fee, reservation, and more information, visit Recreation.gov.
Devil Creek Campground Open to Visitor See conditions, fee, and location information: Flathead Valley Campgrounds (offsite link)
Devil's Corkscrew Campground Open to Visitor For condition information call Hungry Horse-Glacier View RD, 406-387-3800.
Doris Creek Campground Open to Visitor See conditions, fee, and location information: Flathead Valley Campgrounds (offsite link)
Doris Point Boating Site    See conditions, fee, and location information: Flathead Valley Campgrounds (offsite link)
Emery Bay Campground Open to Visitor See conditions, fee, and location information: Flathead Valley Campgrounds (offsite link)
Ford Cabin Open to Visitor For fee, reservation, and more information, visit Recreation.gov.
Graves Creek Campground    For condition information call Hungry Horse-Glacier View RD, 406-387-3800.
Holland Lake Campground Open to Visitor See conditions, fee, and location information: Flathead Valley Campgrounds (offsite link)
Hornet Lookout Cabin    For fee, reservation, and more information, visit Recreation.gov.
Lakeview Campground Open to Visitor For condition information call Hungry Horse-Glacier View RD, 406-387-3800.
Lid Creek Campground Open to Visitor See conditions, fee, and location information: Flathead Valley Campgrounds (offsite link)
Lindbergh Lake Campground Open to Visitor For condition information call Swan Lake RD, 406-837-7500.
Lost Johnny Campground Open to Visitor See conditions, fee, and location information: Flathead Valley Campgrounds (offsite link)
Lost Johnny Point Campground Open to Visitor See conditions, fee, and location information: Flathead Valley Campgrounds (offsite link)
Mission Lookout Cabin Open to Visitor For fee, reservation, and more information, visit Recreation.gov.
Moose Lake Campground    Access opening date varies. For condition information call Hungry Horse-Glacier View RD, 406-387-3800.
Murray Bay Campground Open to Visitor See conditions, fee, and location information: Flathead Valley Campgrounds (offsite link)
Ninko Cabin    For fee, reservation, and more information, visit Recreation.gov.
Owl Creek Cabin Open to Visitor For fee, reservation, and more information, visit Recreation.gov.
Peter's Creek Campground Open to Visitor For condition information call Spotted Bear RD, 406-758-5376.
Red Meadow Lake Campground    Access opening date varies. For condition information call Hungry Horse-Glacier View RD, 406-387-3800.
Riverside Boating Site    See conditions, fee, and location information: Flathead Valley Campgrounds (offsite link)
Schnaus Cabin Open to Visitor For fee, reservation, and more information, visit Recreation.gov.
Silvertip Cabin Rental Cabin    For fee, reservation, and more information, visit Recreation.gov.
Spotted Bear Campground Open to Visitor For condition information call Spotted Bear RD, 406-758-5376.
Star Meadow Guard Station Cabin Open to Visitor For fee, reservation, and more information, visit Recreation.gov.
Summit Nature Center    Call 406-862-1972 for conditions and more information. Hours and open dates can be found at Whitefish Mountain Resort.
Swan Lake Campground Open to Visitor See conditions, fee, and location information: Flathead Valley Campgrounds (offsite link)
Sylvia Lake Campground Open to Visitor For condition information call Tally Lake RD, 406-758-5204.
Tally Lake Campground Open to Visitor See conditions, fee, and location information: Flathead Valley Campgrounds (offsite link)
Tuchuck Campground    Access opening date varies. For condition information call Hungry Horse-Glacier View RD, 406-387-3800.
Upper Stillwater Lake Campground Open to Visitor For condition information call Tally Lake RD, 406-758-5204.
Van Lake Campground and Day Use Open to Visitor For condition information, call the Swan Lake Ranger District at (406) 837-7500.
Wurtz Cabin Open to Visitor For fee, reservation, and more information, visit Recreation.gov.
Zip's Place Cabin    For fee, reservation, and more information, visit Recreation.gov.

Spotlights

Summit Nature Center

This education and visitor information center is located at the summit of Big Mountain Whitefish Mountain Resort in the lower level of Summit House. The center can be accessed by purchasing a lift ticket at the resort or by hiking the Danny On Trail. The center has a wide variety of interpretive displays on wildlife, wildflowers, trees, fire ecology, and other topics that relate to the ecosystem of northwest Montana.

Summer

The center first opened in 1990 and today over 16,000 annual visitors enjoy center displays and hands-on activities.  During the summer there are daily wildflower, nature walks and families can check out an “Adventure Pack” filled with field guides and materials for fun outdoor exploring.  Kids aged 7-12 can participate in the Junior Forest Ranger program.

Summer 2020 COVID-19 Update and the Summit Nature Center

June 13 - September 7, 2020, watch for nature center ‘roving rangers’ on the hiking trails and in the summit and Base Lodge areas at Whitefish Mountain Resort.  Bring your nature questions and look for ‘pop-up’ nature discovery talks with a ‘roving ranger’.

Kids, ask a ranger about the Jr. Forest Ranger program and outdoor scavenger hunt!

As summer progresses, we’ll continue to monitor the local COVID-19 situation and federal, state and local guidelines to determine when the nature center can safely open.  

Winter

Group of young students gather on the snow with Forest Service guide to look at trackDuring the winter the center is open over the holidays and weekends, usually January through mid-March from 11:30am to 2:30pm. Jr. Snow Ranger program for kids 10-12.

During the week school groups strap on snowshoes to explore the winter environment.  Younger grades learn how people and animals adapt to winter. Older grades learn how to enjoy the cold and snow and yet stay safe, learning about avalanches and ways to properly gear up for winter adventure.

Areas & Activities

Highlights



https://www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/flathead/recreation