KALISPELL - The east side road of Hungry Horse Reservoir is scheduled to reopen to the public at 10 a.m. on Friday, September 1, 2023.
Public travel will once again be allowed along the entire east shore to Spotted Bear Ranger Station. Additionally, the Hungry Horse Reservoir will be open for boating and the east shore and islands are open to dispersed camping.
The west side road will be open to the Doris Point Boat Launch which will allow watercraft access to the reservoir from that popular site. The road will remain closed south of the Doris Point Boat Launch due to the Tin Soldier and Doris Point fires.
An area closure for the Ridge Fire is also still in effect and includes the Desert Mountain Road and Emery Creek Road. However, Emery Bay Campground will be open and available for reservations.
Flathead National Forest officials say that recent cooler and wetter weather has significantly reduced fire activity. However, the rain was not a season-ending event and areas within the fire perimeters are still hazardous.
Firefighting efforts continue within the fire areas and the closures are in place to provide for public and firefighter safety.
“I am excited to allow public access back into the Hungry Horse Reservoir for Labor Day weekend. I always need to prioritize firefighter and public safety above recreation demands and as the weather changes, I am hopeful we will be able to open up the West Side Road in the near future. It is very important to me and we will open areas as soon as conditions are safe.” says Rob Davies, Hungry Horse District Ranger.
Stage II Fire Restrictions ended at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday for the Flathead National Forest. While there are now no fire restrictions in place for the Flathead National Forest, people are asked not to leave campfires unattended and to ensure they are dead out before leaving.
Revised Area Closures Still in Effect
- Doris Point and Tin Soldier Fires Closure: The closure area encompasses the west side of the Hungry Horse Reservoir from the Doris Point Boat Launch on NFS Road 895 on the north end to the Wilderness boundary on the south end, and from the Swan Mountain ridgeline down to the reservoir, excluding the Jewel Basin Hiking Area. NFS Road 895 (West Side South Fork Road) is open to the Doris Point Boat Launch to allow access to the reservoir. NFS Road 895 is closed south of the Doris Point Boat Launch. All roads and trails within the closure are closed to the public.
- Ridge Fire Closure: The closed area encompasses Emery Creek drainage, north of NFS Road 38 and west of Margaret Creek, including a portion of the Coram Experimental Forest. All roads and trails within the closure are closed to the public, including the Desert Mountain Road (NFS Road 497) and Emery Creek Road (NFS Road 546).