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Lolo National Forest closes campgrounds, rental cabins, lookouts

Big Larch Campground.jpg
Posted at 11:50 AM, Mar 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-27 16:53:00-04

LOLO — Starting Saturday, March 28, all Lolo National Forest campgrounds, rental cabins and lookouts will be temporarily closed through April 30, or until the order has ended.

All outhouses and public restrooms located in the forest area will be closed.

Garbage disposal will be closed at these locations:

  • Maclay Flat
  • Blue Mountain
  • Pattee Canyon
  • Rattlesnake Recreation Area
  • Ferry Landing

The health and safety of visitors, as well as Forest Service employees and volunteers, is paramount during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Forest Service is working to meet social distancing guidelines from the CDC to reduce the spread of the virus.

Cabin and lookout renters will be notified as soon as possible and refunds can be processed here.

“We realize the outdoors is a place of refuge for many during this time; however, for the good of the community and for the safety of all, the best course of action is to close these sites until it’s safe to reopen them,” stated Carolyn Upton, Forest Supervisor. The closures will not impact Lolo National Forest trails, trailheads, recreation areas, dispersed camping sites, or lake access sites which remain open at this time. However, toilets located at these areas will be closed, based on CDC guidelines and recommendations for cleaning public facilities. “We are asking for the public to recreate responsibly, be good stewards of the land, and importantly, adhere to social distancing guidelines when out in the forest,” added Upton. F

Forest managers would like to remind visitors to adopt a pack-it-in and pack-it-out mentality as trash services may be limited during this time, especially packing out dog waste in areas around Missoula.

Visitor centers such as Savenac Historic Tree Nursery and Ninemile Historic Remount Depot are currently closed for the season and are regularly scheduled to open at the end of May, the status of these facilities will be evaluated in the coming weeks.

Keep in mind that law enforcement and/or search and rescue operations may be limited due to the COVID-19 issues.

High-risk activities such as rock climbing, etc. or backcountry activities that increase your chance of injury or distress should be avoided.

The Forest Service continues to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation.

For a complete list of campgrounds and site closures visit the Forest Service website here.

If you have more questions contact your local District office.
• Lolo National Forest Supervisor’s Office: 406-329-3750
• Missoula Ranger District: 406-329-3814
• Ninemile Ranger District: 406-626-5201
• Plains-Thompson Falls Ranger District: 406-826-3821
• Seeley Lake Ranger District: 406-677-2233
• Superior Ranger District: 406-822-4233