Can You Camp Anywhere in Flathead National Forest?

Flathead National Forest is a popular camping destination for outdoor enthusiasts. It is located in the Rocky Mountains of Montana, and offers a wide variety of camping opportunities.

The 1.5 million acre forest is home to a diverse array of wildlife, including grizzly bears, elk, and other large mammals. With its breathtaking views and abundant wildlife, Flathead National Forest provides an unforgettable camping experience.

The forest has several designated campgrounds that offer amenities like picnic tables, fire rings, and potable water. These campgrounds are open year-round and are typically quite busy during the summer months.

There are also primitive campsites available throughout the forest for those looking for a more primitive camping experience.

In addition to the designated campgrounds, Flathead National Forest also allows dispersed camping in certain areas. Dispersed camping is when campers choose their own location in the forest to set up camp. This type of camping allows you to be closer to nature and experience more solitude than you may find in an established campground.

When dispersed camping in Flathead National Forest, there are some rules that must be followed in order to protect the environment and ensure that everyone has an enjoyable experience. Campers must stay at least 150 feet away from any water sources such as creeks or lakes, and they must also practice Leave No Trace principles such as packing out everything they bring into the forest.


Overall, Flathead National Forest offers a wide variety of camping options for outdoor enthusiasts ranging from established campgrounds with amenities to primitive dispersed camping sites. As long as campers follow the rules and regulations set forth by the US Forest Service, they can enjoy an unforgettable experience in one of Montana’s most beautiful natural settings.

Photo of author

Alex Wright