Helena Lewis and Clark national Forest closes campgrounds, rental cabins and day use areas

by Chris Peterson
Editor | March 26, 2020 4:53 PM

The Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest announced it is closing its campgrounds, day use sites and rental cabins to stop the spread of the covid-19 virus.

The closures will not impact other Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest trails, trailheads or dispersed camping sites which remain open for the time being. The Forest asks that the public recreate responsibly and practice leave no trace principles and “pack it in-pack it out.”

Notification to cabin renters will be made as soon as possible and refunds will be processed.

“As we work through an unpredictable and rapidly changing situation, health and safety of the public is our number one priority. This closure order will be lifted as soon as possible,” said Forest Supervisor Bill Avey. “We did not make this decision lightly and we appreciate people’s cooperation.”

The Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest is a sprawling one, with units starting at Marias Pass and extending all the way toward Helena and Great Falls.

Most of the Forest remains open to public use, Avey noted.

The Flathead National Forest hasn’t yet issued the same directive, but currently most campgrounds on this side of the divide are either snowed in, closed for the season or inaccessible anyway, but some cabins are made available for rent all year long.