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Campground closures

With summer coming to an end, some campgrounds on the Bitterroot National Forest are set to close soon.

Fall officially arrives in two weeks and along with all the seasonal changes, the Bitterroot National Forest is announcing the following campground and recreation site closures and updates:

Darby/Sula Ranger District – (406) 821-3913

• Lake Como Recreation Area

* Lower Como Campground = Open with services and nightly fees through September 29th (water will be winterized sooner if temperatures start dropping). Current fees - $16/night. Campground will close on September 30th.

* Three Frogs Campground = Open with services and nightly fees through September 29th (water will be winterized sooner if temperatures start dropping). Current fees - $8/night. Campground will close on September 30th.

* Lake Como Day Use Sites (Picnic Area, Trailhead, Beach, Boat Launch) = Day use fees no longer required, no services, ‘pack it in, pack it out’. Open year-round.

* Rock Creek Horse Camp = Open with services and nightly fees through September 30th. Current fees - $8/night. Campground will remain open until closed by snow. No services. ‘Pack it in, pack it out’, free of charge.

* Wood’s Cabin = The historic cabin on the north shore of Lake Como is available to rent in the fall and winter. $60 per night. To reserve your dates visit www.recreation.gov .

• Black Bear Campground - Open until closed by snow with 6 campsites. No water. ‘Pack it in, pack it out’ garbage.

• Lost Horse Road & Schumaker Campground – Open until closed by snow. No services. ‘Pack it in, pack it out’ garbage.

• Skalkaho Pass (State Highway 38) is currently open. For latest road information visit www.mdt.mt.gov or Dial 511.

• Spring Gulch Campground – Open with services and nightly fees through Sept. 30th. Current fees - $12/ night. Campground will close on Oct. 1.

• Indian Trees Campground - Open with services and nightly fees through Sept. 30. Current fees - $10/ night. Campground will close on Oct. 1.

• Martin Creek Campground – Open with services and nightly fees through September 30th. Current fees - $8/ night. Remains open after Sept. 30 with no fees, no services and ‘pack it in, pack it out’ until closed by snow.

• Warm Springs Campground – Open with services and nightly fees through Sept. 30th. Current fees - $8/night. Campground will remain open through October with no fees, no services, and ‘pack it in, pack it out’.

• Crazy Creek Campground – Open with services and nightly fees through Sept. 30. Current fees - $8/ night. Remain open after Sept. 30 with no fees, no services and ‘pack it in, pack it out’ until closed by snow.

• Crazy Creek Horse Camp – Open with no services and ‘pack it in, pack it out’ until closed by snow

• Jennings Camp – Open with no services and ‘pack it in, pack it out’ until closed by snow

• McCart Lookout – Reservations open through September 21st at www.recreation.gov

• East Fork Guard Station – Reservations open year-round at www.recreation.gov

• Two Good Cabin – Open for reservations through Oct. 15th. Reservations resume from Dec. 1 through Dec. 31. Reservations available at www.recreation.gov.

Stevensville Ranger District: (406) 777-5461

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• Bass Creek Recreation Area:

* Charles Water Campground – Open with services and nightly fees through September, (water will be winterized sooner if temperatures start dropping.) Current fees - $10/night. Campground will remain open with no fees/services through October.

* Larry Creek Group Site – Reservations open through Sept. 30th; from Oct 1 – Nov. 30, available on a first serve basis with no fees, no services, ‘pack it in, pack it out’.

• Blodgett Campground – Open with 7 campsites until Dec. 1st or sooner, depending on weather. No water. ‘Pack it in, pack it out’ garbage.

• Gold Creek Campground – Open with 5 campsites until closed by snow. No water. ‘Pack it in, pack it out’ garbage.

West Fork Ranger District: (406) 821-3269

• Rombo Campground – Open with no services and ‘pack it in, pack it out’ garbage until closed by snow.

• Alta Campground – Open with no services and ‘pack it in, pack it out’ until closed by snow.

• Sam Billings Campground – Open with 12 campsites and no fees until closed by snow. No services. ‘Pack it in, pack it out’ garbage.

• Slate Creek Campground – Front loop open until closed by snow. No services. ‘Pack it in, pack it out’ garbage. Back loop closed Sept. 30.

• Fales Flat Campground - Open with no services, and ‘pack it in, pack it out’ until closed by snow.

• Fales Flat Group Site – Reservations open through Sept. 15th at www.recreation.gov.

• Beaver Point, Raven Creek, Indian Creek, Paradise Campgrounds open until closed by snow. No services. ‘Pack it in, pack it out’ garbage.

• Magruder Ranger’s House – Reservations open through October 26th but water will be turned off Oct. 1st. Reservations available at www.recreation.gov.

• Magruder Road Corridor is currently open between Darby and Elk City, Idaho. Contact the West Fork office for road updates, (406) 821-3269.

Water systems may be winterized earlier than specified depending on weather conditions, so please contact the appropriate Ranger District for updates.

A reminder for fall woodcutters, to cut firewood for personal use on National Forests, you must have a Personal Use Firewood Permit. Permits can be purchased weekdays at any Forest Service office from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The cost is $20 for a minimum purchase of four cords. Additional cords may be purchased for $5 per cord for a total of 12 cords per individual per year.

Woodcutters must have their firewood permit with them while harvesting wood, keep their vehicles on designated roads and trails, have an approved spark arrester on chainsaws and splitters and carry a shovel and fire extinguisher. No wood can be cut or gathered within 150 feet of streams, creeks or waterways. Firewood gathering is also prohibited in all developed recreation areas, campgrounds, and along Wild and Scenic River Corridors.

Pile slash away from roads, ditches, power lines, or telephone lines. A rake should be brought along for cleaning road surfaces of debris.

Also, please use caution when felling trees and be aware of the dangers when cutting near or along roads. Just last week, an ATV rider was struck and killed by a falling tree in NW Montana.

For more Firewood Permit Information visit www.fs.usda.gov/bitterroot and click on ‘Passes & Permits’.

For more information on fall conditions, campgrounds, and road and trails, contact your local Ranger District.

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