Bitterroot National Forest
1801 N. 1st Street, Hamilton, MT 59840 (406) 363-7100
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Tod McKay
Public Affairs Officer
(406) 531-1130 - CELL
May 25, 2011
CAMPGROUNDS AND ROADS CLOSED DUE TO HIGH WATER
Hamilton, MT. – Several campgrounds and roads on the Bitterroot National Forest will be closed this Memorial
Day Weekend due to high water and runoff. Motorists and recreationists planning to get an early jump start on
summer and get outside during the upcoming holiday weekend are advised to use caution and contact specific
Ranger Districts to get current information on closures and any flooded roads and trails.
Many campgrounds and trails on the Forest are located near streams and rivers that are at, or near flood stage.
Visitors should be extremely cautious around fast moving water especially at creek crossings. Hazardous
conditions can develop very quickly from rapidly rising waters. Roads and trails that are passable early in the
day may become unsafe in the afternoon as rivers and creeks rise due to increased snowmelt. Forest visitors
will encounter many roads still blocked by snow at lower elevations. Motorists are being advised to stay away
from soft and muddy roads, as this is unsafe and can easily damage the roadbed, leading to expensive repairs.
The public is encouraged to notify their local Ranger District if they notice any flooding, plugged culverts,
downed trees or road damage.
The following closures and other impacts currently exist on the Bitterroot National Forest:
Sula Ranger District:
Spring Gulch Campground is closed due to flooding
Indian Trees Campground is closed due to potential for flooding
Mink Creek road #5753 is under construction and work equipment is parked in the road. Road is still
blocked by snow at Mink Creek Saddle.
Elk Point road #5745 near two percent saddle and Guide Rye Road #311 near Rye Creek are extremely
soft and easily rutted. Travel is being discouraged on these roads.
West Fork Ranger District:
Nez Perce road is under water at mile 4 at Little West Fork
Top of Nez Perce pass is closed due to heavy snow - so there is no access to the Selway-Bitterroot
Wilderness. Pass not expected to open till early June.
One campsite at Rombo Campground is closed due to flooding. Potential flooding exists at several
other campsites which may be closed if water rises.
Motorists may experience traffic delays around mile 11 on Nez Perce road due to bridge replacement
project on Sheephead Creek.
Darby Ranger District:
Lost Horse road #429 is closed at the gate before Ten Mile creek due to heavy snow
Robbins Gulch road #446 and #5612A are extremely muddy and soft due to recent rains
Lake Como Recreation Area:
Upper Campground is currently under reconstruction and will be closed through June (will likely open
by 4th of July weekend)
Woods Cabin is under reconstruction and will be closed through June
Recreation Trail around Lake Como is open, but expect high water crossings at Little Rock Creek on the
south side of the lake.
Recreation passes will be required for parking within the Recreation Area beginning this Saturday, May
28th. Costs of the passes are $5/vehicle or $30 for a season pass and are available at Forest Service
offices, area retailers, and on-site at the recreation area. Day use fees and camping fees are charged at
Lake Como from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.
Stevensville Ranger District:
There are no current closures due to flooding
For additional information and current conditions please contact your local Ranger District or visit the
Bitterroot National Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/bitteroot. For the latest weather information including
current stream forecasts and flood potential visit the National Weather Service website at
For those whose homes are affected by floods, the Montana Departments of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and
Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) have compiled a list of tips for dealing with flood conditions at
Sula Ranger District, (406) 821-3201
West Fork Ranger District, (406) 821-3269
Darby Ranger District, (406) 821-3913
Stevensville Ranger District, (406) 777-5461