Kootenai National Forest

Quick Facts

Kootenai National Forest

Idaho

(406) 293-6211

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

The Kootenai National Forest is located in the extreme Northwest corner of Montana and Northeast Idaho and encompasses over 2.2 million acres, an area nearly three times the size of Rhode Island. The Forest is bordered on the north by British Columbia, Canada, and on the west by Idaho. Of the total acres, 50,384 are within the State of Idaho. Picnicking, camping, hiking, fishing, and cabin and lookout rentals are just some of the activities available on the Kootenai National Forest. Ranges of high craggy peaks mark the Forest with Snowshoe Peak in the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness at 8,738 feet, the highest point. The Whitefish Range, Purcell Mountains, Bitterroot Range, Salish Mountains, and Cabinet Mountains are all part of the rugged terrain radiating from the river valleys. In the north central part of the Forest, the land is more open with gently rolling timbered hills lying in the shadows of the Whitefish Range.

Map of Kootenai Nat'l Forest

Latitude, Longitude: 48.721492, -116.415972

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Activities

  • Boating

    The Kootenai National Forest provides a variety of opportunities for water recreation. While the more notable areas such as Lake Koocanusa and the Kootenai River are easy picks for watersports, there are numerous recreation sites across the forest that provide motorized and non-motorized boating.

  • Bicycling

    Want to do some hardcore pedal pushing on a steep single-track? Or do you just want to take a leisurely ride on your road bike? The Kootenai offers opportunities for both.

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    Drive the Lake Koocanusa Scenic Byway for wildlife viewing and photo opportunities.

  • Camping

    Stay at one of the parks many campsites or spend a night perched on a 40 foot lookout! The forest has a cabin and lookout rental program.

  • Climbing

    Located 51 miles north of Libby on Highway 37, Stone Hill offers roadside climbing at all skill levels.

  • Fishing

    Trophy bass, northern pike, rainbows, and bull trout are just a few of the fish species that can be caught on or near the Kootenai National Forest. The lakes and streams of the Kootenai National Forest offer challenges and rewards for every angler.

  • Hiking

    Want to do some hardcore backcountry hiking? Or do you prefer a leisurely stroll? The Kootenai offers opportunities for both.

  • Historic Sites

    The Kootenai National Forest provides an opportunity for you and your family to take part in the history of Libby through recreational gold panning at the Libby Creek Recreational Gold Panning Area.

  • Horseback Riding

    The Kootenai has hundreds of miles of horseback riding trails.

  • Hunting

    Hunting is permitted in accordance with Montana state regulations.

  • Picnicking

    Want to kick back and relax under shady pines by sparkling lake? If so, the Kootenai National Forest can offer you that and more at designated picnic areas.

  • RVing

    Many campgrounds offer amenities for RV users.

  • Water Sports

    The Kootenai National Forest provides a variety of opportunities for water recreation. While the more notable areas such as Lake Koocanusa and the Kootenai River are easy picks for watersports, there are numerous recreation sites across the forest that provide boating, swimming, and fishing opportunities.

  • Winter Sports

    Turner Mountain downhill ski area has a new double chairlift installed in 2002. Come ride the powder! Cross country ski and snowmobile trails abound on the Kootenai. Check out the snow trails guide to find the trail nearest to you.

Directions

Driving

Libby is in the heart of the forest. US highway 2 is the primary travel route bisecting the forest. Access into the Forest is available from U.S. Highways 2 and 93, and Montana State Highways 37, 56, 200, and 508.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(406) 293-6211

Links