Lolo National Forest warns of flooding, erosion on roads, campgrounds

This photo shows the Beaver Finley Road #9974, which was recently closed due to a washed out culvert and soft road bed. (USFS)

Across the Lolo National Forest, spring runoff and recent rainstorms have started to impact some roads and campgrounds. Some roads are also closed due to soft road beds, and downed trees are affecting a number of campgrounds.

Those traveling on forest roads should check “Alerts and Notices” on the Lolo National Forest website at https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/lolo/home/?cid=FSEPRD577941 for current road closure information.

Contacting local ranger district offices is also a good way to get current information on road closures. (The contact numbers are printed below).

The Seeley Lake Ranger District has experienced an unusually high amount of snowfall this winter and many campgrounds remain inaccessible due to snow. There have also been significant road impacts due to spring runoff, officials said  Thursday. Some campgrounds have been impacted by downed trees and branches.

The district is working to open campgrounds by Memorial Day weekend, but be advised this is not a typical spring. Note that Big Larch Campground and Day Use Area is currently closed due to downed trees and branches. The boat launch remains open.

On the east zone of the forest, the following closures are in place:

Missoula Ranger District

  • Gilbert Creek road No. 34: Closed at Intersection with Rock Creek road.  Water across road.

Seeley Lake Ranger District

  • Beaver Finley road No. 9974. Closed for washed out culvert and soft roadbed.
  • Cottonwood Lakes Road No. 477. Closed at the Seeley trailhead for snowplowing and soft roadbed.  This closure includes all roads behind 477, including Morrell Creek 4353.
  • Dunham Creek road No. 4388 at the Intersection with Cottonwood lakes road.  Closed for soft roadbed conditions and debris on road.
  • Cottonwood Lakes road No. 477 at the Intersection with Dunham Creek road 4388 due to water across the road.  Closed for soft roadbed and safety until the flooding subsides.
  • Road 36019.  Closed at the intersection with Road No. 4379.  Indefinitely until a new structure can be installed.

Here are ranger district phone numbers for additional assistance:

Missoula Ranger District, (406) 329-3814

Superior Ranger District, (406) 822-4233

Seeley Lake Ranger District, (406) 677-2233

Ninemile Ranger District, (406) 626-5201

Plains-Thompson Falls Ranger District (406) 826-3821