« Back To Best Camping in Montana

Lower Kootenai River Area

Photo of Snyder Guard Station - a rental suitable for groups.The Lower Kootenai River Area (Bonners Ferry District) is bordered by the Purcell and Cabinet Ranges and the Montana Line on the east, the rugged Selkirk Range on the west, and the Canadian border to the north. The Kootenai River meanders north and west through the District, and the Moyie River joins it from the north.

Peaks are moderate in elevation (6000 - 7000 ft.) but are rugged due to heavy glaciation. They are renowned for their mountaineering challenge.

There are many spectacular lakes, both low elevation lakes with easy access and high elevation, subalpine lakes, accessed only by trail or 'bushwhacking'.

National Forest lands offer a full range of year-round recreational opportunities. Emphasis tends to be placed on backcountry, non-developed, semi-primitive recreation, yet urban activities such as auto touring, white water rafting, and car camping are common as well.

More than 360 miles of summer use trail are open and usable on the District. Approximately 60 miles of that are open to motorized use; the remainder is suitable for stock use, hiking, and camping. Miles of gated road offer additional routes for mountain bikers, berry pickers, and hunters.

Dispersed car camping is common throughout the District. Four campgrounds provide developed recreation opportunities in addition to several picnic and camping areas and interpretive sites.

The District provides two lookouts and one cabin for rental to the public. Cold water and ice fishing are popular as are white water rafting, canoeing, and swimming. Berry and mushroom picking and Christmas tree cutting are seasonally popular.

Winter provides thousands of acres for cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. Groomed routes vary from year to year.