Kalispell, MT, October 20, 2017-- – The Flathead National Forest is interested in receiving your comments on a proposal to increase the fees at 12 cabin and lookout rentals, one campground, and to implement a new fee at one campground.

The proposal would add a new fee at Lindbergh Lake Campground, and bring several additional existing cabin and lookout rentals, and one additional campground into alignment with other sites offering similar benefits and services.  As part of a Region-wide effort, these fee changes are being proposed to support the Forest’s ability to continue providing high levels of service to visitors at popular recreation sites.  The Forest has invested in items such as new furniture and appliances, and replacement of windows and roofs in certain cabins and lookouts, as well as several upgrades to the two campgrounds such as a new toilet building at Lindbergh Lake and improved road ways and new picnic tables at the Spotted Bear campgrounds.  Reasonable fees, paid by users of these sites and services, will help ensure that the Forest can continue maintaining and improving the sites for future generations.  Many existing campgrounds and cabin/lookout rentals are not being proposed for a fee increase or new fees.

The proposal will help the Forest achieve more consistent pricing for fee sites with similar levels of amenities and capacity and providing high-quality recreation experiences.  For instance, rental cabins with a higher level of amenities such as potable water, electricity and/or propane heat and appliances are proposed for $65 to $85, based on available capacity – which is in line with the current prices at similar cabins. Sites with fewer amenities are being proposed at $40 to $50 per night. The same pricing strategy is being applied to the campgrounds.

Specifically, the Flathead National Forest is proposing:

  • Lindbergh Lake Campground, Swan Lake Ranger District; a proposed new fee of $10 per night with a $5 extra vehicle fee per night for more than two vehicles.

The following sites are being proposed for fee increases, listed by Ranger District:


  • Ben Rover Cabin – fee increase from $50 to $65 per night
  • Challenge Cabin – fee increase from $30 to $50 per night
  • Ford Cabin – fee increase from $35 to $50 per night
  • Hornet Lookout – fee increase from $20 to $40 per night
  • Ninko Cabin – fee increase from $30 to $50 per night
  • Schnaus Cabin – fee increase from $50 to $65 per night
  • Wurtz Cabin – fee increase from $65 to $75 per night
  • Zip’s Place Cabin – fee increase from $50 to $70 per night


  • Spotted Bear Campground – fee increase from $10 to $13 per night with no change to the extra vehicle fee of $5 for over two vehicles


  • Mission Lookout – fee increase from $25 to $45 per night
  • Old Condon Ranger Station – fee increase from $65 to $85 per night
  • Owl Creek Cabin – fee increase from $30 to $50 per night
  • Swan Lake Guard Station – fee increase from $55 to $70 per night

All of the recreation rental (cabins and lookouts) sites listed above are available for advance reservations through www.recreation.gov. The two campgrounds are available on a first-come, first served basis; however, several other campgrounds that are not part of this proposal are available for advance reservations through Recreation.gov.

In 2004, Congress passed the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act which allows the Forest Service to retain 80-95 percent of fees collected at certain recreation sites and use these funds locally to operate and maintain and improve these sites.  An analysis of surrounding recreation sites with similar amenities indicates that the proposed fees are comparable and reasonable.  Once public involvement is complete, this proposal and public comments will be presented to the Western Montana Bureau of Land Management Resource Advisory Council (RAC) prior to a final decision and implementation.

Submit comments about this fee proposal by November 20th, 2017.  For more information, questions or to provide comments about any of these fee change proposals, click HERE.  You can mail comments to: Chris Prew, Flathead National Forest Supervisor’s Office, 650 Wolfpack Way, Kalispell, MT 59901 or email comments to r1recfee@fs.fed.us.


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