Kootenai National Forest
RV Guide


Allow the tension in your body to melt away when you camp in your RV at Kootenai National Forest. Located along the Canadian border in Montana’s northwest corner and Idaho’s northeast Corner, this national forest is a hidden gem. Explore areas that are untouched by mankind and view amazing sunsets off of Bull Lake or the Yaak River. Fish in the clear, crisp waters of Montana's many waterfalls, rivers, or glacial lakes. Open year-round, this area is great to catch some winter powder as you enjoy some excellent snow sports like skiing or snowboarding. Pack your camera to capture some impressive mountain scenes or experience some tranquility as you enjoy the many pine covered trails by horseback, mountain biking, or on foot. Be on the lookout to see some of Montana’s majestic wildlife in Kootenai National Forest as this area is a bird lovers paradise with over 190 different species of birds. Have your breath taken away as you explore the lush, green valleys or the magnificent mountains at Kootenai National Forest. There are 18 RV campgrounds in this rustic oasis, and we've highlighted some of the top choices below.

RV Rentals in Kootenai National Forest



Make plans to get away from it all as you travel to this remote areas of northwest Montana. Situated next to Canada and just moments away from Idaho, you’ll find that this national forest has everything from breathtaking mountains to rolling valleys.

To access Kootenai National Forest for your next RV camping trip, use US Highway 2 and 93 or Montana State highways 200, 56, 37, and 508. Roughly four hours from Missoula, MT, less than four hours to Spokane, WA and less than 3 hours from Kalispell, MT, this area makes for a great destination vacation spot. Travel to see the Whitefish Range, Bitterroot Range, Cabinet Mountains, and many others during your stay.

Be prepared for rugged terrain as you travel in your motorhome to your next camping destination. Many of these backcountry roads through the mountain and forests are narrow and winding, so make sure to drive slow. Use extra caution during the winter by checking road conditions and road closures before you head out.


Drive with caution as you make your way to the RV campground. This national forest has a variety of species such as the woodland caribou, elk, moose, and other predators that call this area home. Before you head out to Kootenai National Forest, you will want to print your copy of the Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM for short). This map is free to the public and is also available at the District Offices. These maps indicate all the current roads, trails, and designated areas that are open to motor vehicles. If you find a path or trail that is not on the map, assume it's closed to the public.

Public Transportation

Campgrounds and parking in Kootenai National Forest

Campsites in Kootenai National Forest

First-come first-served

Rocky Gorge Campground

Camp at Kootenai National Forest in a place like no other! Travel in your motorhome to the pet-friendly Rocky Gorge Campground. This 60-site campground offers potable water, vault toilets, picnic tables, and fire rings. As a popular area due to a boat launch, sandy beaches, and access to trails, you’ll want to get here early! There is maximum RV length of 32 feet. You are welcome to camp here all year long.

Dorr Skeels Campground

Head out to the Dorr Skeels to grab one of the coveted spots at this beachy first-come, first-served campground with eight spots. Enjoy swimming in Bull Lake or stretching out on your towel upon the sands. There is also a boat ramp, making the area great for fishing or paddling. Dorr Skeels Campground offers fire pits, potable water, vault toilets, and picnic tables to use during your stay. Take in the views of the magnificent mountain settings as you tell stories around the campfire.

Big Therriault Lake Campground

You will want to be first in line to claim a spot at the Big Therriault Lake Campground for your next camper trip. What this campground lacks in amenities, it makes up for in scenery. Take in picture-perfect views of Big Therriault Lake under the backdrop of whistling pines and towering ridges. An excellent location for fishing, this cozy campground offers ten camping spots with potable water, vault toilets, and picnic tables. Rigs up to 32 feet long can be accommodated. This pet-friendly campground is open year-round.

Seasonal activities in Kootenai National Forest


Bird Watching

Grab your binoculars and head out to Kootenai National Forest for a chance to relax and enjoy the nature that surrounds you. With 190 different birds spotted at this tremendous national forest, you are in for a real treat. The forest attracts eagles, great blue herons, ospreys, along with the water-loving dipper and kingfisher. Past campers loved the Rock Lake Trail and Star Peak Lookout for some of the best viewing spots.

Winter Sports

There’s nothing more magical than wintertime in Montana. From snowmobiling and backcountry skiing to snowshoeing and ice-fishing, the adventures are endless. Bring your snowmobile as there are 232 miles of trails to explore along with thousands of acres to play in Montana’s winter playground. Keep an eye on the weather and plan to bring the right backcountry equipment, including avalanche supplies while you’re out in the snow. Kootenai National Forest has it all so pack up your favorite winter gear and bring your RV for some cool winter camping!

Fishing at Kootenai National Forest

You’ll want to pack your favorite fishing gear and enjoy the tranquil experience out on the many glacier lakes and streams during your RV camping trip to Kootenai National Forest. Anglers find that this area has the best fishing spots for trout and largemouth and smallmouth bass. Several RV camping sites have great water access, making fishing excellent no matter the time of day. From ice fishing to warm-water fishing, make sure you have the correct license before you cast your line.


Paddling The Rivers

When traveling the rivers of Kootenai National Forest, you find that there are two major rivers to explore - the Kootenai and Clark Fork. These main thoroughfares, along with smaller rivers, make for a great paddling adventure. Enjoy the moments of tranquility as you glide along the water without a care in the world. With so much to see from your kayak or canoe, you’ll want to make sure to bring a camera along and enjoy!

Horseback Riding

Escape from it all on horseback as you explore the area outside your trailer camping site. With hundreds of trails, this national forest can offer activities for riders of all experience levels. You’ll want to visit the Sheldon Mountain trail system, which provides plenty of hitching posts and is overall an exceptional place for a pleasant ride in a postcard-perfect setting. This Montana forest will make your horseback riding an adventure of a lifetime!

Rock Climbing

Just being out in nature can help you be a better version of yourself. Experience this feeling as you challenge yourself at the Stone Hill Climbing Area in Koocanusa Reservoir. A great location next to Lake Koocanusa, this place is excellent to investigate no matter what your activity level. From viewing the vast pine forest and water views of the lake, make this climbing area stand out from the rest. There is a great variety of easy to moderate climbs as Stone Hill offers both sport and traditional opportunities. Need a challenge? You can find more than 500 climbs that rated 5.10 and up.