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Camping at Swan Lake Campground

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Location and Access

Swan Lake Campground is situated in the Flathead National Forest near the town of Bigfork in northwest Montana. It's located on the northeastern shore of Swan Lake. Access to the campground is off Highway 83, which runs north-south along the eastern side of the lake. Despite its relatively remote location, the roads leading to the campground are well-maintained, but travelers should still check local conditions before heading out, especially if camping in the off-season.

Campsites and Reservations

There are a number of individual campsites available at Swan Lake Campground which are suitable for tent camping, RVs, and trailers. Each site typically includes a picnic table, fire ring, and access to shared facilities like toilets and potable water. Some sites offer lake views and can be reserved in advance, while others are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Advance reservations can be made through the Recreation.gov website or by contacting the Flathead National Forest office.

Amenities and Facilities

Basic Amenities:

  • Drinking water
  • Vault toilets
  • Picnic tables
  • Fire pits

Additional Facilities:

  • A developed swimming area
  • A day-use area for picnics
  • A boat ramp providing access to Swan Lake for boating and fishing

No Hookups: It's important to note that there are no electric, water, or sewer hookups available for RVs.


Recreational Opportunities:

  • Boating and Fishing: Swan Lake is known for a variety of fish, including trout and pike. Remember to check local fishing regulations and have the appropriate license.
  • Hiking: There are multiple trails in the area for all levels of hikers.
  • Wildlife Viewing: Keep an eye out for deer, elk, and possibly even bears.
  • Water Sports: Kayaking, canoeing, and swimming are popular in the warmer months.
  • Winter Activities: During the winter, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are common.

Rules and Regulations

Fire Safety:

  • Only use designated fire rings for campfires and fully extinguish your fire before leaving it unattended.


  • Pets are allowed but must be kept on a leash.

Bear Safety:

  • Proper food storage is a must. Use bear boxes if available and never leave food out as the area is home to both black and grizzly bears.

Leave No Trace:

  • Campers should follow Leave No Trace principles to minimize their impact on the natural environment.

Season and Operating Hours

The Swan Lake Campground is generally open from May through September, depending on the weather. Closing dates can vary year-to-year based on snow levels and other environmental factors. It's advisable to check the current operating status before planning your trip.

Contact Information

For the most accurate and up-to-date information, you can contact the Flathead National Forest directly or visit the official Forest Service website.

  • Phone: You can call the ranger district for specific questions before your trip.
  • Web: The USDA Forest Service website provides comprehensive information about Swan Lake Campground including alerts, conditions, and area information.


Swan Lake Campground offers a rustic camping experience with the opportunity to enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities in the beautiful surroundings of Flathead National Forest. Always plan ahead by making reservations where possible, preparing for varying weather conditions, and following all campground rules to ensure a pleasurable and safe camping experience.

Location of Swan Lake Campground
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