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Lolo National Forest

Located west of the continental divide, the Lolo National Forest is influenced by both continental and maritime climates, which provide for a wide range of environmental gradients producing a forest of high diversity.

The diverse ecosystems of the Lolo are home for 17 conifer and 5 hardwood tree species, more than 300 bird species, at least 20 fish species, more than 60 mammal species and an estimated 1,500 plant species, including 250 non-native plant species. Within the Lolo NF, are record-sized trees, the Montana Champion ponderosa pine located in the Fish Creek drainage and a national co-champion western larch near Seeley Lake.

Elevation ranges from less than 2,400 ft. on the Clark Fork River below Thompson Falls to many peaks higher than 7,000 ft. and topping out at over 9,000 ft. at Lolo Peak near the town of Lolo and Ptarmigan Point near Seeley Lake. The highest point is Scapegoat Mountain within the Scapegoat Wilderness.

Water is plentiful within the Lolo, producing more than 100 named lakes and nearly 1,000 named streams including five major rivers.

Recreation
The Lolo offers some of the finest recreation opportunities in western Montana. Click here to access the forest's page with links to more information on fishing, hiking, hunting, biking, wildlife viewing and exploring.

First-timer’s Adventure

Visit Lolo Pass.

Lolo pass is the "hump" in the Bitterroot mountains between Idaho and Montana. The pass features many designated hiking, biking, skiing and snowmobiling trails all accessible from a new visitor lodge that also includes nature and Lewis and Clark exhibits.

To get there, head south on Route 93 from Missoula to the town of Lolo. Head west, or make a right, onto Route 12 and take that road 30 miles up to the pass. The parking lot and visitor sign are on your left, at the state line

Statistics

State(s):

Montana

Nearest Large Urban Area:

Missoula

Notes & Conditions:

Research campground locations and amenities at the U.S. National Forest Campground Directory. The Web site is full of pictures and detailed descriptions to help you plan your next trip.

If you want to experience a guided recreation trip in a National Forest, visit Adventure Vacation to learn about whitewater rafting, canoeing, kayaking, horseback riding, camping, hiking and fishing trips.

A winter use pass is required when using the parking lot at Lolo pass in winter.

Maps:

Visit the National Forest Store to see what maps are available for this Forest and others you may want to visit.