The Kootenai National Forest sits in Montana and Idaho. Scenic views will leave your breathless as you hike near cliffs, giant cedars, and large fields. The most popular areas in Kootenai are Cabinet Mountains Wilderness, Ten Lakes Scenic Area known for its carved glacier basins, Lake Koocanusa Scenic Byway, and Ross Creek Scenic Byway.
Dogs must be on leash or restrained in developed recreation areas. We recommend that dogs be well behaved and obey commands well as there are bears, wolves, and other wildlife that roam the area. Dogs are not allowed in swimming areas and on some beaches near water.
With over 1,400 miles of trails, there are a lot of options to consider! Some trails to consider: Ross Creek Cedar Area, Trout Creek National Recreation Trail at 19.8 miles, Kootenai Falls Trail, and Big Therriault Lake Loop Trail. In the summer only, head on to Little Spar Lake and take an 8 mile hike around the lake with your dog. Trails and maps can be found on the USDA website.
Mountain biking and road biking are allowed in the area. Check out mountain biking in the Libby area in the spring where there are over 132 different species of wildflowers. You’ll also want to head down the trails past Kootenai Falls. Check out the Sheldon Mountain bike course or Kootenai Trail.
There are several camping options in the area from standard campsites, to dispersed and RV camping. Most campsites are on a first-come, first-serve basis. Popular campgrounds to consider include Rexford Bench Campground, Loon Lake Campground, Big Therriault Lake Campground, or Timberland Campground. Spar Lake Campground has hiking, biking and a lake in the immediate area. Consider Yaak River Campground if you want to go road biking or be near the Kootenai River.
Large groups or families can consider McGillivray Campground. For cabins, go to Big Creek Baldy Lookout for a great view near Lake Koocanusa. Cabins and campgrounds are listed on the USDA website. Backpackers can refer to camping options here.
If you have a water dog or love fishing for salmon and trout, head over to the Lake Koocanusa area near Libby Dam. Large watercraft and sailing is allowed in the area. There are also campgrounds around the lake.
We hear there are morel mushrooms (non-toxic) in the area – but make sure your dog doesn’t eat a ton of them! Regular mushrooms are toxic to dogs. Some dogs love to hunt morel mushrooms, but you’ll need a permit to collect them.
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Location: Libby, MT | Lincoln County | Montana
Activities: Hiking, Walking, Biking, Tracking, NoseWork, Fishing, Swimming, Camping, Winter-Sports, Cross-Country Skiing, Snowshoeing, Social, Running