The Custer Gallatin National Forest and the Bozeman Ranger District have announced new fees at popular recreation areas in the Bozeman area.

Roasting Marshmallows
Photo by Leon Contreras on Unsplash

According to a press release from the Custer Gallatin National Forest, fees will be implemented at Battle Ridge Campground and Blackmore Campground beginning August 1, 2022.

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If you want to camp at either of the campgrounds listed above, you'll have to pay this fee. For Battle Ridge Campground in the Bridger Mountain Range, the fee will be $10/day. For Blackmore Campground in Hyalite Canyon, it'll be $16/day.

Due to Bozeman's growth and increased traffic, many of the campgrounds in the area have experienced increasing wear and tear. The new fees will allow for the continuation of high-quality national forest camping experiences close to Bozeman.

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Bozeman District Ranger Corey Lewellen said;

While these new fees are a big change, they will allow for an improved camping experience at two popular Bozeman area campgrounds. New revenue will give us a chance to address deferred maintenance while also turning an eye toward future campground enhancements.

Battle Ridge Campground, in the Bridger Mountains north of Bozeman, includes 12 campsites with picnic tables, fire rings, and vault toilets. Blackmore Campground, along the outlet of Hyalite Lake, includes 10 campsites with picnic tables, fire rings, vault toilets, trash receptacles, and a water well nearby.

Battle Ridge Campground is operated by the Forest Service and fees will be collected through the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act. This allows the Forest Service to use 95% of all fees collected to maintain the campground, including repairing the water system, purchasing new picnic tables, and installing new toilets.

Photo by Julian Bialowas on Unsplash
Photo by Julian Bialowas on Unsplash

The Blackmore Campground, along with most other campgrounds in the Bozeman Ranger District, is operated in partnership through a special use permit with Rocky Mountain Recreation Company. A percentage of fees collected at these sites is reinvested in improvements to the campgrounds, including the installation of new picnic tables at Blackmore Campground. The fees will also help provide funding for future investments such as new vault toilets and fire rings.

If you're looking for free camping, you have quite a few options. There are several dispersed camping opportunities along Forest Service roads in the Bridger and Gallatin Mountains and at designated free sites in Hyalite Canyon.

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