BOZEMAN – After offering free camping for more than 20 years, Battle Ridge and Blackmore campgrounds in the Custer Gallatin National Forest will begin charging overnight fees on Aug. 1. According to the USDA Forest Service, increased traffic to these sites has caused faster wear and tear, and new fees will go toward maintaining the quality of these sites.
“While these new fees are a big change, they will allow for an improved camping experience at two popular Bozeman area campgrounds”, says Corey Lewellen, Bozeman District Ranger. “New revenue will give us a chance to address deferred maintenance while also turning an eye toward future campground enhancements.”
The new fee for the Battle Ridge Campground in the Bridger Mountain Range is $10 per day, offering 12 campsites. The Blackmore Campsite, near the outlet of Hyalite Lake, provides 10 campsites and will charge $16 per day.
Fees collected at these campgrounds will be used to maintain and repair the sites, including new fire rings and picnic tables, as well as help provide funding for future investments at the campgrounds.
Free camping options around Bozeman are still available in other locations, including various dispersed camping opportunities along Forest Service roads and designated free campgrounds in Hyalite Canyon. Camping is permitted within 300 feet of all Forest Service roads in the Bozeman Ranger District except for Hyalite Road #62, South Fork Hyalite Road #620, East Fork Hyalite Road #6280 and within a half mile of US Highway 191 in Gallatin Canyon.