Custer National Forest Guide

Montana's Custer National Forest is one of the most ecologically diverse forests in the northern United States. This forest covering more than 1.5 million acres stretches from Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness outside of Red Lodge eastward across rolling grasslands, ponderosa pine and steep outcroppings, and the Pryor Mountains before it turns to the south near Ashland. Then, it encompasses almost all of southeastern Montana before stretching into eastern South Dakota. Many areas of this forest are easily accessible because Interstate 90 runs through and near it. The government has divided the forest into seven districts, with headquarters at Ashland, Beartooth, Bozeman, Gardiner, Hebgen Lake, Sioux, and Yellowstone. Various animals, including bighorn sheep, grizzly bears, pronghorns, and mule deer, live in this forest. 

RV Rentals Near Custer National Forest

Shape Hiking Trails

Custer National Forest Hiking Trails

Things to Do

Activities in Custer National Forest

map-marker-alt-regular How to Get There

How to get to Custer National Forest

Address: Custer National Forest headquarters, 5001 Southgate Drive Suite 2, Billings, Montana 59101

Fee: Entry fee $0

Custer National Forest is a great place to explore. There are fantastic places to go hiking, fishing, wildlife viewing, and stargazing. The best way to explore Custer National Forest is in an RV. If you do not have one, don't worry because it is incredibly easy to rent one on RVshare.com.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions About Custer National Forest

Is there a fee to get into Custer National Forest?

No, there is no fee to get into Custer National Forest. However, there may be day-use fees or permits required for various activities and places within the forest. Some of these permits are free, others require a small fee.

Does Custer National Forest offer free camping sites?

Yes, Custer National Forest offers free camping sites. Dispersed camping is allowed throughout the forest - there are no amenities and campers are expected to leave no trace when they pack up camp. There are also a few campsites, like the M-K Campground, that have vault toilets but no other amenities and are free spots to camp.

Is Custer National Forest open all year round?

Yes, Custer National Forest is open year-round. Certain areas of the forest may be inaccessible in winter because of snow, but other parts are great for hiking or snowshoeing in winter.

What is the best time to visit Custer National Forest?

The best time to visit Custer National Forest is in summer. The weather is warm enough for plenty of outdoor activities, and the park is most accessible in summer.

Fall is also a lovely time to visit the forest, and you'll be able to see brilliant fall foliage. However, water and other services may be turned off in many areas of the park to get ready for colder weather.

What type of wildlife lives in Custer National Forest?

Wildlife living in Custer National Forest includes coyotes, bighorn sheep, marmots, wolves, grizzly bears, moose, pronghorns, bobcats, and bison. There is also a variety of birds, plus plenty of fish swimming in the lakes and rivers of the forest.