Hungry Horse Dam Recreation

boating on Hungry Horse Reservoir

The area around Hungry Horse dam and Reservoir offers excellent recreation opportunities. Reclamation continues to work with others in an effort to improve the four-season recreation area.

Each year thousands of tourists come to this area to take part in fishing, boating, camping, water skiing, snowmobiling and hunting.

Cooperative efforts between Reclamation and the U.S. Forest Service demonstrate a commitment to maintaining this valuable resource for future generations.

Seasons at the Reservoir

Water Power Generation Season During winter and fall, the reservoir is drafted to produce electrical power. The amount of reservoir draft is dependent on winter snowpack and electrical power needs.

Spring Flood Control Season

During May through June, the reservoir level is adjusted for flood control space requirements. The amount of reservoir draft or space is dependent on inflow forecasts.

Each year, Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers agree on a coordinated runoff forecast and a flood control plan. The objective of the flood control plan is to ensure enough space in the reservoir such that flows from the South Fork of the Flathead River are reduced when the main Flathead River reaches flood stage of 13 feet at Columbia Falls, Montana.

Storage and Limited Drawdown

During July and August, and in normal water supply years, the reservoir is kept full for recreation and as storage for future winter power needs. Limited power is generated in the fall. During drought years, the reservoir may not fill since the reservoir storage may be used to supplement stream flow for power, irrigation and fisheries needs.

Flows from the reservoir are maintained year round for instream flows to preserve fish habitat in the river below the dam.

For more information about the area, please visit the following websites:
Flathead National Forest
Glacier National Park
Columbia Falls Area Chamber of Commerce
Lost Johnny Point Campground
Lid Creek Campground

Dennis Philmon
(406) 387-5241 x 313

Hungry Horse Field Office
PO Box 190130
Hungry Horse, MT 59919-0130

Last Updated: 2/5/16