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Posted: May 26, 2010  10:42

Summer Recreation at Libby Dam


Kirsten Kaiser
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

May 25, 2010

Libby Dam Visitor Center is a great place to visit with family and friends during the summer recreation season. It has a variety of hands-on exhibits featuring wildlife and fisheries, flood control, hydropower and recreation in the exhibit area, book/gift sales area and auditorium featuring "The Power and Beauty of the Kootenai, the Story of Libby Dam." The visitor center is located on the west side of the dam and can be reached from the Forest Development Road (FDR) #228. Libby Dam Visitor Center is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend. The visitor parking area and boat ramp are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week; however, the top of the dam will remain closed to all traffic.

Guided Tours: Guided tours of the dam and powerhouse are offered from the visitor center on weekends at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. beginning Saturday, May 29. If you are interested in taking a tour of Libby Dam, you must check-in at the visitor center front desk at least 10 minutes prior to the start of each tour. Tours last approximately 1 hour and start from the visitor center. Adults taking the tour must bring photo identification in the form of a valid driver's license or passport. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Bags, backpacks or purses are not allowed on tours. Cameras, video equipment or other electronic devices are no longer allowed either. When necessary, personal medication can be carried. School groups and special request tours are welcome throughout the year, by appointment. Tours are subject to cancellation due to inclement weather or maintenance in the dam or powerhouse. The last week of May and first few weeks of June are field trip season for school tours and training for seasonal staff, please call ahead for tour availability before you plan your trip. For information regarding special tours, please contact the visitor center at (406) 293-5577.

Junior Ranger Programs: The Junior Ranger Programs have been popular during previous summer recreation seasons. They will be offered again through the months of June and July and will be affiliated with Lincoln County Library's summer reading program. For more detailed information, contact the visitor center at (406) 293-5577.

Campgrounds and Day Use Areas: The Corps of Engineers operates four campgrounds below Libby Dam: Dunn Creek, Alexander Creek, Down River, and Blackwell Flats. All campgrounds are open this summer and are free to the public. They are offered on a first come first serve basis. All sites have picnic tables and fire pits.

Souse Gulch Day Use Area will open daily starting May 29. The day use area is located immediately adjacent to the visitor center. This area contains 46 picnic sites, restroom facilities, a volleyball court, horseshoe pits and superb playgrounds. There are three group shelters available for larger picnics. Each shelter has four tables, two cooking grills, two sinks with running water and electricity. Please contact the visitor center at (406) 293-5577 to schedule your free reservation today! Reservations are required at least one day prior to use. You may call the park rangers at the visitor center for more information. The boat ramp and visitor parking are available year around. Visitors wishing to camp on their boats, while out on the lake, can make special arrangements for parking vehicles and boat trailers at Souse Gulch by contacting the park rangers at the visitor center.

Several primitive recreation sites are located along the Kootenai River, just below the dam that offers access to the river for fishing. These areas are Blackwell Flats, Dunn Creek Flats (with boat ramp), Alexander Creek and the Downstream Wildlife Viewing Area. Fishing is also available directly below Libby Dam on the downstream side of the fence.

New this year at Libby Dam: Souse Gulch Day Use Area will have a new addition this year. Before summer ends, staff and volunteers at Libby Dam hope to have a new blue level disc golf course throughout the Souse Gulch Day Use Area.One change in operations involves our floating platform in Souse Gulch. Due to safety issues, boats will no longer be allowed near the floating platform nor shall they be allowed to be moored there.

Come on out and enjoy the summer recreation opportunities! If you have questions or need additional information, please contact the Libby Dam Visitor Center, (406)-293-5577.


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