This campground, on the shoreline of Cooper's Lake near Ovando, Montana, is a semi-remote, developed campground which offers shady rest and a beautiful view of the lake and adjacent mountains. The Bob Marshall and Scapegoat wildernesses are 7 miles away by trail.
Big Nelson Campground is anything but big. This is a tiny cramped campground. I found 6 campsites, but the Forest Service website list this campground as having four. With the exception of site three, all the other sites require you to park in a parking area. Site 3 was the first site I noticed on arriving at the campground and was located to the left of the parking area. Sites 4, 5 and 6 require parking in the parking area and walking down a set of stairs to access. Sites 4, 5, and 6 can only be accessed from the stairs, driving down the road to the boat launch will only get you to the boat launch. Site 4 is on the left at the bottom of the stairs. Site 4 is tiny, it is a picnic table next to a metal fire ring, if you want to pitch a tent at site four you would need to do it next to the fire ring and skip making a fire or pitch it in a small flat area above the picnic table near the parking area on the opposite side of the fence. Site four really doesn't have much room for a tent. Sites 5 and 6 are fairly roomy, especially when compared to site 4. Site 5 is on the right side of the stairs, plenty of room for a tent, nice view of the lake and has a metal fire ring and picnic table. Site 6 can be reached by walking through site 5 or from the boat launch road. You could unload your gear at site 6 right from your car, but would can not park next to site 6, you will need to drive back up to the camping area. Site 6 has plenty of room for a tent and also has a picnic table and metal fire ring. The campground has one small vault toilet and is at the beginning of the road to the boat ramp. The boat ramp isn't really a ramp, but the shore of the lake with a gradual entrance in to the water. Campsite 2 I found as I was leaving the area, it is just past the vault toilet as you leave. Campsite 2 requires a walk down a few stairs. It is a tight campsite with just enough room for a small tent next to the picnic table. A metal fire ring is on the opposite side of the picnic table. What I guess would be campsite 1 is further down the road and down below the road, I would not suggest using this site as it is a bit of a walk from the parking area, the road is two narrow to park here. Site 1 does not have a picnic table but does have a fire ring, odds are you won't even notice the site coming in or out. During my stay the campground did not have a fee, but the information sign indicates a fee may be coming next year. This is a dry campground, your only source of water is the lake so come prepared, this is also a trash-in trash-out site.