Tent Sites
Fires Unknown
Pets Unknown
Water Unknown
About Big Nelson Complex

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.

Operator
National Forest
Access
Features
Alcohol Allowed
Picnic Table
Toilets
Location
Big Nelson Complex is located in Montana
Latitude
47.073 N
Longitude
-112.917 W
Get Directions
Directions
From the junction of Montana highways 83 and 20 (also known as "Clearwater Junction") travel east on Montana nighway 200 for 19.5 miles. Turn north on North Fork Blackfoot Road #5550 and follow the signs 12 miles on a gravel road to the campground.
1 Review of Big Nelson Complex
First to Review
Big Nelson not big no no no it is small very small.

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.