Save Holland Lake and Save the Swan

Holland Lake Facts

Holland Lake is a small lake only 442 ACRES, less than one half mile wide and a mile and three quarters long. You can can walk from one end of the the lake to the other in an hour. In the winter you can cross country ski across it in 30 minutes. It has a day use site, and two campground loops operated by concessionaire under contract with the USFS. It has a boat ramp that is silted in and hardly functional. It is a favored place for locals and others familiar with the Swan Valley to come and visit. It is the only lake with a gravel beach suitable for families with young children and most of the locals learned how to swim at Holland Lake. There is a large water fall east of the Lake in the proposed Bud Moore Wilderness of the Swan Face. During the summer the trail to the waterfall and the waterfall site is over crowded. Use has increased dramatically over the last five years, both in amount of recreation users and timing of use extending earlier in to the spring and later into the fall. During summer months the Lake and campgrounds are crowded. Leading many folks to wonder how the lake, wildlife and surrounding lands could absorb as much as 46,000 visitor use days from this development without suffering significant damage.

The Lake is a gateway to the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex, with horse packing facilities at the Owl Creel Packer Camp. The Holland Gordon trail over Gordon pass one of the main access trails into the Bob Marshall and the South Fork of the Flathead. It is heavily used by horse packers, back packers and hunters. The Swan Face East Side foothill trail runs roughly eight miles from Cooney lookout south along the Swan Mountains to its terminus at Holland Lake. The Foothills Trail provides access to the to the severely eroded unplanned trail up straight up the Swan Face to Rumble Basin and Holland Peak. The basin is in the heart of the proposed Bud Moore Wilderness addition to the Bob Marshall and supports mountain goats, grizzly bears, and likely wolverines and is an incredibly fragile sub alpine environment with thin soils. Any more recreational use in that area will severely degrade it.

Holland lake provides riparian habitat and a genetically distinct population of endangered Bull Trout. It also is in key endangered Grizzly Bear Habitat and both black and Grizzly Bears are common in the area. It also is in endangered Lynx habitat. Other wildlife includes deer, elk, moose, mountain lion, wolves, and there is rare wolverine habitat along the Swan Face. Water fowl including Canadian Geese are common, along with ospreys, Bald and Golden Eagles. Nesting Swans have returned to the Swan Valley, and will likely use the lake in the spring if disturbance is kept to a minimum. There are rare nesting loons on the lake. Loons are particularly to sensitive to human disturbance from both shore and the water during nesting season.