Hi y’all I bet your interested in taking a trip to Flathead Lake this summer. If you are you have come to the right place. This blog post will try to provide you with the perfect guide to Flathead Lake and the amazing activities surrounding it.
Let’s start off with some general information about the area. The absolutely pristine Flathead Lake is the largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi Rive that is contained within the continental United States. This lake boasts over 200 square miles of water and over 185 square miles of shoreline. This lake has such gorgeous water it can rival that of Santorini and the Dalmatian Coast in Europe. The water is azure blue and you can see over 200 feet down clear as day. The water can be mesmerizing and dizzying all at the same time. The southern half of Flathead Lake is within the boundary of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Native American Tribe nations. Adventurers, hikers, and campers will need to purchase a tribal recreation permit to have all the fun their hearts desire. Now if you are like me the last place you want to spend your summer vacation is camping. Trust me I feel the same way. But there are accomodations and activities for every taste. From the rugged to the luxury enthused.
The State of Montana Fish Wildlife and Park agency maintains thirteen public access site around the lake. Sites like Sportsmans Bridge, Somers, Big Fork, Juniper Beach fishing, wayfarers, Woods bay, Yellow Bay, Finely Point, and many more. West Shore State Park, located twenty miles south of Kalispell on Highway 93. Has many activities to enjoy the lake to its fullest. Also located along the west shore near the Big Arm is Wildhorse Island, a 2,165-acre state park. The park is accessible only by boat and is a public day use and picnic area only, no overnight camping.
Recreation on and around the lake includes: sailing, power boating, waterskiing, swimming, fishing, picnicking, and camping. In the summer, roadside stands along the east shore offer a variety of locally grown cherries, apples, plums, and other fruits.
Now that you know probably more than you ever wanted to know about Flathead Lake and the Surrounding Areas. Let’s get in to that oh most glorious of vacation necessities. Accommodations!!!! Yes that’s right the main base, vacation headquarters, your home away from home. Whatever you want to call it. There are many different options to choose from when staying in the Flathead Lake area. You can camp, rent a luxury home or Cabin. You can even stay at a hotel. I am going to share with you my favorite places for all three kinds of accomodations.
While I did not camp during my visit to Flathead Lake I did discover some truly awesome places to do so.
Apgar Campground Apgar Campground puts you right in the thick of Glacier National Park, with amenities that will make you feel right at home! Restrooms, water, and close access to the visitors center and restaurants are the no brainers. There are sites for groups, RVs, and tent lovers. The real fun is evening ranger programs at the amphitheatre, sunsets strolls to Lake McDonald and trailheads.
West Shore Campground Pack your easel and watercolors, because a camera can’t capture all the wild, rocky beauty that is West Shore. If your number one camping requirement is enviable views, West Shore is the Flathead Lake option for you, where you can pitch your tent above the shoreline, smack dab in the middle of a majestic pine forest.
Big Arm Unit Campground May I suggest Big Arm, Montana’s premiere lakeside hotspot, where you can scuba dive or windsurf the biggest lake of the wild west by day, and camp in a 20-foot yurt by night. Prefer the comfort of your own tent? Settle down under the ponderosa pines and make Big Arm your new home away from home.
Luxury Homes and Cabins
Coyote Bluff Estate: This estate is one of the most highly regarded homes in the Flathead Valley. Nestled atop 32-acres and just 40 minutes from Glacier National Park, Coyote Bluff features year round breathtaking views of Flathead Lake, Mission Mountains and the Flathead Valley. Guests can enjoy all of the finest amenities the Estate has to offer, from the incredible eighty-ton fireplace, spectacular views, a full home theater, gourmet breakfast and private luxury suites.
Luxury Cabin, Flathead Lake Valley :Mountain, forest, and lake, this luxury cabin rental in the Flathead Valley of Montana has all of the ingredients for an unforgettable group getaway in Montana. With five bedrooms and a loft, this luxury cabin and separate studio space comfortably sleep up to 10 guests. The prized master bedroom features a king-size bed, a sitting area, a private balcony, and an ensuite bathroom with an oversize tub and a walk-in shower made of stone.
There are many more luxury cabins and homes to choose from in the Flathead lake area. I personally use Glamping hub when searching for a cabin. (Click Here) for a link to a list of cabins and homes for rent in the Flathead Lake Area on GlampingHub.com
KwaTaqNuk Resort and Casino: Kwataqnuk is located on the shores of the pristine Flathead Lake, under the majestic Mission Mountains, and surrounded by the beautiful wilderness of Montana, guests of KwaTaqNuk Resort and Casino have it all. Endless entertainment is at your fingertips throughout any season whether you’re here for the casino or water sports or skiing, guests enjoy the best location and friendly Montana hospitality from the moment they arrive.
Best Western Plus Flathead Lake, Montana: Whether you come to relax, work, or adventure in the stunning Flathead Valley, this hotel is perfect for you. They have a convenient central location between Bigfork, Kalispell, and Lakeside. The location gives guests the opportunity to spend a day at Flathead Lake via a short drive, and also provides a reasonable drive to several hiking and tourist areas such as Glacier National Park and the Jewel Basin. As for the hotel itself, the Flathead Lake Inn is newly renovated to provide a lovely Montana lodge ambiance. They provide a complimentary full hot breakfast with all regular breakfast items you could desire, along with our own special touch, such as Huckleberry Cheese Blintz, Fajita Scrambled Eggs, Biscuits and Gravy, etc., rotated daily.
Hilton Garden Inn, Kalispell: Enjoy a warm welcome at this Kalispell hotel. Anyone who truly knows me knows that my first choice no matter my destination is a Hilton brand hotel. I know that I can trust that my stay will be pleasant and that the room will be clean and relaxing. If a hotel is backed by Hilton, I know that I can trust that I will get the quality that comes with a hilton hotel. This Hilton Garden Inn is nestled in the picturesque Flathead Valley of Montana, in the town of Kalispell, The hotel is conveniently located between the Crown of the Continent, Glacier National Park (30 miles northeast), and Flathead Lake (10 miles south). Kalispell City Airport is adjacent to our hotel, while Glacier Park International Airport (FCA) is just 10 miles north.
Now that I have covered where I reccommend on staying I am sure your famished from all that heavy reading. On to the best part of any Trip THE FOOD!!!!
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The Montana Club Restaurant: The Montana Club in Kalispell, Montana serves scratch-made entrées. From pancakes to steaks, The Montana Club has something for everyone. This restaurant offers a place where value and home-style cooking meet comfort and Montana style. The owners take pride in providing the ultimate dining experience for their customers. The Montana Club is Kalispell’s premier hometown restaurant.
The Raven The Raven offers Flathead Lake waterfront dining in a fun Caribbean style atmosphere. Indoor and outdoor seating is available on two waterfront decks as well as an indoor dining room. Boat or paddle to us and enjoy the warm Montana sunshine or the vast Montana sunset. Cool off by diving off into the clear waters of the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi. Open year-round, The Raven is also the perfect place to watch a winter storm roll over the lake from their heated deck.
When In Rome : When in Rome was voted The Best Pizza Ever. They came in SECOND PLACE in the western division@ The International Pizza Competition. The cozy atmosphere at when in rome makes you feel like you truly are in a trattoria in the heart of Rome. The smell from the restaurant interior is so intoxicating. Then you see the food on the plates and you know that you are in the right place. Then when you take your first bite you are in heaven and don’t leave cloud nine until you are done with your blackberry gelato. This family owned restaurant is located on Highway 35, When In Rome is a purveyor of fine Mediterranean dining from the Larkey Family. Their food is sure to wet your appetite. Due to their small batch kitchen and the size of the restaurant, don’t forget to call ahead for parties larger than 6.
Lake City Bakery and Eatery This Restaurant is like stepping back in time. Imagine what a restaurant looked like on the Andy Griffith show. It the way you imagine a hometown in America.That is the feeling you get here at Lake City bakery. It is warm and inviting like a home a way from home and the people make you feel at ease right away. The food is classic american breakfast and lunch fare. The bakery however has some of the best doughnuts that I have ever eaten in my life. I’m sure that you will love this place as much as I do.
This is a jewel of the American Midwest. The lake itself is reason enough to go. That gorgeous water is like having a slice of the Carribean while still visiting the wild west at the same time. I could float on the lake forever and stare at the depths below. But I could not possibly spend forever out on the water. There is so much more fun to do and charming people to meet all around the lake. This place is mysterious on first glance the area seems rugged and run down but upon further inspection the place glitter and shines like the glittering water that resides there.