Map of Kalispell and Bigfork, Montana
Northwest Montana's Flathead Valley is surrounded by the pristine natural beauty of Glacier National Park, Wild and Scenic Rivers and the Flathead National Forest. Outdoor recreational opportunities abound year round. Spring and early summer bring the emergence of spectacular wildflowers. Hiking, mountain biking, fishing, horseback riding and white water adventures await. With eight championship golf courses open from April to October, the valley is fast becoming recognized nationally as a golfing destination. When summer's warmer temperatures arrive, water recreation takes center stage. Swimming, water skiing, boating, sailing, and kayaking will cool you. Fishing enthusiasts can pursue rainbow, cutthroat, bull, lake or brook trout, arctic grayling, bass, perch or pike in the numerous lakes, rivers and streams.
Fall brings crisp mornings and the bugling of bull elk. As the fall colors change, archery and rifle hunting seasons open for white tail and mule deer, elk, moose, black bear, bighorn sheep and mountain goat. As the snow flies attention turns to our two ski areas. Big Mountain Resort in nearby Whitefish and Blacktail Mountain Ski Area—Montana's newest ski area. Enjoy downhill and Nordic skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, skating, dog sledding, and sleigh rides in our winter wonderland.
The communities of the Flathead Valley serve as the western gateway to Glacier National Park and our three wilderness areas—the Bob Marshall, Great Bear, and Mission Mountain wilderness. With the newly expanded Glacier International Airport you can reach the valley by air, road, or rail. Kalispell is the largest city and major retail center. Continuing and higher education is offered through Flathead Valley Community College. The historic Central School Museum and Conrad Mansion showcase the area's rich history. Shopping, dining, festivals, concerts and special events offer something for all interests.
Located just south of Kalispell, Flathead Lake is the largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi River. 28 miles long and up to 15 miles wide with numerous islands, this crown jewel is worthy of a road trip to visit the shoreline communities. Bigfork is snuggled in the northeast corner where the wild and scenic Swan River dumps into Bigfork Bay. A quaint charming village by the bay showcases the fine restaurants, numerous world-class art galleries and shops. After an evening of delightful dining, take in the theater at the Bigfork Summer Playhouse. Polson stretches across the southern shoreline as the lake's water prepares for the plunge over Kerr Dam and through the whitewater rapids below. While water recreation demands your attention, don't forget to check out the Miracle of America Museum and Polson Flathead Historical Museum, The People's Center, the St. Ignatius Mission or the National Bison Range. Nestled along the northwest shore are the neighboring communities of Lakeside and Somers. Boating, sailing, hiking and fishing occupy summer while Blacktail Mountain Ski Area provides downhill and snowboarding excitement in the winter. The adjacent Flathead National Forest facilitates snowmobiling to nearby Lake Mary Ronan for ice fishing and lunch.
When you visit Kalispell and Flathead Lake remember to bring your camera. Although there are many sites to see, the people you meet make this area special. The warm friendly smiles and the Montana hospitality will help you relax in our Big Sky Country.