A Taste of Montana: Unearthing the Charm of Echo Lake Café

Echo Lake Café

Nestled in the breathtaking landscape of Montana, the Echo Lake Café has long been a cherished destination for locals and tourists alike. With a rich history, resounding praise from patrons, captivating surroundings, and a menu to die for, it’s no wonder that this cozy eatery has become a must-visit spot for food enthusiasts and adventure seekers. In this blog, we’ll explore the captivating story of Echo Lake Café, the rave reviews it has garnered, its enchanting surroundings, the sumptuous food, and why a trip to this culinary haven is well worth the drive.

A Journey Through Time: Echo Lake Café’s Rich History

Established in 1960 by Eleanor and Charles Baker, Echo Lake Café started as a small coffee shop that soon gained a reputation for its mouthwatering breakfasts and warm, inviting atmosphere. Over the years, the café has grown and adapted to the changing times, expanding its menu offerings while maintaining a steadfast commitment to using fresh, local ingredients. This dedication to quality has cemented Echo Lake Café’s status as a beloved institution in the heart of Bigfork, Montana.

Voices of Approval: Praise from Patrons

Echo Lake Café has consistently earned rave reviews for its delicious dishes and friendly, attentive staff. Customers especially love the homemade huckleberry pancakes, the delightful eggs benedict, and the savory bison burger. The café’s commitment to exceptional service and a welcoming environment has made it a favorite among locals, out-of-town visitors, and even the occasional celebrity.

Nature’s Bounty: Echo Lake Café’s Enchanting Surroundings

Located amidst Montana’s awe-inspiring landscape, Echo Lake Café offers a truly unique dining experience. The café boasts panoramic views of the nearby mountains, and is close to Echo Lake, which is famous for its crystal-clear waters and stunning vistas. Nearby attractions, such as Jewel Basin Hiking Area, Swan Lake, and Glacier National Park, provide ample opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and wildlife spotting. The nearby  charming village of Bigfork further adds to the café’s allure with its vibrant arts scene, quaint boutique shops, and bustling local festivals.

A Culinary Experience: Echo Lake Café’s Irresistible Menu

Echo Lake Café prides itself on offering a diverse menu that caters to a variety of tastes. From their famous huckleberry pancakes to their mouthwatering bison burger, each dish is prepared using the freshest ingredients sourced from local suppliers. The menu also features a selection of vegetarian and gluten-free options, ensuring that every patron can enjoy a satisfying meal.

The Drive: A Scenic Adventure Worth Taking

A trip to Echo Lake Café is more than just a meal; it’s an experience that combines culinary delights with Montana’s awe-inspiring natural beauty. The journey to the café is a scenic adventure in itself, taking you through miles of picturesque landscapes and quaint towns. Once you arrive, the warm hospitality and delectable flavors of Echo Lake Café will make the drive seem like a small price to pay for an unforgettable dining experience.

In conclusion, Echo Lake Café in Bigfork, Montana is a hidden gem that offers a delightful fusion of history, rave reviews, captivating surroundings, and mouthwatering food. Its irresistible charm makes it well worth the drive, and it’s a must-visit destination for anyone seeking an extraordinary dining experience in the heart of Montana’s majestic landscape.

Echo Lake Café coffee bar
Echo Lake Café beef enchilada

Hiking at Jewel Basin: Discover the Gem of Montana’s Wilderness

Jewel Basin Montana

Nestled in the heart of Montana’s picturesque landscape, Jewel Basin is a true gem for hiking enthusiasts. With over 15,000 acres of pristine wilderness and more than 35 miles of well-maintained trails, Jewel Basin offers unforgettable adventures for hikers of all skill levels. In this blog post, we will explore the unparalleled beauty and unique features of Jewel Basin and why it should be on every hiker’s bucket list.

  1. Breathtaking Views

Jewel Basin is renowned for its awe-inspiring vistas of the Swan and Flathead Valleys, as well as the surrounding peaks of the Swan and Mission Mountain ranges. As you trek along the trails, you’ll be treated to panoramic views that are sure to leave you breathless and inspired.

  1. Diverse Trails

Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a beginner, Jewel Basin has a trail for you. From the leisurely strolls around Birch and Crater Lakes to the more challenging climbs up Mount Aeneas and Picnic Lakes, there’s a path for every adventurer. The well-marked trails and easy-to-read maps make navigation a breeze.

  1. Unique Flora and Fauna

Jewel Basin is home to a diverse array of plant and animal life. Keep an eye out for the vibrant wildflowers that adorn the meadows and the fascinating wildlife that calls the area home, such as deer, elk, black bears, and various bird species. Remember to practice Leave No Trace principles and maintain a safe distance from wildlife.

  1. Camping and Picnicking

For those who want to extend their Jewel Basin adventure, several backcountry campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. These remote sites offer the perfect opportunity to reconnect with nature and experience the tranquility of the Montana wilderness. Don’t forget to bring your favorite picnic lunch to enjoy at one of the many picturesque spots along the trails.


Jewel Basin offers a one-of-a-kind hiking experience for nature lovers and adventurers alike. Its breathtaking views, diverse trails, and unique flora and fauna make it an unforgettable destination. So pack your hiking boots, grab your backpack, and get ready to explore the gem of Montana’s wilderness!

Experience the Beauty of Spring: Top Wildlife Spots in Flathead Valley and Glacier National Park

wild turkey's in the Flathead Valley, Montana

Springtime in Flathead Valley and Glacier National Park is a season of renewal and vibrancy, making it an ideal time for wildlife watching. As the snow melts and the landscape comes to life, countless animals emerge from their winter slumber, providing nature enthusiasts with exceptional viewing opportunities. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the top destinations to visit during spring in Flathead Valley and Glacier National Park to witness the wonders of the season.

  1. Two Medicine Lake: Two Medicine Lake, located in Glacier National Park, is a prime springtime destination for wildlife enthusiasts. Surrounded by towering mountains and lush forests, this picturesque lake attracts a variety of species, including moose, black bears, and mule deer. Visit during the early morning or evening hours for the best chance of spotting these magnificent creatures.

  2. Camas Road: Camas Road, a lesser-known drive in Glacier National Park, offers excellent spring wildlife viewing opportunities. The lower elevations along the route provide the perfect habitat for white-tailed deer, elk, and wild turkeys. Make sure to drive slowly and keep your eyes peeled for these amazing animals.

  3. Bird Woman Falls Overlook: Spring is the perfect time to visit Bird Woman Falls Overlook, as the waterfall is at its most powerful after the snowmelt. This scenic spot is home to a variety of bird species, including golden eagles, peregrine falcons, and mountain bluebirds. Bring a pair of binoculars and enjoy the spectacle of these birds in their natural habitat.

  4. Lake McDonald: As mentioned in the previous post, Lake McDonald is a popular destination for birdwatchers visiting Glacier National Park. During spring, this serene lake attracts even more waterfowl species, such as common loons, mergansers, and ospreys. Visit during the spring migration season for an unforgettable birdwatching experience.

  5. Herron Park: Located in Flathead Valley, Herron Park is a fantastic place to view wildlife during spring. This park features a network of trails that wind through lush meadows and forests, providing ample opportunities to spot animals like white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, and various bird species.

Tips for Responsible Wildlife Viewing in Spring:

  • Stay on designated trails to protect fragile vegetation and nesting sites.
  • Keep a safe distance from all wildlife, especially during the breeding and nesting season.
  • Avoid making loud noises or sudden movements that might disturb the animals.
  • Use binoculars or a telephoto lens to observe animals from a distance.

Spring Skiing Paradise: Experience Whitefish Mountain Resort Like Never Before!

Spring skiing and snowboarding at Whitefish Mountain Resort

Spring is finally here, and it’s the perfect time to hit the slopes at Whitefish Mountain Resort! If you’re a skiing or snowboarding enthusiast looking for an unforgettable experience, springtime at Whitefish is truly magical. In this post, we’ll take you through the many reasons why you should pack your bags and head to this fantastic resort during this season. 🌸❄️🏂

Main Points:

  1. Perfect weather conditions: With sunny days, mild temperatures, and fantastic snow coverage, Whitefish Mountain Resort offers an ideal setting for spring skiing and snowboarding. The warmer weather makes it more comfortable to spend hours on the slopes, and there’s still plenty of snow to keep you gliding smoothly. ☀️🏔️
  2. Less crowded slopes: Springtime at Whitefish means fewer crowds, giving you more space to explore the mountain and perfect your turns without long lift lines or congested runs. It’s the ultimate opportunity to enjoy a more relaxed, leisurely skiing experience. 🚡🎿
  3. Fun-filled events: Whitefish Mountain Resort hosts a variety of exciting spring events, such as the annual Pond Skim, where daring skiers and snowboarders attempt to glide across a man-made pond. Don’t miss out on the fun and festivities! 🥳🌊
  4. Budget-friendly deals: Spring skiing often comes with discounted lift tickets and lodging deals, so you can enjoy an incredible mountain getaway without breaking the bank. Make sure to check Whitefish Mountain Resort’s website for the latest offers. 💰🛏️
  5. Explore the surroundings: Spring is also an excellent time to explore Whitefish’s charming town and beautiful surroundings. After a day on the mountain, enjoy vibrant après-ski activities, indulge in delicious cuisine, or take a scenic drive around Glacier National Park. 🌲🚗

Conclusion: Don’t miss the chance to experience the unique charm of spring skiing and snowboarding at Whitefish Mountain Resort. With perfect weather, fewer crowds, and fun-filled events, it’s the ultimate destination for a memorable mountain getaway. See you on the slopes! 🌸⛷️🏂

Spring skiing at Whitefish Mountain Resort
Spring at Whitefish Mountain Resort

Springtime in the Flathead Valley

Spring in the Flathead Valley

The Flathead Valley of Montana is a beautiful region that offers a wide range of activities for visitors to enjoy throughout the year. Spring is a particularly lovely time to visit, with moderate temperatures, stunning landscapes, and plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities.

Here are some of the top things to do in the Flathead Valley during the spring:

  1. Hiking: Spring is a great time to hit the trails in the Flathead Valley. Many hiking trails that are closed during the winter months reopen in the spring, providing opportunities to explore the natural beauty of the region. Popular hikes include the Highline Trail in Glacier National Park, the Jewel Basin Hiking Area, and the Whitefish Trail.

  2. Fishing: The Flathead Valley is home to numerous streams, rivers, and lakes that offer excellent fishing opportunities. Spring is a great time to fish, as many fish species become more active and move into shallower waters. The Flathead River, Swan River, and Whitefish Lake are all popular spots for fishing.

  3. Biking: The Flathead Valley has a number of scenic bike paths and mountain biking trails that offer a great way to explore the area. The Whitefish Bike Retreat, located just outside of Whitefish, offers guided tours and bike rentals.

  4. Golfing: Spring is the start of golf season in the Flathead Valley, and the region has several excellent golf courses to choose from. Courses include the Whitefish Lake Golf Course, Eagle Bend Golf Club in Bigfork, and Meadow Lake Golf Course in Columbia Falls.

  5. Wildlife Viewing: Spring is a great time to see wildlife in the Flathead Valley. As the snow melts, animals become more active and visible. Visitors may have the opportunity to see grizzly bears, black bears, moose, elk, and other wildlife in their natural habitats.

  6. Arts and Culture: The Flathead Valley has a thriving arts and culture scene, with galleries, museums, and performing arts venues throughout the region. The Hockaday Museum of Art in Kalispell, the Alpine Theatre Project in Whitefish, and the Bigfork Summer Playhouse are just a few of the many cultural attractions in the area.

  7. Wine Tasting: The Flathead Valley is home to several wineries that offer wine tastings and tours. Tucked away in the hills outside of Kalispell, the Mission Mountain Winery offers stunning views and excellent wines.

  8. Spring Festivals and Events: The Flathead Valley hosts a number of festivals and events in the spring, including the Montana Dragon Boat Festival, and the Bigfork Whitewater Festival.

  9. Boating: Spring is a great time to get out on the water in the Flathead Valley. The region has several lakes and rivers that offer boating and water sports opportunities. Flathead Lake, the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi, is a popular spot for boating, fishing, and swimming.

Overall, the Flathead Valley of Montana offers plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities, cultural attractions, and events to enjoy during the spring season. Whether you’re looking to hike, fish, golf, or simply relax and enjoy the beauty of the region, the Flathead Valley has something for everyone.

The Market Beautiful

the Market Beautiful

Get ready for one of the best vintage markets in Montana! On July 7 and 8, 2023, The Market Beautiful is coming to Snowline Acres in Kalispell. For two full days, there will be two buildings and even the lawn at Snowline Acres filled with amazing vintage, antique and handmade items. Food will be available at the venue as well as kids activities at The Market Beautiful. 

We were able to move back to our original date of July 7 + 8 which we’re excited about because it won’t be quite so hot!!

The Market Beautiful Details

On Friday, July 7, 2023, from 5-8pm, early shopping will be available. What makes this night special is that you can check everything out before the crowds arrive on Saturday. Admission on Friday is $20 for adults and free for kids 12 and under. On Saturday, July 8, 2023, from 10am until 4pm, admission is $10 for adults and free for kids 12 and under. 

There will be over 150 great vendors to purchase food from including Forage Catering, Sweet Peaks Ice Cream, Mountain Berry Bowls, Maven Coffee Works, ButterKrem  Luxurious Desserts, The lemon Press, and the Spot Donuts. 

Spend the weekend with your family, friends, and fellow shoppers. Visit the horses, get your face painted, and wade in the stream. There will also be live music by Archer Town Music, Photo Trailer, Flower Bundles and even Barre Class….all under the big sky.  You simply will not get a more peaceful backdrop for great shopping and fun. 

Get your tickets to The Market Beautiful now – HERE – or purchase them at the door. 

The Market Beautiful - Montana Summer 2021

About The Market Beautiful

We started our markets in Somers, MT in 2010. We have always and will always be a vintage market, but we also bring in trendy handmade items as well as boutique clothing that you cannot find at a box store! Our priority is taking care of our vendors as best we can, making sure they succeed, while giving our shoppers the best shopping experience ever! We choose vendors that we are confident will do well with our demographic. We would hate for anyone to waste their time, money, and hard work by not succeeding at our event, so we do not accept vendors with merchandise that we feel would not be a big hit with our specific shoppers. Being a vendor at other vintage markets is a good thing to mention, however it does not always mean that you make a good fit for our market. We strive to be different from other vintage markets which sometimes means bringing in different vendors.

Market Beautiful Vendor Information

Are you interested in being a vendor at Market Beautiful? Vendors will set up Thursday and Friday. Categories are limited so that the event is not oversaturated with one type of merchandise, except for vintage. Market Beautiful is looking for unique items not those that can be found at box stores. Learn more and apply to be a vendor – HERE

“We can never have enough VINTAGE! Primitives, antiques, architectural salvage, mid-century, and retro décor is what we love! However not just ANYTHING vintage sells at our event. We are looking for the vintage that our shoppers buy, but also a good display is KEY! Trendy handmade merchandise is also a big hit at our shows and adds a variety! Boutique clothing is something that our shoppers also love! We like to add UNIQUE vendors that we know our demographic would buy from!”

406 Buzz Montana News

Are you in the Buzz?

406.Buzz is your best resource for the latest events happening around the Montana Flathead Valley area. From Kalispell and Whitefish to Eureka and Columbia Falls, we’ve got the hottest events, best outdoor activities, restaurant lists, and so much more.  From farmers’ markets and breweries to festivals, music events and family fun entertainment, we know all the buzz happening around town.

Whether you are a local or a visitor, we have all the insider information on the best places to check out every day of the week. Check out our  Events Calendar – HERE –  and get in the buzz!

Whitefish Downtown Farmers’ Market

Whitefish Downtown Farmers' Market

Enjoy the bounty of summer every Tuesday from 5:00 – 7:30 p.m., from May 30 through September 26, at the Whitefish Downtown Farmers Market where local farmers and craftsmen showcase their products at the North end of Central Avenue. Live music, prepared food, and the season’s freshest products are featured. Learn more about the Whitefish Downtown Farmers’ Market – HERE.

Whitefish Downtown Farmers' Market

Whitefish Downtown Farmers’ Market Music Schedule


NOTICE for Market Goers: The City of Whitefish has notified the market of the following ordinance prohibiting dogs (and other animals) from attending special events such as the market:

City of Whitefish Ordinance 117, 5-1-1916, of City Code Section 7-3-3-B.4: “No owner, keeper, attendant or harborer of any dog, cattle, horses, mules, swine, sheep, goats, fowl or like animal shall allow or permit any such animal in or upon any public park within the City during any organized athletic event, or special event authorized or permitted by the City (excepting here from service animals), with the exception of dogs at public dog parks.”

406.Buzz Montana Living Magazine

Are you in the Buzz?

406.Buzz is your best resource for the latest events happening around the Montana Flathead Valley area. From Kalispell and Whitefish to Eureka and Columbia Falls, we’ve got the hottest events, best outdoor activities, restaurant lists, and so much more.  From farmers’ markets and breweries to festivals, music events and family fun entertainment, we know all the buzz happening around town.

Whether you are a local or a visitor, we have all the insider information on the best places to check out every day of the week. Check out our  Events Calendar – HERE –  and get in the buzz!

Hidden Lake Trail

Hidden Lake Trail, Glacier National Park

Hidden Lake is a breathtaking alpine lake located in the heart of Glacier National Park in Montana. The lake is situated at an elevation of 6,350 feet and is surrounded by rugged peaks and pristine wilderness. Hidden Lake is a popular destination for hikers, photographers, and wildlife enthusiasts.

The Hidden Lake Trail is a 3-mile roundtrip hike that offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. The trail begins at the Logan Pass Visitor Center and descends through alpine meadows and rocky slopes to the shores of Hidden Lake. The trail can be challenging in places, but the rewards are well worth the effort.

Along the trail, hikers may encounter a variety of wildlife, including mountain goats, bighorn sheep, and marmots. The area is also home to grizzly bears and black bears, so it’s important to take proper precautions and carry bear spray.

The surroundings of Hidden Lake and the Hidden Lake Trail are truly awe-inspiring. The trail winds through alpine meadows filled with wildflowers, crosses babbling streams, and offers stunning views of the surrounding peaks and valleys. At the end of the trail, hikers are rewarded with the sight of Hidden Lake, a crystal-clear alpine lake that reflects the surrounding mountains.

There are several reasons why you should consider visiting Hidden Lake and hiking the Hidden Lake Trail. First and foremost, the scenery is absolutely stunning, offering a unique and unforgettable glimpse into the natural beauty of Glacier National Park. In addition, the opportunity to encounter wildlife up close is a highlight for many visitors.

Overall, if you’re looking for a challenging and rewarding hike in Glacier National Park, the Hidden Lake Trail is the perfect choice. The trail offers stunning scenery, abundant wildlife, and a chance to experience the natural beauty of this remarkable national park firsthand.

Mountain Goat at Hidden Lake, Glacier National Park.
Logan Pass

Lula’s Cafe

Lula's Cafe Huckleberry Cherry Pie

Lula’s Cafe is a charming and cozy restaurant located in Whitefish, Montana. The restaurant is known for its delicious homemade pies, hearty breakfasts, and friendly service. Lula’s Cafe is located in the heart of downtown Whitefish, making it a convenient stop for locals and tourists alike.

One of the main draws of Lula’s Cafe is its homemade pies, which are made fresh daily using only the finest ingredients. Some of the popular pie flavors include huckleberry, apple, cherry, and pecan. The pies at Lula’s Cafe are so popular that they often sell out quickly, so it’s best to arrive early if you want to try one.

In addition to the pies, Lula’s Cafe also offers a full breakfast and lunch menu. The breakfast menu includes classic dishes such as pancakes, French toast, and omelets, as well as more unique options like the huevos rancheros and the smoked salmon Benedict. The lunch menu features sandwiches, salads, and soups, as well as daily specials that showcase the chef’s creativity and use of local ingredients.

There are several reasons why you should consider eating at Lula’s Cafe. First and foremost, the food is delicious and made with care. The homemade pies are a standout, but the breakfast and lunch menus are also excellent. In addition, the restaurant’s cozy atmosphere and friendly service make it a welcoming spot to enjoy a meal with friends or family.

Overall, if you’re looking for a charming and delicious dining experience in Whitefish, Montana, Lula’s Cafe is the perfect choice. Whether you’re in the mood for a slice of homemade pie or a hearty breakfast, Lula’s Cafe is sure to delight your taste buds and leave you feeling satisfied.

Lula's Cafe Logo

Cafe Kandahar

cafe kandahar at Whitefish Mountain Resort

Cafe Kandahar is an acclaimed restaurant located in the mountain town of Whitefish, Montana. The restaurant is known for its unique blend of international and regional cuisine, as well as its use of locally sourced ingredients. The menu at Cafe Kandahar is carefully curated by Executive Chef Andy Blanton, who has received numerous accolades for his culinary expertise.

Chef Blanton has a deep respect for the local ingredients that he uses in his dishes, and he is known for his creative approach to cooking. The restaurant’s menu changes frequently to reflect the seasons and the availability of fresh ingredients. Some of the signature dishes at Cafe Kandahar include the bison tenderloin, elk carpaccio, and Montana Wagyu beef ribeye.

The restaurant itself is located in the Kandahar Lodge, a cozy and intimate setting that complements the restaurant’s focus on quality ingredients and attentive service. The lodge is nestled in the heart of the Whitefish Mountain Resort, surrounded by the majestic peaks of the Rocky Mountains.

There are several reasons why you should consider eating at Cafe Kandahar. First and foremost, the food is exceptional, and Chef Blanton’s commitment to using local ingredients ensures that the dishes are always fresh and flavorful. The menu offers a unique blend of international and regional cuisine, providing a dining experience that is both sophisticated and approachable.

In addition, the atmosphere at Cafe Kandahar is warm and welcoming, with an intimate setting that is perfect for a romantic dinner or a special occasion. The staff is knowledgeable and attentive, ensuring that your dining experience is enjoyable from start to finish.

Overall, Cafe Kandahar is a must-visit restaurant for anyone traveling to Whitefish, Montana. Whether you’re a foodie looking for a unique culinary experience or simply looking for a cozy and intimate setting to enjoy a delicious meal, Cafe Kandahar is the perfect choice.

cafe kandahar, Whitefish MT