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.

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

Kintla Lake

Kintla Lake, Glacier National Park

Kintla Lake is a pristine alpine lake located in the northwest corner of Glacier National Park in Montana, near the Canadian border. Here are some reasons why you might want to consider visiting Kintla Lake:

  1. Scenic Beauty: Kintla Lake is surrounded by towering mountains and dense forests, making it one of the most picturesque spots in Glacier National Park. The crystal-clear waters of the lake reflect the surrounding landscape, creating stunning views that are sure to take your breath away.

  2. Hiking: Kintla Lake is a popular starting point for several hiking trails, including the Kintla Lake Trail and the Boulder Pass Trail. These trails offer spectacular views of the surrounding wilderness and are great for both casual and experienced hikers.

  3. Fishing: Kintla Lake is a popular spot for fishing, with abundant populations of trout and other fish species. Visitors can try their luck fishing from the shore or by renting a boat.

  4. Camping: Kintla Lake has several primitive campsites that offer a secluded and peaceful camping experience. Visitors can camp right on the shores of the lake and enjoy the tranquility of the wilderness.

  5. Wildlife Viewing: Kintla Lake is home to a variety of wildlife, including grizzly bears, black bears, moose, and deer. Visitors should be cautious and keep a safe distance from these animals, but they offer a unique and exciting wildlife viewing experience.

Overall, Kintla Lake is a remote and beautiful destination that is well worth the trip for anyone who loves nature and outdoor recreation. Its pristine beauty, abundant wildlife, and outdoor recreation opportunities make it a must-visit spot for anyone traveling to Glacier National Park.

Many Glacier

Black Bear at Many Glacier

Why should you visit Many Glacier in Glacier National Park?

Many Glacier is a beautiful and scenic area located in Glacier National Park in Montana. Here are some reasons why you might want to consider visiting Many Glacier:

  1. Scenic Views: Many Glacier is known for its stunning views of towering mountains, glaciers, and crystal-clear lakes. It’s a great place to take in the natural beauty of Glacier National Park and snap some photos.

  2. Hiking: Many Glacier is a hiker’s paradise, with a variety of trails that range from easy walks to challenging backcountry adventures. Some popular hikes include the Grinnell Glacier Trail, Iceberg Lake Trail, and Swiftcurrent Pass Trail.

  3. Wildlife Viewing: Many Glacier is home to a variety of wildlife, including grizzly bears, black bears, moose, elk, bighorn sheep, and mountain goats. Visitors can often spot these animals along the roads and trails in the area.

  4. Boating and Fishing: Many Glacier has several lakes that are popular for boating and fishing, including Swiftcurrent Lake and Lake Josephine. Visitors can rent kayaks, canoes, or rowboats and enjoy the serene beauty of the lakes.

  5. Lodging and Dining: Many Glacier has a historic lodge that offers cozy accommodations and delicious dining options, including a restaurant and a coffee shop.

Overall, Many Glacier is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Glacier National Park. Its stunning scenery, abundant wildlife, and outdoor recreation opportunities make it a memorable and rewarding experience.

Moose Calf at Many Glacier
Moose Cow at Many Glacier

Polbridge Mercantile

Polbridge Mercantile, Polbridge Montana

What is the Polbridge Mercantile, and is it worth the trip?

The Polebridge Mercantile is a historic general store located in Polebridge, Montana, near the northwest entrance of Glacier National Park. The store has been in operation since 1914 and is known for its homemade baked goods, including huckleberry bear claws, bread, and pastries. It also offers a selection of groceries, camping supplies, and souvenirs.

Many visitors consider a trip to Polebridge Mercantile to be worth the effort, as it offers a unique and authentic Montana experience. The store is located in a remote and beautiful area, surrounded by forests, mountains, and wildlife. It’s a popular destination for hikers, campers, and outdoor enthusiasts who want to stock up on supplies or enjoy a delicious pastry before hitting the trails. Visitors can also enjoy a picnic outside the store or visit the nearby Polebridge Ranger Station and Kintla Lake.

That being said, Polebridge Mercantile is located about an hour’s drive from the town of Whitefish, and the road leading to Polebridge can be rough, especially in winter. Visitors should also be prepared for limited cell phone service and no access to electricity. However, many people find the trip to Polebridge to be a rewarding and memorable experience, and it’s definitely worth considering if you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-path adventure in Montana.

Polbridge Montana

Dog Sledding in the Flathead Valley

Dog Sledding in the Flathead Valley, Montana

Dog sledding is a popular winter activity in the Flathead Valley of Montana. Here are a few places where you can go dog sledding in the area:

  1. Base Camp Bigfork: Base Camp Bigfork offers dog sledding tours in the Flathead National Forest, near the town of Bigfork. Their tours range from half-day to full-day adventures, and include opportunities to mush your own team of sled dogs through the snowy wilderness.

  2. Dog Sled Adventures Montana: Dog Sled Adventures Montana is located in Olney, just a short drive from Whitefish and Kalispell. They offer a variety of dog sledding tours, ranging from one-hour rides to overnight trips.

  3. Winter Woods Dog Sled Tours: Winter Woods Dog Sled Tours is based in West Glacier, and offers a variety of tours that take you through the beautiful forests and snow-covered landscapes of Glacier National Park. They offer both half-day and full-day tours, as well as customized trips for larger groups.

  4. Dog Song Adventures: Dog Song Adventures is located in the town of Essex, just outside the southern boundary of Glacier National Park. They offer dog sled tours through the pristine forests and snow-covered meadows of the park, with options ranging from one-hour rides to multi-day adventures.

Be sure to check with each of these companies for their specific tour options, pricing, and availability, as they may vary depending on the season and weather conditions.

Winter in Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park in Winter

Glacier National Park in Montana is a popular winter destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Here are some of the winter activities available in Glacier National Park:

  1. Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing: Glacier National Park offers miles of scenic trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Some popular trails include the Apgar Loop, Camas Road, and the Lake McDonald Lodge area.

  2. Downhill Skiing and Snowboarding: Visitors can hit the slopes at the nearby Whitefish Mountain Resort, which is located just outside the west entrance of Glacier National Park.

  3. Ice Climbing: Experienced climbers can tackle the frozen waterfalls and ice formations in the park. Guided trips and classes are available for beginners.

  4. Wildlife Viewing: Winter is a great time to spot wildlife in Glacier National Park, including bighorn sheep, mountain goats, and elk.

  5. Snowmobiling: Snowmobiling is allowed on certain roads in the park, including the Camas Road and the Inside North Fork Road.

  6. Sleigh Rides: Visitors can take a scenic sleigh ride through the park, enjoying the snowy scenery and possibly spotting wildlife along the way.

It’s important to note that some roads and facilities in Glacier National Park are closed during the winter months, so it’s important to check the park’s website for up-to-date information before planning your visit. Additionally, it’s important to be prepared for winter weather conditions and to follow safety guidelines for any outdoor activities you choose to do in the park.

Blacktail Mountain Resort

Blacktail Mountain Resort

Blacktail Mountain Ski Area is a popular resort located in Lakeside, Montana. Here are some of the things you can do on Blacktail Resort:

  1. Skiing and Snowboarding: Blacktail Mountain Ski Area is a great place to hit the slopes, with over 1,000 acres of terrain and a variety of runs for skiers and snowboarders of all levels.

  2. Snowshoeing and Cross-Country Skiing: If you prefer to explore the winter wonderland on foot, you can go snowshoeing or cross-country skiing on the resort’s trails.

  3. Hiking and Mountain Biking: During the summer months, Blacktail Mountain Ski Area transforms into a hiking and mountain biking destination. The resort offers a variety of trails with stunning views of Flathead Lake and the surrounding mountains.

  4. Disc Golf: Blacktail Mountain Ski Area also has a disc golf course with 18 holes, which is open during the summer months.

  5. Scenic Chairlift Rides: If you want to take in the stunning views without exerting too much energy, you can take a scenic chairlift ride to the top of the mountain.

  6. Photography: Blacktail Mountain Ski Area offers plenty of opportunities for photography enthusiasts, with breathtaking views of Flathead Lake and the surrounding mountains.

Overall, Blacktail Resort is a great place to visit for outdoor recreation and relaxation, whether you’re a winter sports enthusiast or a summer adventurer.

Blacktail Mountain Ski Resort