Of all the lakes in Montana,
Flathead Lake is by far the largest. You might be surprised to know that it's
also the largest U.S. freshwater lake west of the Mississippi River. Lake
Tahoe isn't far behind in size, and while The Great
Salt Lake is actually larger than Flathead Lake, it certainly doesn't consist
of freshwater. Both the Flathead River and the Swan River flow into Flathead
Lake, which helps to keep the lake exceptionally clean, and you'll find plenty
of inspiration in the surrounding mountain scenery. Flathead Lake Montana is
just a great place to be, and it doesn't hurt that there are plenty of great
attractions close by when
you feel like enjoying a few side trips. Flathead Lake vacations
can be busy or they can be slow and relaxing. It's up to you just how active
you want to get during your visit. You might just be content walking along parts
of the lake's impressive 160-mile long shoreline.
Flathead Lake Montana reaches a depth of up to 300 feet in spots, which means that anyone who is looking to do a little fishing on it might want to bring extra fishing line. Should you plan on fishing at Flathead Lake, Cutthroat and Bull trout are among the most commonly caught species, as are large lake trout, whitefish, and perch. Fishing at Flathead Lake can be done with a competent guide, or you can head out on your own. Just be sure to consider the permit laws, especially if you plan on fishing on the southern end of the lake, which borders the Flathead Indian Reservation. While fishing at Flathead Lake is arguably better outside of the winter months, ice fishing is possible if that piques your interest. You don't have to fish to enjoy your Flathead Lake Montana experience, and recreational boating is among the other top pursuits, as are canoeing and kayaking. Perhaps you'll drop anchor near one of the twelve islands that dot the lake and enjoy a swim or do a bit of onland exploring.
The largest island in Flathead Lake is Wild Horse Island, which just so happens to be a state park. Found near Big Arm Bay, this island is a terrific place to view some Montana wildlife. A few wild horses are known to roam on Wild Horse Island, hence its name, and other animals that you can hope to see include bald eagles, mule deer, bighorn sheep, and waterfowl. This impressive Flathead Lake Montana state park is for day use purposes only, and it can only be accessed by boat. If you don't have your own boat, it is possible to rent one during Flathead Lake vacations. There are a few marinas at Flathead Lake, and in addition to renting out water crafts, they are also great places to get some gas, rent fishing equipment, and get your fishing license, among other things. The towns of Bigfork and Poison are also good places to find rental equipment, not to mention lodging. There are some Bigfork hotels that will have you near the water. You might also fancy a stay at the upscale Marina Cay Resort and Conference Center, which offers some of the more luxurious vacation rentals at Flathead Lake.
When you're not enjoying time out on the water during Flathead Lake vacations, you can hit up one of the nine area golf courses. The Flathead Valley has received considerable praise for its golfing possibilities. If golfing isn't your thing, you might consider booking a day trip to nearby Glacier National Park. The southern boundaries for this cherished Montana park start just north of Flathead Lake, so you can get here in practically no time at all. Wine enthusiasts might also consider heading to the Flathead Lake Winery at some point during their visit. This winery specializes in locally-made wines, many of which are made from fruit that is harvested in Montana. You can sample some cherry wine, some apple wine, and some peach wine, among others, and the Pinot Noir is not to be missed. Should you be more of a beer connoisseur, ducking into the Flathead Lake Brewing Company's tasting room might better suit your fancy.
While the towns of Poison and Bigfork are delightful places to visit on Flathead Lake vacations, so too are the towns of Kalispell and Whitefish, which are found further north of the lake. Come winter, those looking to do some skiing or snowboarding will also want to consider side trips to the Big Mountain Ski Resort, which has been compared to Steamboat Springs in Colorado. Though that's saying quite a lot, you should find that the Big Mountain Ski Resort offers an authentic skiing experience that is hard to top. The whole Flathead Lake Montana experience is hard to top, for that matter, which is why so many visitors look to make it the main focus of their Montana vacations.