Flathead Lake
Flathead Lake
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Top ways to experience Flathead Lake and nearby attractions

Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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5.0
371 reviews
Excellent
325
Very good
39
Average
4
Poor
3
Terrible
0

CColumbus
Jacksonville, FL570 contributions
May 2021 • Couples
Driving from Butte to Yellowstone the route that takes you along Flathead lake is definitely worth the time. There are plenty of beautiful vistas and areas to stop and take pictures of the lake and surrounding mountains which are quite stunning. It’s an easy leisurely drive.
Written May 6, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Earle W
Lead, SD470 contributions
Aug 2020
This was a revisit as the first time was a drive only on the east coming down from Glacier. We were staying in the area and planned a whole day to explore this beautiful lake.With scenic stops and explore the small towns it will take you around four to five hours to drive around- it was cherry season so there are lots of orchards on the east side with roadside stands a must stop. Bowmans is the best and oldest 100 years orchard and cheap prices. go enjoy this beautiful lake
Written September 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

cruzfool2005ft
Freeport, TX230 contributions
Jun 2021 • Couples
We had a wonderful afternoon sailboat experience with gosailmontana.com just sailing and motoring around the lake area from Polson. It was a super fun way to see some of the beautiful scenery and homes from the lake perspective and our captain was so nice and knowledgable about sailing.
Written June 20, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Amy Y
281 contributions
Jun 2021
We stopped at Wayfarers / Flathead Lake State Park on our way to Yellowstone and it was beautiful. It was so easy to find and is literally right on the way. Very clean with picnic tables and a restroom. Easy access to the lake front and there is a boat dock you can walk out onto. The water is crystal clear, so if you need a quick break, this is a nice stop!
Written July 27, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

SgtMom2
Fayetteville, NC146 contributions
Aug 2020
This was one of the prettiest places I have ever visited. The water is cold and amazingly clear. The views all around are gorgeous. There is a paved highway all around the lake with many places to stop and sightsee. We had a great afternoon flying a kite at a lakeside park.
Written December 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Tim R
Helena, MT142 contributions
Oct 2020 • Couples
Absolutely one of the most beautiful lakes in America. We took a 6 hr cruise on a pontoon boat that provided breathtaking views of the mountains, forests, cabins/homes and waterfront. The water itself is clear and pristine.
We visited a local farmers market in Polson and enjoyed the products, vendors and customers.
This is an area we will definitely go back to.
Written October 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Culture2663
Missoula, Mt.1 contribution
We recently moved to Montana from Calif., due to a job transfer. We visited Polson for the first time, and all we can say is it beautiful. We have never seen a lake so big, clean and just unbelievable. We were able to rent a boat for the day, and took the family all around the lake. We stopped at Wild Horse Island, and actually saw wild horses. We we unable to locate lodging at a local hotel, due to a sell-out on a normal summer weekend,however we were referred to a local well know guesthouse, we were so thankful to the local lodging for taking the time to locate a room for our family. The Flathead is a place everyone needs to visit, even for a day. Aside from the Lake, there is alot of history in Polson. There are museums, golfing, fishing,rafting and Salish and Kooetnai Indian tribe has a people's center for visitors, which explains ther tribal history for the Flathead Reservation. A must see for all.
Written July 19, 2004
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jenn S
Richland, WA386 contributions
Jul 2016 • Family
We drove around the lake from both sides. The east side is beautiful with near constant views of the lake and MANY cherry stands to stop and purchase at. The west side is removed from the lake, takes much longer and you rarely see the lake. Just in case you need to travel from top to bottom and can't decide which.
Written July 20, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Nancy L
Burnsville, MN10 contributions
Jul 2014 • Friends
Having been raised in Kalispell, Montana, I have a constant urge to go back to what I call my REAL home. If you haven't been to Montana or have just been to Eastern Montana; think seriously about heading to Northwest Montana. That's the land of Glacier Park, Flathead Lake and the endless grasslands out of Polson, that have bison herds running wild.

If you've never had the experience of watching these massive creatures come up over a prairie rise and pass directly in front of you, now's the time! There are numerous opportunities to see these beast while you travel the highway from Kalispell, along the lakeshore of Flathead lake to Polson. Should you want to get up closer to the herds, ask anyone in the grocery store in Lakeside, a small community along the shore of Flathead, if they could suggest a back route. I recently just took a dirt road up to a park area near Ronan, ( out of Polson) was sitting in my car to enjoy the view and a herd of over 150 bison came up to and over the road where I was sitting in my car. WOW!

There are several marinas that provide boats for rent. One of them is in Lakeside and another can be found in Polson.

If you're looking for a small rental for two or something that can handle a reunion, start looking early. That means a YEAR before you went to go. Certainly you can find the odd rental that just came on the market or there's always some sort of rental that has been,
"rode hard and put away wet". Frankly, I'm too old to deal with either of those. I want to know early on where my housing base will be located. I find it easier to plan my day trips
before I get there. Certainly use Trip Advisor or VRBO to find an endless supply of choices to rent.

Flathead, specifically Bigfork, is a fabulous place to use as your base for exploring the entire area. Bigfork is a small art community at the head of the lake. Marvelous place to find a great meal or a gathering place on Friday night to throw back a couple cold beers!
From Bigfork, it's about an hour into Glacier Park. Another destination, that is easy to find and beautiful; is to head out to Swan lake. That's about forty five minutes out of Bigfork. There you'll see and can explore the Mission mountains. Take you're fly rod and look for public access spots to fish the Swan river. Ask at the hardware store in Bigfork what the current "hatch" is for Rainbow or Brown trout. They have a terrific supply of fishing gear. Marvelous way to spend the day.

Kalispell is about a thirty minute drive from Bigfork. There you'll find the usual places to eat and extraordinary meals! There are several large grocery stores that we hit when we arrive. Both stores are the "one stop" shopping experience.

You'll be inthralled with the streets lined with mature oaks, horse chestnut and maple trees. The first tier of housing in Kalispell is where you can find some original Sears and Roebuck packages houses. You'll also be able to tour the Conrad Mansion. This was the home of a man that was into lumber in the 1800's. That house is a must to see. It takes up a full city block and has been completely restored.

I would encourage you to drive to Woodland park. It's a city park. Take some old bread with you so you can feed the unending flocks of various ducks, geese and swans. There is a lovely rose garden and a pond that I used skate on as a child. Think about a packing a picnic! There are many places in the park to sit and enjoy the surroundings.

Kalispell is a marvelous town to bumble about for a day.

Bing cherries! You'll find bing cherries available at road side stands starting outside of Bigfork. The cherries start appearing the end of July into August. The cherries are massive, sweet and addictive! If you want to buy a lug (box) of them, just ask. We do that and keep them in the fridge. Trust me, they will disappear quickly.

There's a snap shot of an area that needs to hit the top of you're bucket list.
Written June 1, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

blackdogs2MT
Polson, MT118 contributions
Sep 2016 • Family
Born in Polson, raised in Polson, moved away from Polson and returned to raise my kids in Polson. They are grown now and we still love our home town of Polson on the South tip of Flathead Lake. Couldn't have been a luckier kid than to have grown up on the shores of the is majestic lake! After reading through every single review on this site of Flathead Lake, I found that of the four or five low starred reviews, they were for being unable to find lake beach and hiking access points. So... Here is some info. Please look up the names and locations prior to coming so that you have an idea of where you can enjoy our beautiful lake.

INFO:

Salish Point, Riverside Park, Sacagawea Park and Boettcher Park all in Polson, each on the lake, each with there own vibe and look.

Finley Point, Big Arm, West Shore, Wayfarers, Yellow Bay, Blue Bay....each one on either the East & West Shore of the lake. Also on the East shore there are several mini pull overs that have primitive trails down to the lake.

There is also a nice hiking trail that starts just after mile marker 23 (East Shore), on the left hand side of the road. It is 3 miles south of Woods Bay, on Hwy 35.

At the mile marker there is a pull-off on the right (lake side) for vehicles to park while one does this hike. The total length of the trail to the summit is 6.7 miles ... one way.
Watch for the trail head of Bear Dance Trail. You don't have to go very far up it to get magnificent views of our gorgeous Flathead Lake.
Written September 17, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Flathead Lake (Polson) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

Frequently Asked Questions about Flathead Lake

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