Flathead Lake is famous for its sparkling waters and legends of a lake monster, but it also offers a wide variety of recreational opportunities. The largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi River is 28 miles long and up to 15 miles wide, with miles of pristine shoreline. Overlooked by the majestic Swan and Mission mountains, Flathead Lake is an outdoor playground where you can sail, paddle, boat or simply relax on a beach.
The best way to enjoy the beauty of this stunning natural resource is on a tour. Many small towns and cities around the lake, such as Bigfork, Kalispell and Lakeside offer a wide variety of boat cruises. Choose from sightseeing, dinner, lunch or even wine tasting excursions. You can see spectacular homes and rustic cabins that charm the shoreline of the lake as well as the magnificent Mission Mountain range.
In addition to offering a wide array of tours, the Lakeside area is home to numerous restaurants, lodging options and shopping areas. The lake is also a great place for fishing, with trophy sized trout, salmon, yellow perch and whitefish available. However, you will need a tribal permit to fish on the southern part of the lake because it is located on the Flathead Indian Reservation.
Taking a cruise on a roomy vessel like the Far West is a fun and relaxing way to spend a day at Flathead Lake. The boat can accommodate 140 passengers and is ideal for weddings, corporate retreats and family reunions. The staff will arrange for a catering service to ensure that all your guests have delicious food and drinks on the day of your excursion.
With a moderate climate, the lake is popular for summer activities, such as boating, water skiing and wakeboarding. A number of beaches are also available, and swimmers enjoy the clear cold waters of the lake. Some of the best swimming spots include Bigfork’s Wayfarers State Park and Polson’s Boettcher Park. If you are looking for a little history, there is a section of the lake called the Painted Rocks that has petroglyphs that are only accessible by boat.
During the winter, Flathead Lake is a skier’s paradise. Two ski areas, Blacktail Mountain Ski Area and Whitefish Mountain Resort are nearby, providing access to miles of trails that traverse the snowy tundra. Snowshoeing is another way to explore the landscape and experience the natural beauty of the area at a more leisurely pace. The local mountain biking scene is also growing and there are countless trails in Glacier National Park and throughout the Flathead Valley. The area is also known for its world-class fly fishing, with dozens of lakes and streams to choose from. flathead lake cruises polson