Gateway to Glacier National Park

Kalispell Montana Summer Adventure Plan

Kalispell Montana Summer Adventure hiking Glacier National Park

It’s known as the Soul of Montana: Kalispell is one of the West’s ultimate mountain towns—only a 30-minute scenic drive to the west side of Glacier National Park. But Glacier’s not the only amazing outdoors here. Make the friendly mountain town of Kalispell your home base to these top adventures.

Glacier Glory

Gallery image 1 of 4
Gallery image 2 of 4
Gallery image 3 of 4
Gallery image 4 of 4

Montanans revere their wild and scenic places, and they don’t come more wild and scenic than Glacier National Park: the Crown of the Continent. The park is one million acres of terrain carved by glaciers, flowing with waterfalls, covered in turquoise lakes, and wild with wildlife—from grizzly bears to sure-footed mountain goats. Getting to the west side of Glacier National Park from Kalispell is an easy, scenic 30-minute drive. This side of the park is mostly open, including the trails around Lake McDonald and the Going to the Sun Road all the way up to Logan Pass and Rising Sun. For epic views of Many Glacier Valley, head out on Piegan Pass Trail, just east of Logan Pass. Or tackle the 12-mile Huckleberry Lookout hike for serious bragging rights.

Kalispell & Glacier Trip Ideas

Flathead Lake & State Parks

kayak Kalispell Montana

The largest natural freshwater lake in the West, Flathead Lake is a glacially sculpted oasis. Located at the base of the Swan and Mission mountain ranges, this blue beauty has 185 miles of shoreline featuring six state parks, all with beaches, camping, swimming, and hiking trails. Take a boat to Wild Horse Island, a 160-acre state park where you’ll find … wild horses! Make a big loop around the lake, exploring towns, cafes, breweries, a distillery, and a winery. Summer brings roadside fruit stands well worth a stop (the cherries are delicious!). Out on the water you can do everything from sunset kayaking to exploring Somers Bay or enjoying small group boat tours.

TIP: For an entirely unique vantage of the Flathead Valley and Glacier National Park, head to Lone Pine State Park, just outside of downtown Kalispell.

Kalispell & Glacier Trip Ideas

Gallery image 1 of 3
Gallery image 2 of 3
Gallery image 3 of 3

Hidden Jewel

The Glacier region is called the Crown of the Continent. And a hidden hiking jewel in the crown? Well, that’s Jewel Basin Wilderness, 15,349 acres of pure nature with 35 miles of trails solely for hiking (no bikes, no horses, no motorized traffic). You know it’s good when locals say it’s the best place to go for a day hike. You’ll feel like you have a lot of wilderness to yourself! The upper trail system is above treeline, so you get dramatic, wide-open views. You may even see some mountain goats … they like trekking in high places, too.

Kalispell & Glacier Trip Ideas

Gallery image 1 of 2
Gallery image 2 of 2

Mountain Town Time Out

Take a deep breath … you’re on mountain time now. Relax and stroll Kalispell’s blend of timeless small-town architecture and modern comforts. Locally owned shops and dining spots including sidewalk cafes and craft breweries make a downtown that’s refreshingly down to earth! Don’t miss Kalispell’s famous staple adventure store, Western Outdoors.

TIP: Pick up a self-guided walking tour map and explore Kalispell.

Gallery image 1 of 3
Gallery image 2 of 3
Gallery image 3 of 3

Know Before You Go

Find out and follow the local health guidelines at your destination.

Plan ahead and be patient as amenities and activities may be limited or could change.

Have a mask, wear a mask and maintain social distance as a courtesy to others and to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Enjoy your trip: a little planning, a little patience, and you’re gonna have a lot of fun!

Here’s more information on traveling responsibly in Montana.

Trending Stories Northern CA

View all Stories
  1. Image that represents the story

    Tam Slam!

    This 8-mile (round-trip) hike is a pure classic, with redwoods, water-flows, and soaring views of the coastline. Oh yeah, and that ladder!

    View
  2. Image that represents the story

    Secret Beach

    A hidden beach and a killer view? Those are hard to come by, but that’s exactly what you’ll get at Perles Beach on Angel Island. This pocket cove is worth the 1.5-mile trek to get there.

    View
  3. Image that represents the story

    Magical McClures

    McClures Beach is a seductive little spot: small, beautiful, and quiet. It’s easy to while away an afternoon-turned-sunset at this pocket cove in Point Reyes.

    View
  4. Image that represents the story
    Sponsored

    Road Trip Ahead: Oregon Outback

    Remote open spaces, camping under true Dark Skies, hiking and biking trails galore, wildlife refuges, and hot springs! Plan your road trip to the Oregon Outback this summer.

    View

Trending Stories SoCal

View all Stories
  1. Image that represents the story
    Sponsored

    Road Trip Ahead: Oregon Outback

    Remote open spaces, camping under true Dark Skies, hiking and biking trails galore, wildlife refuges, and hot springs! Plan your road trip to the Oregon Outback this summer.

    View
  2. Image that represents the story

    Easiest Best Hike in the World

    Choose the easiest and most view-rewarding hike in Yosemite. Okay, we’ll go first: the combination of hiking to Sentinel Dome and Taft Point. Both of these lookouts are within a couple miles of each other on Glacier Point Road

    View
  3. Image that represents the story
    Sponsored

    All Roads Lead to Rogue

    Idea for your next road trip: Go Rogue! The Rogue Valley in beautiful Southern Oregon has some of the state’s best hiking, swim holes, and wineries, and the charming historic towns of Ashland, Medford, and Jacksonville.

    View
  4. Image that represents the story

    Bouquet of Waterfalls

    Like a good love letter, some of the best hiking trails are short and sweet. Cue the hike to Bouquet Falls in Santa Clarita Valley’s Bouquet Canyon.

    View