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Flathead Lake, Montana

 6 days, 5 nights


HIGH SEASON - most populated, warmest times of year

  • July, August, September (Summer)

    • Hi 72°F - 83°F (22°C-28°C)

    • Low 39°F - 48°F (4°C-9°C)

SHOULDER SEASON - less people, cooler weather

  • May, June, October - cool in day, cold at night (Spring/Fall)

    • Hi 56°F - 73°F (13°C-23°C)

    • Low 30°F - 45°F (-1°C-7°C)

    • possible snow fall may block "going to the sun" road

LOW SEASON - less popular time of year, very cold weather

  • Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb, March, April (Winter/Spring)

    • Hi 32°F - 45°F (0°C-7°C)

    • Low 17°F - 25°F (-8°C- -4°C)

    • Many roads are closed due to inclement weather and snow

When did we go?

SEPTEMBER - The weather was warm on some days and cool on others. Mornings were very cold (38°F). This is over labor day weekend, but surprisingly not overly packed with people. Popular hiking trails in the park were busy. Tip - drive to Glacier National Park very early to avoid waiting in a long line and to guarantee a parking spot.

Budget $$$

The most expensive part of traveling to Glacier National Park, is renting a vehicle. Flights can be relatively cheap, depending on where you fly in. The park entrance fee of $35 per vehicle is good for 7 days, so you will only pay this once. Staying at a hotel or an Airbnb near Flathead Lake can be as expensive or inexpensive as you want it to be. I prefer Airbnb for this trip, as there are plenty actually on Flathead Lake, and you can stock up on groceries to cook and prep lunches for visiting Glacier National Park.

Refer to this post for the top 10 things to do around Flathead Lake, Montana >>>

When hiking in the following states, it is imperative to bring bear spray with you. Let's hope you don't have to use it, but keep it on you at all times in the event of a grizzly bear encounter:




Fly into Montana


  • You have two airport options to fly in to, depending on where you are staying - Kalispell or Missoula

    • Kalispell is harder to get to but ideal if staying near Glacier National Park or north Flathead Lake​

    • Missoula is easier to get to and ideal if you are staying closer to southern Flathead Lake

  • We flew into Kalispell, even though we stayed near the southern park of Flathead Lake (Finley Point)

    • Duration of flight - 7h, 55m (1 layover)

    • Via American Airlines

  • Pick up rental car​ and drive to Finley Point, near Polson Montana, which is a 1 hour drive from Kalispell or a 1h, 15m drive from Missoula

  • Check into Airbnb on Flathead Lake

    • We stayed HERE, which is great for a large group



Glacier National Park + Hiking


  • Drive from Finely Point to Glacier National Park

    • Duration - 2h, 15m

    • GO EARLY to avoid long lines to get in

    • Fee - $35 per vehicle (good for 7 days)

  • Hike - Avalanche Lake (moderate)​​

    • 4.5 mile out and back trail​

    • Park at trail of cedars parking lot

    • Lunch - pack it with you and picnic when you reach avalanche lake

    • Click here for what to pack in your backpack

    • Tip - bring sun protection and bear spray

  • When exiting the park for the day, stop by Apgar Village (near west entrance) to view the beautiful rocks that kiss the ground at Lake McDonald

    • Also grab some Montana huckleberry ice cream!​

  • On way back, stop in White Fish, MT

  • Dinner - Desoto Grille BBQ (delicious!)



Flathead Lake + Wild Horse Island


  • Because we stayed on Flathead Lake, we rented a boat from the marina to boat around the lake. But it is not necessary. There are water shuttles from the Marina to Wild Horse Island State Park

  • Water Shuttle to Wild Horse Island State Park

    • Cost - $40 per person, roundtrip

    • Duration - 15 minutes

    • You can also canoe, kayak, or stand-up paddle board to Wild Horse Island

  • Hike - Wild Horse Island Loop Trail

    • 3.5 miles, easy trail​

    • Tip - Bring sun protection, as the entire trail is exposed to sunlight

  • Lunch - pack lunch with you and eat on island

  • Explore island, then shuttle back to Marina

  • Dinner - Flathead Lake Brewing Company

    • Be sure to order a refreshing beer flight!​



Glacier National Park + Hiking


  • Drive from Finely Point to Glacier National Park

    • Duration - 2h, 15m

  • Drive iconic "Going to the sun road" up to Logan's pass

    • Duration - 1h from West Glacier entrance

    • Gorgeous views, so get your camera ready

  • Park at Logan's pass to hike

  • Hike - Hidden Lake Trail

    • 5 mile out and back trail (moderate)​

    • It took us about 2 hours

    • Tip - bring sun protection and bear spray

  • Continue driving up going to the sun road to Saint Mary Lake

    • Hidden Spot - stop along side of road near the coordinates (48.692498, -113.536423)​

    • Trail here leads down to a quiet beach looking at wild goose island

    • Tip - bring sun protection and bear spray

  • Dinner - family cooking night, homemade pizza!



Fly Fishing in Big Fork


  • Early morning wake up

  • Fly fishing trip down swan river via Big Fork Anglers

    • Duration - 4 hours​

    • Price - $400 per boat (1-2 anglers)

    • Includes all gear, lesson, and 4 hours on river

  • Lunch - pack your own, or pay an extra $25 for lunch

  • Hike - Swan River Trail

    • 2.5 mile out and back trail (easy)​

  • Dinner & drinks in downtown Big Fork at Grille 459



Whitefish + Fly Home

(only if flying out of Kalispell)


  • Early morning wake up

  • Check out of Airbnb

  • Drive to Whitefish, MT

  • Explore city and grab lunch at Wich Haus

    • Wich Haus is a staple in Whitefish. We were unable to go due to it being closed on Mon/Tues, but I highly recommend based on personal friends' experiences and online reviews

  • Return rental car at Kalispell airport

  • Fly back to Orlando, FL via American Airlines

    • Duration 7h, 35m (1h layover)​

Be sure to check out these links below for detailed information on excursions, adventure, food, and more!

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