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Your guide to Whitefish
All About Whitefish
A picturesque mountain town in the northwest corner of Montana, Whitefish is home to a classic Western-style main street, and it makes an excellent base for exploring the natural wonders of Glacier National Park and Whitefish Lake.
This town can be found at the base of Big Mountain, which offers some of the best skiing in this region of the United States, and in summer you’ll find a range of hiking trails along its slopes. In addition, the West Entrance to Glacier National Park is just a 30-minute drive away. The park features stunning mountain ranges that were carved thousands of years ago by prehistoric ice rivers. Within the 1,600-square-mile park, you’ll be able to explore alpine meadows, waterfalls, and forests, as well as 25 glaciers and 200 lakes, as weather permits. After a day of outdoor adventuring, head back to town to enjoy a wide array of dining options or enjoy a rewarding beer at one of the town’s craft breweries.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Whitefish
Given its northern location, Whitefish experiences long winters, a late spring, and a glorious summer. The summer months of June through August, not surprisingly, are the most popular time to book Whitefish vacation rentals, when daytime temperatures are quite hot, the humidity remains low, and nights get chilly but not too cold. A huge music and arts festival takes place here each July, bringing in visitors and performers from all around. Fall in Whitefish, which generally begins mid-September, is a wonderful time to visit, as temperatures are pleasant and the changing leaves are stunning, making this the ideal time to explore Glacier National Park before the snows arrive. Much of the park closes down in winter, but ski season brings the nearby resort to life. Skiing remains a popular activity well into spring, and if you’re lucky, you’ll spot animals coming out of hibernation on hikes through the region.
Top things to do in Whitefish
Northwest Montana History Museum
Located in the charming town of Kalispell, a 25-minute drive from Whitefish, the Northwest Montana History Museum is a remarkable place to learn about the area’s history. The museum is housed in the late 19th-century Central School building, which was one of the first stone-and-brick buildings in the Flathead Valley. The exhibits illuminate local Northwest Montana history, and the museum offers tours and programs on local history.
This spectacular 50-mile paved road, completed in 1932, divides Glacier National Park in half from east to west, and its full expanse is only open to the public from July through mid-October (you’ll want to check the park website for updates on road closures). As you drive up Logan Pass, which is 6,500 feet above sea level, you’ll cross the Continental Divide. You can also pull over at scenic lookout points along the road to admire the different types of terrain in the park, from alpine tundra at the top of the pass to cedar forests and glacial lakes in the lower valleys.
Viking Creek Nature Trail
This interpretive nature trail is located in the Averill’s Viking Creek Wetland Preserve, which consists of 30 acres of protected wetlands. Well-placed signs and a trail guide will guide you along the trail and help you learn about the native plants and animals that live there. This gentle trail is suitable for all levels of hikers.