10 Things to Do in Kalispell ‘The Soul of Montana’s Flathead Valley’

Kalispell City in Flathead County is an underrated town Montana travel destination surrounded by the best that nature has to offer. The rivers, lakes, trails, mountains and parks that dot Kalispell offer plenty of recreational activities for outdoor enthusiasts.

This charming and relatively unknown town has museums, galleries, shops, food and wine outlets that cater to the excesses of modernity. Kalispell’s diverse attractions have earned it the nickname the soul of Montana’s Flathead Valley. Here are 10 things to do in Kalispell.

10/10 Horseback riding

Montana’s backcountry is a lush paradise with mountains and nature trails that visitors can leisurely explore on horseback for a day. Service providers here offer guided horseback riding tours for visitors to Kalispell.

Artemis Acres Guest Ranch at the foot of the Salish mountain range and W Guest Ranch Bar at the base of Spencer Mountain, offer half-day or full-day horseback riding tours around Kalispell. They also have accommodation and meal facilities for visitors for longer stays or vacations.

RELATED: 9 Best Scenic Beaches in the US for Horseback Riding

9/10 Try water sports

During the summer, Flathead Lake is the favorite spot for water sports and activities when visiting Kalispell. In this lake, visitors can swim, ski, sail, canoe, paddle board, motorboat, kayak or fish.

There are also various Flathead Forks where visitors can raft through gentle and choppy whitewater.

At Kalispell, visitors can purchase fly fishing gear at Genuine water fly shop. Mike Howe also offers guided fishing trips to other lakes near Kalispell.

8/10 Cycling on wild trails

Biking is one of the best ways to see the magnificent beauty of Montana and in Kalispell there are six trails that offer different challenges to bikers. These are:

  • Foy’s at Blacktail Trails:
    Has a 3000 foot vertical descent and 15 miles of stacked loop trails.

  • Whitefish Trail:
    Features 26 miles of stacked loop trails, scenic views, single track butterfly trail and closed forest roads. This trail is an ideal challenge for off-road cyclists.

  • Beardance Trail:
    Has challenging rock obstacles, climbs, steep switchbacks and a mesh descent with great views of Flathead Lake.

  • East Side Highway (US Highway 35), Flathead Lake:
    Offers panoramic views of eastern Flathead Lake and the forested foothills of the Mission Mountains.

  • From rails to trails:
    More than 10 miles

    paved and offers relatively flat routes suitable for family bike rides.

  • Road to the sun:
    This is paved and offers great panoramic views of Montana scenery and a challenging 3500 foot elevation from Lake McDonald to Logan Pass.

7/10 go snowmobiling

The Kalispell snowmobile season runs from early December to mid-April depending on snow availability and there are great places to do it in Flathead Valley. Snowmobiling can be combined with wildlife viewing, snow games, rock climbing, guided tours and camping.

There are over 200 miles in and at Kalispell and there are service providers who take visitors by snowmobile and provide the appropriate equipment. here are the Swan Mountain Outfitter, Adventures in Northwest Montanaand Montana Action Rentals.

RELATED: What to do in Montana, depending on the month of your visit

6/10 Try your luck at golf

The areas around Kalispell have superb golf courses which have made Flathead Valley one of the top 50 golf destinations by Golf Digest. Some golf courses that visitors can play in Kalispell include:

5/10 Shop at local stores

City of Kalispell has shops and boutiques stocking locally made Montana products and big box store merchandise. The shopping spree can stretch from downtown to Main Street, where local stores offer jewelry, cowboy boots, artwork, body care products, and western-inspired gear.

Since Montana has no sales tax, visitors pay the list price and save money.

4/10 Dine and drink wine

Kalispell has various wines and restaurants to match the tastes and budgets of all visitors. Bakeries, breweries, grocery stores, farm-to-table restaurants serve up ordinary and uniquely Montana dishes here.

At Hops Downtown Grill and Mercantile Steak, visitors can enjoy elk, yak, bison burgers, as well as rib eye and zabuton Wagyu (Denver steak).

There are also craft breweries offering over 40 flavors of ales and lagers made with Montana-grown malts, hops, blueberries and flathead cherries. Distilleries and wineries also serve locally made gin, whiskeys, rums and wines.

RELATED: Summer Eats In Montana: How To Score All The Best Bites In The State

3/10 Visit museums and galleries

Museum and gallery tours help visitors and art lovers understand the culture and history of Kalispell before modernization. These are:

  • Conrad Mansion Museum:
    This 13,000 square foot mansion archives the 19th century life of Kalispell founder Charles E. Conrad.

  • Northwest Montana History Museum:
    This archives the history of Flathead Valley’s beginnings and early industries, through exhibits featured here, as well as the history of American Indians and early European settlers.

  • Hockaday Art Museum:
    Flathead Valley and Glacier National Park Cultural History Archive, in a 1901 building.

  • Montana Modern Fine Arts:
    This gallery features works by contemporary artists related to Flathead Valley exhibited here.

  • Artist cooperatives:
    Displays works by modern artists and artisans like artwork, clothing, jewelry, furniture, photos, soaps, jams and other locally made products to ensure that visitors leave with a piece of Montana.

2/10 Explore the nightlife

Flathead Valley has a vibrant nightlife and has joints where customers are entertained with music, games, open mics and yoga while drinking various wines, whiskeys or craft beers.

These places also offer great dishes to ward off hunger while having fun:

  • Moose’s living room

  • Brannigan Pub

  • Crush the craft drink scene

  • MontaVino Winery & Tasting Room

  • Scotty’s Bar

  • Kalispell Eagle Show

  • Blue Moon (Columbia Falls)

1/10 Visit to the Flathead Indian Reservation

The best time to visit the Flathead Indian Reservation It’s summertime, especially the months of July and August, when Native Americans hold events celebrating their culture like powwows. Native American tours are a great way to learn about the history of people and places.

This 1.3 million acre reserve also has scenery that includes Flathead Lake, Jocko Valley, and the National Bison Range that are worth seeing. Some points of interest to visit when visiting this reserve are:

  • Powwow: Visitors meet the Kootenai tribe and dance, play and dine on their traditional food.

  • Garden of a Thousand Buddhas

  • Bird Watching at Ninepipes

  • Wildlife viewing at the National Bison Range

  • Runoff Kerr Dam

  • America’s Miracle Museum

  • Three Chiefs Cultural Center

  • Native American Speaks Program, Glacier National Park

  • Three Chiefs Cultural Center

There is so much many things to do in Montanaand stopping at Kalispell is just the start!

Comments are closed.