Montana – Flathead Lake

Flathead Lake is something you hear whispers about from people who absolutely love it. It is the largest natural lake, created by an ancient glacier covering 197 square miles. Flathead Lake is actually bigger than (but not as deep as) Lake Tahoe.  

Dave and Erich enjoying the view

The drive from Seeley Lake to Kalispell was beautiful as we skirted along the lake, through the Swan Forest and finally in sight of Flathead Lake. On the way we did see our first bear – a black bear charging across the road.

Holidays can be tough when you RV full time. We tend to forget about the holidays and then all the camp sites are full.  This year we booked for a week at Flathead Lake over the 4th of July holiday. We had a few sites to check out for boondocking, but we wanted a sure thing for the busy week/weekend.

July 1st we pulled in to West Shore Campground to meet up with our friends from Bend – Paige and Erich. We had a pretty crappy camp site. We just barely squeezed in between two trees to get in the site and still be able to put the slides out. It took a small village of leveling blocks to get leveled up as the site was seriously pitched. 


The campground has a series of small hiking loops that take you down to the water and up the hill behind the campground. While we had reports of bears at a nearby camp during our stay, we didn’t have any first hand sightings. Still, I think about what I would do if I found myself between a mama bear and her cubs. A thought I am currently obsessed with.  My snake fears from Arizona are nothing compared to my fear and respect for bears!

We tried a few restaurants and recommend – Desoto Grill and Sommers Cafe. All the home cooking on the Iverson Ranch has spoiled us. Dinner at Spinnakers in Lakeside, was a perfect place to watch the USA Womens Soccer Game, but the food and beer just didn’t rank. 

Of course we squeezed in a couple of breweries in Lakeside – Kalispell Brewing and Tamarack Brewing. Tamarack had good food and a wonderful outside seating area. Kalispell had some tasty brews. 

Enjoying a cold one!

On the morning of July 4th we headed for Kalispell to see the parade. It was a busy place, but nothing compared to the Bend, Oregon parade. Highly commercialized, the Kalispell parade is mostly businesses advertising themselves. The big different from Bend – tons of candy! We saw a few dogs, a few horses and lots of advertising. Made me miss the Bend parade. 

All in all, we had a great week and we even spent a couple of days in Lakeside afterward enjoying some better lake views.  I am sure this will not be our last visit to Flathead Lake.

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