Plan your next vacation to Flathead Lake, Montana, where the placid waters reflect the majesty of the Mission Mountains on its eastern shore. There are a lot of vacation rentals on Flathead Lake for you to choose from, and you can treat your family to the many adventures on and near the lake. The most popular activities here include boating, swimming, fishing, and other water sports. Horseback riding, hiking and winter sports are well-represented in nearby venues as well. Here are our ten favorite activities that we recommend doing on Flathead Lake.
1. Pony Up for a Trail Ride
Imagine the places you can go and see only on horseback, and think of the new people you meet only on a trail ride. Treat your family to an hour or an overnight camping ride at High County Trail Rides where there are 800 acres. Professionals lead the trail rides and provide the instructions you need for the best possible experience.
2. Hike Wild Horse Island
Take a boat to the primitive 2,000-acre State Park, which is the largest island in Flathead Lake. Look for the sheep, mule deer, bald eagles, falcons and wild horses that inhabit the island. According to history, the Salish-Kootenai Indians pastured their horses on the island to protect them from thieves.
3. Speed Away on a Jet Ski
Feel the adrenaline rush as you break through the waters on a jet ski, with the sun on your face and the wind in your hair. Experience the mist flying all about as you make your turns. These toys are built for speed, sometimes up to 45 miles per hour, so be safe and be thrilled.
4. Fish Like a Boss
Make your little boys’ and girls’ lake vacation really memorable when you teach them how to fish. Experience their exuberant responses to that first fish nibble on their lines, especially when they can see the floaters bob beneath the surface of the water. Enjoy the excitement and help them reel in those fish.
5. Go Jump in the Lake
Cool off after a day of hiking or other strenuous activity with a refreshing dip in the lake. Enjoy splashing around with the kids or just floating around on an air mattress while they play. Flathead Lake provides docks and beach areas where swimming is allowed, so jump in there and enjoy the water.
6. Paddle Around the Lake
Make it a family affair when you take the kids out on a paddle board for some relaxation and fun. Non-swimmers must wear life jackets, but that is the only gear needed for this sport besides the board and the paddle. Get what you need at the marina.
7. See the Sights from a Canoe
Enjoy a leisurely sightseeing trip in a simple canoe with your loved ones. Make sure everyone has life jackets and knows how to balance themselves in the canoe. You can get everything you need at the marina, including the canoe, life jackets, and safety instructions.
8. Drive the 50-Mile Going-to-the-Sun Road
Brave this 50-mile drive through Glacier National Park to enjoy the magnificent views of the park. It takes two hours when driven non-stop, so plan a longer trip for enjoying viewing points, restaurants, visitor centers and picnic areas. This is a wild country where visitors regularly see bighorn sheep and mountain goats at Logan’s Pass, the highest elevation on the road at over 6,000 feet.
9. Slip into Your Ice Skates
When you take the family to Flathead for a winter vacation, make sure to include ice skating along with other icy adventures. Experience the fun at the Blacktail Mountain Ski Area, including skating, skiing, as well as snowshoe and cross-country ski trails, all just 30 minutes from the lake.
10. Try Walking in Snowshoes
If you love winter sports, put everybody in snowshoes and have some fun. Give the little kids a chance to get in on the fun by pairing the experience with some games the kids already love to play, such as Freeze Tag, Red Light Green Light, sledding or building a snow fort. With older kids, pair it with something more challenging like geocaching.