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Flathead Lake Montana Flathead Lake dragon boat festival flathead lake
Flathead Lake

Flathead Lake Montana

The largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi, Flathead Lake dominates the entire beautiful valley, carved from the backbone of the continent by receding glaciers 10,000 years ago.  At 28 miles long, 15 miles wide and almost 400 feet deep, it is renowned for sailing and fishing.  Two scenic highways wind along the lake; Hwy 93 on the west side and Hwy 35 on the east offer majestic views of the lake, mountains and rolling hill scenery that make Montana famous. The upper end of the lake lies about 30 miles from Glacier National Park and Whitefish Mountain ski resort to the north.


Fed by the Flathead and Swan Rivers, Flathead Lake covers nearly 200 square miles with 160 miles of shoreline, offering fabulous fishing for 50 pound lake trout (mackinaw), native bull and cutthroat trout, perch and whitefish.  From whitewater races and the dragon boat festival in Bigfork, to fishing charters, sail boat adventures, dinner cruises, cherry picking, performing and visual arts, exquisite dining, fun bars and every manner of water sports, experiencing the lake is different every day. 


The six state parks located around the lake provide public access, with camping facilities available at five.  Visit stateparks.mt.gov for more information on West Shore, Big Arm, Wild Horse Island, Finley Point, Yellow Bay and Wayfarers State Parks.  RV parks and motels are located nearby in Kalispell and on the lake in Somers, Lakeside, Polson and Bigfork.

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