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Kalispell Basics


Photo by Donnie Sexton

Nestled in the center of Flathead Valley is Kalispell, Montana, the gateway to Glacier Park and a city that defines Big Sky Country. The city is just a one-hour drive from the Canadian border, half an hour away from the natural beauty of Glacier National Park, and 15 minutes away from Flathead Lake. It is surrounded by the 2.3 million acres that make up Flathead National Forest and offers 360-degree views of Glacier Park and the Whitefish, Swan and Mission ranges of the Rocky Mountains.

Kalispell has just the right mix of outdoors and culture with plenty of shops, museums and dining choices that offer a warm and welcoming break from exploring the area’s natural gems. Discover rare paintings and learn about the valley’s artistic and cultural history at the Hockaday Museum of Art. Catch a concert under the stars during the summertime or grab a cup of hot java while enjoying live music at The Boiler Room. The entire Flathead Valley area abounds with arts, attracting and supporting more than 2,000 artists and crafts people whose work can be seen in studios galleries and festivals throughout Kalispell and nearby cities such as Whitefish.

Even with all that going for it, Kalispell’s best feature is the ability to take advantage of the city’s vast backyard. Within the city and in the many parks, lakes and rivers surrounding it, visitors can embark on any number of outdoor adventures from fishing, boating and bicycling to hiking, hunting and skiing. Slope-lovers can choose from Whitefish Mountain resort or Blacktail Mountain Ski Area, two large downhill ski area within a 30-minute drive of Kalispell. Hikers can choose from trails in Glacier National Park, Lone State Pine Park or Flathead Lake. The possibilities and opportunities are endless, and there are plenty of outfitters and tour companies in the neighborhood to help set you on the right path.

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