A Montanan’s Guide to Kalispell
Are you planning a trip to Kalispell soon? While some people see it as just a stop along the way on their visit to Glacier National Park, there are actually a lot of great things to do in Kalispell, Montana.
Kalispell and its adjacent towns are almost completely surrounded by wilderness so it is an amazing place to be if you love the outdoors, or if you love to adventure.
While Kalispell could be quite easy to simply drive through on your way to the next destination, I highly suggest that you take the time to stop and visit. You just might find some amazing things to do in Kalispell, Montana.
Things to Do in Kalispell, Montana
Here is our list of the best things to do in Kalispell, Montana.
Because Kalispell is in such a great location, being surrounded by some of the nation’s most beautiful wilderness, I have included some things that are slightly outside of the city, too. All of the things to do on this list though are close enough that they are easy to get to from Kalispell.
This one is for the adventurers! If you love to hike, bike, or horseback ride on trails, you should definitely take a trip to Herron Park.
Herron Park is a 44-acre park located 10 minutes away from downtown Kalispell. The park is home to 15 miles of trails with some amazing views of the surrounding mountain ranges.
Flathead National Forest
Another place you must visit if you love the outdoors and you are in Kalispell is Flathead National Forest. It has lots of hiking trails and beautiful views, plus the crowds won’t be nearly as big as they are in Glacier National Park (more on Glacier below!).
Whitefish Mountain Resort
Located just 25 miles away from Kalispell is a world-famous ski resort. If you love to ski or snowboard, you would be remiss to not visit Whitefish Mountain Resort. This goes for wintertime, of course, but summertime is a fun time to visit, too.
Some of the summer activities at Whitefish Mountain Resort include ziplines, alpine slides, mountain biking, and a strider bike park just for kids who love their pedal-less strider bikes!
The Conrad Mansion Museum
Charles Conrad moved to the Montana Territory in 1868 at the age of 18. Here he built his empire on trading and freighting and left a lasting mark on the state of Montana, and even founded the city of Kalispell in 1891.
In 1895, he built the Norman-Style mansion as his home that would eventually become the Conrad Mansion Museum. The home is beautiful, elegant, and holds a significant amount of historic importance to the area.
The mansion is 13,000 square feet and sits on roughly three acres. The acreage is beautifully landscaped and still boasts some of its original features such as the drystone fencing. The one-hour tour is well worth it.
Hockaday Museum of Art
A visit to the Hockaday Museum of Art is a great way to spend your time while in Kalispell. The focus of this museum is to enrich the culture of the local area as well as to preserve the artistic legacy of artists from Montana and artists from around the world who use Montana as their inspiration.
The museum is also home to a gallery which offers hands on learning and activities for kids that change often so they can come time and time again without getting bored.
Just a 25 minute drive away from Kalispell, you will find Flathead Lake which offers recreation opportunities such as fishing, mountain biking, hunting, and more. Plus, if you happen to be visiting at the right time of year, you can check out some amazing live theater, whiskey tastings, or even dog sledding! I love the diversity of activities there. Flathead Lake is one of my favorite places in the world!
Lone Pine State Park
This is another fun park and outdoor adventure land! At Lone Pine State Park you will find trails for horseback riding, hiking, and biking as well as snowshoeing in the winter. You can find a gift shop for some fun Montana themed souvenirs, and you can even find an archery range! The views here are amazing, so be sure to pack a picnic and take your time to soak it all in.
Lone Pine State Park often offers guided hikes, workshops, kid-friendly activities, and more, so check the park’s website to see what’s going on while there.
Take a Drive on the Swan
Do you feel like doing a bit of exploring? If you said yes, then I suggest taking a drive on “the Swan.” The Swan is a 40-minute drive just south of Kalispell that the locals have named. This is a scenic corridor along Hwy 83. The drive is heavily forested, with many lakes, lots of recreation spots at which to stop, and views that can’t be missed.
You can grab lunch along the way or pack a picnic and stop at the Swan Lake Day Use area and enjoy your meal at a picnic table while you watch the lake activity from the beach.
Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park is a roughly 45-minute drive from Kalispell, but I promise you it is worth the time in the car!
Glacier National Park is home to some of the greatest views on earth (that is, if you like glacier carved peaks and valleys, mountainous ranges, and wildlife). With nearly 1,600 square miles of stunning wilderness you are sure to find stuff to do here.
The Going to the Sun Road is an awesome drive that everyone must visit at some point in their lifetime, and there are hundreds of miles of hiking trails to explore.
If you are an outdoors-person and you are in Kalispell, you must make the trip to Glacier National Park.
Enjoy All the Fun Things to Do in Kalispell
Kalispell, like many places in Montana, is simply full of awesome activities and recreation opportunities and you will find that there are so many fun things to do in Kalispell that you might just want to stay an extra day or two.