Read about our 3-generation summer trip to Whitefish that all ages loved! Here are the top things to do in Whitefish in summer for an unforgettable trip.

Best Summer Activities in Whitefish, MT: Hiking, Biking, Swimming, and More!

See this amazing view in Whitefish, Montana!

In the past whenever I thought about Whitefish, Montana, I would immediately think about Whitefish Mountain Resort and snow skiing. I definitely didn’t think of summer.

Snowless ski runs seen from Whitefish Lake in Summer
Snowless ski runs seen from Whitefish Lake in Summer

Whitefish just seemed like a place that you went to in the colder months for that quaint mountain holiday and alpine ambiance.

I was wrong. Whitefish is just as alluring in the summer. 

Whitefish Montana in summer is just amazing. Come see all the fun things to see and do along Main Street and beyond.
Whitefish Main Street

I found this out recently thanks to having to plan a summer getaway for our family, which involved a lot of little kids and seven adults. I wanted to find a vacation rental near Flathead Lake that could accommodate all of us. It turned out that the best option was a place in Whitefish.

When I say a place in Whitefish, I don’t mean a vacation rental by Whitefish Lake, which might seem like the better alternative in July, which is when we were traveling. Instead, this place was right in the heart of Whitefish Mountain Resort. The back porch of our rental townhome even overlooked a chairlift!

I didn’t know if this would just make me just want to go skiing the whole time we were there, but it turns out Whitefish Mountain Resort has amazing things to do in the summer. I ended up being so glad we stayed there because it gave us such easy access to all of these activities.

Hiking is one of the best things to do in Whitefish, Montana in the summer.
My mom hiking along a Whitefish Mountain trail

To get to Whitefish Mountain Resort you have to drive up the side of the mountain via a curving road. 

See the Village in Whitefish Montana.
Whitefish Resort Village

It was well worth the extra time it took to go up and down the mountain road to get to our rental — which we did on our Whitefish summer getaway to hang out in downtown Whitefish, by Whitefish Lake, and visit Glacier National Park

—> Read More: Tips for Visiting Glacier National Park with Kids

When we weren’t having those excursions down in the valley, it was so peaceful up on the mountain. 

Plus, as I previously mentioned, it was awesome to be within walking distance of all of Whitefish Mountain Resort’s summer activities. 

So what exactly is there to do in the summer at Whitefish Mountain Resort? So many things!

Summer Activities at Whitefish Mountain Resort

The main thing on our to-do list in the summer at Whitefish Mountain Resort was to take the gondola up the mountainside.

It was really nice that the gondola ride was open in addition to chair lifts because we were there with little kids (babies and toddlers!)  and there was no way I was taking my young children on the chairlift so into the gondola line we went. 

You'll want to ride the gondola when you visit Whitefish, MT and enjoy the panoramic views of Whitefish Lake and Flathead Valley.
View of Whitefish Lake from the gondola

Oh yes, there were three different lines for the ride up the mountain: gondola line, chairlift line, and mountain biker line. 

That’s right, mountain bikes and their riders get their own lift line at Whitefish Mountain Resort, but more on that later on in this article. 

Our girls enjoyed their gondola ride on our recent visit to Whitefish.
Exciting gondola ride for the kids!

The ride up the mountain in the gondola was a lot of fun. The look on my daughters’ faces as we started to go up made me laugh in delight. They were so excited and astounded by the gondola ride!  

I, on the other hand, was astounded by the views. I’m used to going up gondolas and looking out at snow-covered mountains when I’m in Montana, but in July I saw Whitefish aglow in gorgeous sunshine beaming down on bright green pine trees in a verdant valley while Whitefish Lake brilliantly glistened among the summer scenery. 

See the gorgeous skies and hills to climb when you visit Whitefish, Montana.
Top of the mountain

But make no mistake, there was still snow to be found on this mountain, even at the beginning of July. 

Playing in the summer snow is just one of the fun things we did on our visit to Whitefish.
Playing in summer snow

The gondola dropped us off at the highest point of Whitefish Mountain Resort, right by a cozy chalet…and a large pile of snow. 

The kids (and the kids at heart) had a blast playing in the snow. They could have played there all afternoon, but we had a hike back down the mountain to do. So after a short time atop the snow, we ushered them into the chalet for lunch. 

The chalet at the top of Whitefish Mountain Resort on a sunny day.
Summit House

This mountaintop chalet called Summit House is a great place to have lunch during a summer trip to Whitefish. Our family was split between those who brought their own lunches and those of us who purchased one at the food counter. My husband and I were the latter (my daughters ate PB&J we packed). My husband and I both really enjoyed the gourmet sandwiches that we got from the counter service restaurant. 

There is also a good selection of local beers on tap so we got a pint to enjoy before the hike back down the mountain. In the summer there was plenty of space in the chalet. We were able to get a table right by the window overlooking the gorgeous view of the mountains. 

There was also a gift shop in the chalet so we browsed in that for a few minutes before using the bathrooms and getting our group all back together to start our hike. 

We enjoyed a wonderful family trek on this hiking trail in Whitefish Montana.
Danny On Hike

Our plan was to do the Danny On hike. This hike consists of a series of narrow switchbacks that go down the mountain right through the thick of the woods.

Danny On Trailhead at the top of Whitefish Mountain
Danny On Trailhead

After a while of listening to the older kids who weren’t being carried in backpacks whining about the trail vegetation and bugs being right at their face level, we opted out of the trail and continued down the worker road on the mountain. 

Enjoy the hiking trails in Whitefish, Montana.
Different trail, still epic views

The kids stopped complaining after we switched the route, though I will say this way down the mountain back to Whitefish Mountain Village isn’t quite as fun for adults. The service road had some areas where you have to diligently watch out for rolling rocks and really keep your footing underneath you. 

Beautiful view of Whitefish Lake and valley while hiking on Whitefish Mountain.
Beautiful view of Whitefish Lake and valley

But on the other hand, we had unobstructed and gorgeous views practically the whole way down.

On the hike, we made sure to keep an eye out for when we were in the path of the mountain bike trails since some of those come around blind corners really fast. If you get hit by a mountain bike it’s going to definitely do some damage so watch out for those. Definitely don’t stop to have a water break in the path of a mountain bike trail. 

And since we’re on the subject of mountain biking, here’s some more info about it!

Mountain Biking in Whitefish

Mountain biking at Whitefish Mountain Resort in summer.
Mountain biker on Whitefish Mountain

And speaking of mountain biking, let’s talk about that for a while because if you’re into that sort of thing Whitefish Mountain is an excellent place to do it.

What’s really cool about mountain biking at Whitefish is the ease of getting up the mountain. 

The main chairlift up the mountain to the chalet is outfitted with mountain bike lifts in the summertime. There’s even a mountain biker line so you can basically cut the line to get up the mountain. Your mountain bikes go onto the mountain bike lift and then you get on the next chairlift behind them. Your bike will be taken off and waiting for you at the top. Then you’re ready to make your way back down the trails. 

When we were there we saw lots and lots of mountain bikers racing in the hills and it was really exciting to see – but oh my goodness they were going much faster than I would probably ever feel comfortable going. Guess that’s why I’m not a mountain biker, ha! 

More Summer Activities at Whitefish Mountain Resort 

Blue skies, white puffy clouds, and green trees all make zipling in Whitefish Montana more fun!
Ziplining at Whitefish Mountain

So what else is there to do at Whitefish Mountain Resort in the summer if you’re not a hiker or mountain biker? Lots!

If you’re feeling extra adventurous and are looking for a massive adrenaline rush, but you’re not cut out for mountain biking like me, do a more controlled adventure down the mountain on zip lines or alpine sleds. 

The alpine sledding at Whitefish Mountain consists of an actual sled but instead of going down snow, you go down a type of curved slide a bit like a bobsled. 

As for zip lining, head to the Base Lodge where you’ll make your way to the start of the zip line course (advance reservations highly recommended). The exciting course takes you all the way back down the mountain to the base of Whitefish Resort. 

Where to Purchase Tickets for Whitefish Mountain Activities in Summer? 

For all of these summer activities at Whitefish Mountain Resort, you’ll get your ticket from the round green and white building in the base village. If you’re walking from the parking lot, it’s located a little before you get to chairlift number 1 (the Big Mountain Express that takes you up to Summit House).

Summer Activities at Whitefish Lake and Downtown

Alright, let’s head all the way back down the mountain and talk about things to do in the summer in downtown Whitefish and picturesque Whitefish Lake. 

Cool off on a hot summer day with a swim in Whitefish Lake.
Whitefish Lake

Whitefish is one of our favorite towns in Montana. We love everything about it, from the historic train depot at one end of downtown to the artsy main street with a plethora of delicious restaurants, and then onto City Beach on Whitefish Lake just a couple miles away from downtown. 

Beautiful art is just one of the amazing things to see in Whitefish, Montana.
Our girls had a fun time making chalk drawings next to Stumptown Art Center in Whitefish, MT. Whitefish is a wonderfully artsy mountain town in Montana.
Chalk provided for fun outside Stumptown Art Studio
Great food and drinks are waiting for you at Great Northern Bar and Grill in Whitefish, Montana.

In summer, downtown Whitefish is alive with visitors shopping and enjoying an al fresco drink at one of the many eateries that boast an outdoor patio. 

Enjoy refreshing beverages and delicious eats at Bulldog Saloon in Whitefish, Montana.
Infamous saloon in Whitefish. Be warned certain stalls in the bathroom aren’t kid-friendly!
Old time buildings are just one of the exciting things to see in Whitefish, Montana.
Main Street architecture in Whitefish.

After you do some shopping and eat, head to the Whitefish Depot, where you can walk around the grounds.

Visit the train depot for another fun adventure in Whitefish, Montana.
Historic train depot in Whitefish

Marvel at the history and old-timey rail cars out on display. This is a still working train station where Amtrak comes through to deposit people right within walking distance of downtown Whitefish. You can also visit the small Whitefish Museum in the Depot to learn more about its past.

Visiting the train depot and museum in Whitefish is a fun experience you won't want to miss.
Whitefish Depot and train tracks
The little, but informative museum at Whitefish Depot is a fun place to visit on your next trip to Whitefish Montana.
Museum at the Whitefish Depot

If you just have a day in Whitefish during summer, we recommend spending your morning downtown or up the mountain and then heading to City Beach for a couple of hours. 

City Beach in Whitefish, MT. This lake is glacially fed, but so cooling on a hot summer day.
City Beach

City Beach is a large public beach in Whitefish that has an onsite food stand, kayak and stand-up paddle board rental shop, and even changing rooms. 

Easy to use changing rooms at the lake in Whitefish make it convenient to go swimming even if you're just doing a day trip to Whitefish.
Changing rooms and concession stand at City Beach
Cool off on a hot summer day in Whitefish, and enjoy a swim in the lake.
Whitefish Lake on a hot summer day

The beach is made up of small rocks so I recommend wearing water shoes to stay comfortable. The water is also on the chillier side since this is a glacially-fed lake, but that didn’t stop my kiddos from running around in it! I also didn’t think it was as cold as its popular neighbor to the south: Flathead Lake. 

—> Read More: Flathead Lake Activities Guide

If you have a boat, you can also put it in the water at the public dock on the western end of City Beach. 

Blue skies and puffy clouds over the lake will help you enjoy your visit even more.

On a warm summer evening, there may be no better place to hang out in Whitefish than at Bonsai Brewing Project. This unique micro-brewery focuses on small batch production and has a wonderfully relaxing beer garden. In addition to beer, Bonsai serves up delicious burgers and appetizers. 

Beer Tasting Flight at Bonsai Brewing Company - If you are ready for refreshments, enjoy craft beers and delicious sandwiches at Bonsai Brewing Company in Whitefish, Montana.
Beer Tasting Flight at Bonsai Brewing Company

Looking for more ideas to do in downtown Whitefish? Check out our Things to Do in Whitefish article that has activities and attractions for all seasons. 

When you visit Whitefish, Montana, be sure to take in the sites of the city on the Main street.
Downtown Whitefish and the gorgeous outdoors on a sunny July day.

Read More! Whitefish is located close to many other cool towns and attractions in Glacier Country, Montana including Glacier National Park. You might also enjoy checking out these articles:

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