Whitefish / Kalispell North KOA

5121 Highway 93 South

Whitefish, MT 59937

Reserve: 800-562-8734

Info: 406-862-4242

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Local Area Attractions

 

Glacier National Park

There are many ways to see the spectacular beauty of outstanding Glacier National Park. Plan to use us as your base camp while you explore the many wonders of the area. One of the most awesome drives in America is along the Going to the Sun Highway. You may take your own car or van over the highway or we can arrange for you to take a trip over the top in one of the historical "red jammer" tour buses that have been rebuilt and went back into operation in the summer of 2002.

For a more personal trip, we can rent you an automobile. While the Going to the Sun Highway is open to personal cars, it is closed to any vehicle over twenty-six feet in length, so leave your motor home or trailer with us while you explore this one of a kind highway. There are more than fifty hiking trails in Glacier National Park. The staff at KOA has hiked most of them and can help you plan any type of hiking adventure from an easy stroll, to hikes of whatever level of difficulty you desire. There are even wheelchair accessible trails in the park. The KOA can provide you with not only information, but will be happy to prepare a lunch for you to take on the trail along with any necessities you may have left at home. We can also arrange a guided trip if you prefer.

Still, there are other ways to enjoy Glacier National Park ranging from airplane or helicopter trips over the park, to a whitewater rafting trip down the outer boundary of the park. We will be happy to arrange any of these activities for you.

National Park Service - Glacier National Park

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Bob Marshall Wilderness Area

As if Glacier National Park wasn't enough, we are situated only a few miles from the Bob Marshall Wilderness Area. Still using the KOA as your base camp, you can hike, fish and explore this world famous wilderness area. In the late summer, people gather from miles around to pick wild huckleberries, a famous specialty of this region. You don't need a license or any special equipment, just help yourself to nature's bounty. We'll be glad to point you in the right direction and explain how to find them.

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Flathead National Forest

If you still haven't had enough of nature while hiking in Glacier National Park and the Bob Marshall Wilderness area, we also have a tremendous amount of National Forest land with even more hiking trails. These forests are open to the public and provide a great place to observe wildlife, such as elk, deer, mountain goats and bighorn sheep. You may also come across a flock of wild turkeys or startle a covey of grouse. Sit on a log and watch the pine squirrels search for food or wait for a rabbit to hop in front of you. Listen to the song of many different types of birds and keep an eye open for a glimpse of a bald eagle. These forests are also a great place to search for our much-treasured huckleberries or a quiet stream for some fly-fishing.

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Flathead Lake and Whitefish Lake

Flathead Lake is the largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi River. Whitefish Lake is a smaller mountain lake with fewer people located a few miles from the campground. Both of these lakes offer many opportunities for recreation. You can enjoy water skiing, fishing, kayaking, and sailing, use a personal watercraft, or take a pleasure boat trip on either lake. Both lakes are perfect for swimming or relaxing while watching the birds and other wildlife.

Lake Koocanusa Lake Koocanusa was created in 1974 when the Kootenai River was damned just North of Libby, Montana. The road around this lake is a National Forest Service Scenic Byway and makes a great place to take a drive in a recreational vehicle, a car or on a motorcycle.

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Big Mountain Resort

This resort, situated on the shores of Whitefish Lake provides some of the best skiing in the nation. This ski resort has yet to be discovered by the rich and famous but provides outstanding downhill skiing during the winter and early spring. There are also many places to go cross-country skiing or use a snowmobile. Our KOA is open all year so try us out for a combination of late skiing and early camping or use our Kamping Kabins year around. In the summer, this resort offers many activities to keep everyone in the family occupied during the day. Activities range from as strenuous as riding a mountain bike down the side of the mountain to a gentle horse drawn wagon ride. They also provide trails for hiking and horseback rides. We will be happy to make all of the arrangements for you.

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Majestic Valley Arena

This new facility brings an outstanding array of activities to the Flathead Valley. Located just five miles from the KOA, Majestic Valley Arena is a horse lover's dream facility. They host a wide range of horse related activities, from outstanding rodeos, to other horse related competitions. This facility is a multi-event arena and in addition to horse related shows, they host a multitude of other events.

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Hiking

There are many great hiking trails throughout this area. Many of these trails are listed in the links above to federal lands.

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Golf

The area abounds with great golf courses; in fact Golf Digest stated in September 2000 that the Flathead Valley is one of the 50 greatest golf destinations in the world. The course at Whitefish Lake is rated as one of the top five courses in Montana with many other courses located around the valley. Let our friendly staff arrange a tee time for you and your party.

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Fishing

The fisherman or woman in the family will love this area. Whether you use bait, lures or fly fish, there are fish for everyone and a style of fishing to suit all tastes. Hike to a mountain lake, troll in Flathead, or float a fly on a local stream. In this paradise you have the opportunity to catch Kokanee Salmon, Brook Trout, Cutthroat Trout, Rainbow Trout, Lake Trout, Bull Trout, Grayling, Northern Pike, Burbot (Ling), Whitefish or even Sierra Golden Trout.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

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Whitewater Rafting

There are many rafting companies in this part of Montana offering river trips of various degrees of difficulty on many different rivers. Our staff will be happy to help you select the right guide for a trip of a lifetime.

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Shopping

This area offers many quaint shops with unique merchandise. There are numerous antique stores if that is your interest or visit art galleries featuring many local as well as national artists. You will find everything from oil paintings to prints; glass works to pottery. How about an original chain saw carving? You won't find those in any eastern art gallery! Montana is famous for its sapphires. They come in many colors but the most famous is the Yogo sapphire, which is the only naturally occurring blue sapphire in the world. Local jewelry stores carry all types of sapphires and other unique jewelry. Take a break from shopping and enjoy a free sample of beer at our local brewery or a superb meal at one of the many fine local restaurants.

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General Recreation

Fishing, golf, hunting, hiking, swimming, boating, personal watercraft, hot air balloon trips, helicopter rides, horseback trips, bicycling, mountain biking, skiing, kayaking, white water rafting, bird watching, wildlife viewing, shopping, art galleries, brew pubs, restaurants, quiet walks, sunrises, sunsets, we have it all, so come visit the Flathead Valley and the Whitefish KOA.

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Flathead Lake 125 miles

Flathead Lake is the largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi River. It was created at the end of the last Ice age when a large glacial moraine was left on the south end of the lake, effectively damming the valley. In later years, a small dam was erected across the river south of Polson making the lake even larger. Today it is 28 miles long and up to 15 miles wide. A wonderful day can be spent driving around the lake. In the early spring, the east shore cherry trees blanket the hillside with a field of color. At the end of July, the area is home to many stands selling fresh cherries and in the fall, apples are in plentiful supply. The south half of the lake lies inside the boundaries of the Confederate Salish and Kootenai Indian Reservation, known as the Flathead Reservation. Anyone wanting to fish or recreate in this portion of the lake needs a tribal permit in addition to a Montana State fishing permit. The drive, however is spectacular.
From the Whitefish KOA Kampground, head south on US Highway 93 and follow it to the junction with Montana Highway 35 on the south side of Polson, about 63 miles. Head east towards the Mission Mountains on Montana 35 and follow it around the lake and then north until it connects with US Highway 2 on the east side of Kalispell. Go north on US Highway 2 to the stop light junction with Montana Highway 40. Turn west 5 miles to the junction with US Highway 93 and then turn south for 2 miles to the Whitefish KOA Kampground. Take your time and stop to enjoy the views along the way. A few of the highlights you may want to see are:
Watch for the M & S Meats and Sausage shop on the west side of Highway 93 at Rollins. Stop and check out their buffalo, elk or beef jerky. They also make a wide variety of sausages out of a variety of meats.
At Dayton, on US 93, look for Montana's only winery. Stop at the tasting room and pick up a bottle of Montana's finest.
The "Port of Polson" on the south end of the lake has many interesting shops to explore while you stretch your legs.
The Miracle of America Museum is located about two miles south of the junction of US Highway 93 and Montana Highway 35. This slight detour will take you to a museum with a little of everything. They have a very unusual motorcycle display as well as many objects from the area's historical past. After your visit, return north on US Highway 93 to the junction with Montana Highway 35.
As you travel north on the east shore, watch for the fruit stands in season. There are also many fireworks stands and Indian tobacco shops along the way. Because you are on the reservation, they are able to sell items you can't buy elsewhere at very low prices.
Be sure to stop in the town of Bigfork to check out all of the art galleries and other area attractions. You will have to turn off of Montana Highway 35 at the traffic light.
Return to the Whitefish KOA, your home base, and enjoy the hot tub, the swimming pool and a pizza as you rest from the journey.

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The Great Circle Tour Glacier Park Going to the Sun Highway Waterton Lakes National Park Park Crowsnest Pass 306 miles 2 days

This great circle tour is a great two-day drive. Spend the first day on the Going to the Sun Highway. Take your time and enjoy the sites, then spend the night at the St. Mary KOA. The next day, take off for Canada, visit Waterton National Park, see the Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump, go over Crows Nest Pass, visit Fernie B.C. and return to the Whitefish KOA Kampground. When traveling into Canada, you will need two forms of identification or a passport in order to return to the U.S. If you don't have a passport, the best identification is a drivers license and a certified copy of your birth certificate.
DAY 1
26 miles
From the Whitefish KOA Kampground go north 2 miles on US Highway 93. At the flashing light turn east on Montana Highway 40, which merges into US Highway 2. Travel through Columbia Falls and on to West Glacier where you enter Glacier Park. There you get a park pass or pay a small entrance fee.
50 miles
Drive the Going to the Sun Highway.
OPTION 1
39 miles
At St. Mary, turn north on US Highway 89 to Babb, Montana and the go west back into the park to visit the Many Glacier Hotel. Take the time to go in and marvel at the log construction.
Return to St. Mary
Check into the St. Mary KOA and spend the night in either a kamping kabin or your own tent.
DAY 2
230 miles
From the St. Mary KOA head north on Highway 89. Four miles north of Babb take Montana Highway 17 to the Chief Mountain border crossing. Once across the border, you will be on Alberta Highway 6. Take a side trip to Waterton National Park and enjoy the wildlife and the views.
Continue north on Alberta Highway 6 through Pincher Creek and on to Alberta Highway 3, also called the Crowsnest Highway. If you are a fan of early american history, you might want to take the gravel roads to the Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump just North of Highway 3. This attraction is managed by the Blackfoot Indian Nation and showcases their history.
Stay on Crowsnest Highway (3) into British Columbia. Make a short stop at Fernie, a great ski run and winter sport center.
Continue on to Provincial Highway 93 and head south on it. This highway becomes US Highway 93 at the BC - Montana border.
Cross the border and return to the Whitefish KOA to enjoy the swimming pool, hot tub and have a pizza.

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Glacier Park Going to the Sun Highway 156 to 240 miles

Glacier Park is the fourth largest National Park in the U.S., excluding Alaska. The park contains over 1.4 million acres of some of the most breathtaking scenery in the United States. Glacier has been called the "Crown Jewel of the Continent" and "Switzerland of North America". The Going to the Sun Highway, which is often called the most spectacular highway in the United States, bisects the Park. You won't find a better trip then over the Continental Divide in Glacier Park on this National Historic Landmark. Because of the steep winding roads, motorhome, trailers and other vehicles over 21 feet long or 8 feet wide are prohibited. The largest vehicles on the road are the park tour buses which are all painted a bright red and have open canvas tops. The road itself is 50 miles long. The commercial tours take about three hours to travel over the road, including stops along the way to admire the scenery. A visitor can either go both ways over the highway (it really does look different both ways) or make a loop trip using US highway 2 for one direction.
26 miles
From the Whitefish KOA Kampground go north 2 miles on US Highway 93. At the flashing light, turn east on Montana Highway 40, which merges into US Highway 2. Travel through Columbia Falls and on to West Glacier and turn West off US Highway 2 to enter Glacier National Park. You will need a park pass or pay a small entrance fee.
50 miles
Drive the Going to the Sun Highway.
OPTION 1
39 miles
At St. Mary, turn north on US Highway 89 to Babb, Montana and the go west back into the park to visit the Many Glacier Hotel. Take the time to go in and marvel at the log construction.

Return to St. Mary
ALTERNATIVE 1
76 miles
Return to the Whitefish KOA Kampground by taking the Going to the Sun Highway. You can do this either after visiting Many Glacier or without going to Many Glacier.
ALTERNATIVE 2
112 miles
Take US Highway 89 south to Kiowa. From there, take Montana Highway 49 to East Glacier and US Highway 2. Alternatively stay on 89 to Browning and join Highway 2 there. This is an additional 13 miles, but it provides the opportunity to visit the Museum of the Plains Indians in Browning, a worthwhile stop, operated by the Blackfeet Indian Tribe.
Follow US Highway 2 back to Montana Highway 40. Take that road for 5 miles to US Highway 93 and go south for 2 miles to the KOA Kampground.

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Lake Koocanusa 224 to 235 miles

The US Corps of Engineers formed Lake Koocanusa with the completion of the Libby dam in 1975. The name for the new lake was the result of a contest and came from the first three letters of the Kootenai River that formed the lake and the addition of can for Canada and usa for the United States. The lake is ninety miles long with forty-two miles in Canada and forty-eight miles in the US. The Kootenai National Forest surrounds the lake with virtually no commercial development along its shores. There are very good paved highways winding along both sides of the lake. In 1989 the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks named the Libby Dam area as an official watchable wildlife area. In this area a person might see deer coyote, river otters, moose, raccoons, bald eagles, great blue heron, geese, ducks, trumpeter swans, osprey, hawks, songbirds, and sea gulls. The lake is home to a variety of fish including rainbow trout, westslope cutthroat trout, brook trout, kokanee salmon (blue back), ling (burbot), whitefish and kamaloops (a strain of rainbow trout).
For unsurpassed mountain beauty with great two lane roads and virtually no traffic, this area can't be beat. There are three routes available through this area. The first circles the lake, the second travels down the west shore and then cuts through the mountains, while the third returns via US Highway 2. All three routes begin at the Whitefish KOA Kampground. Don't forget to start the day with your free continental breakfast on weekdays or an inexpensive pancake breakfast on weekends and purchase a lunch to take with you into the wilderness.
57 miles
Drive north on US Highway 93 through the towns of Whitefish, Olney, Stryker, Fortine and Eureka to Montana Highway 37.

67 miles
Drive south along the shore of Lake Koocanusa. Watch for wildlife along the road. Stop along the way and cool your feet in the lake. Spend some time at the Visitor's Center on the south end.

OPTION 1
43 miles
Drive North along the west shore of Lake Koocanusa on an even less traveled road.
57 miles

Return to the Whitefish KOA and home base. You can jump into the hot tub or the swimming pool and maybe enjoy a pizza for dinner.

OPTION 2
59 miles
Continue south along the Fisher River for about twelve miles and then head northeast through the forest following the original route of the old Great Northern Railroad. The tracks now belong to the Burlington Northern Rail Road and are their Northern route. You may see an occasional train along this drive, but nothing else except Mother Nature at its finest.
39 miles
Return to the Whitefish KOA and home base. Jump into the hot tub or the swimming pool or enjoy a pizza for dinner.

OPTION 3
111 miles

The longest route home but with the best roads goes about fifteen miles west to the town of Libby, Montana. Turn east on US Highway 2 and ride to Kalispell. Turn north on US Highway 93 in downtown Kalispell.
Return to the Whitefish KOA, your home base. Jump into the hot tub or the swimming pool or maybe enjoy a pizza for dinner.

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