Weekend Recreation Options Around Whitefish

By Beacon Staff

Memorial Day Weekends ushers in the picnic and camping season, but predicted holiday weekend rains may send folks to the movie theaters instead. For those who want to brave the elements, local forests are just melting out.

Snow still covers parts of the lower and upper Whitefish Lake roads in Stillwater State Forest, precluding dry access to Upper Whitefish Lake. “Upper Whitefish Lake is still partly frozen, and heavy patches of snow are on the road,” reports Mike McMahon, forest management supervisor.

Roads up to the Whitefish Divide at Red Meadows and Werner Peak are buried in snow—lures for those still looking for places to ski. But McMahon cautions drivers about soggy roads. “If a road looks like it get rutted, please stay off,” he says.

Kootenai National Park also reports roads still snow covered. Graves Creek near Eureka is only open to the Blue Sky Trailhead before it is buried in snow. Ten Lakes is also inaccessible.

However, for those looking to camp, picnic, or boat, Dickey Lake is open. Both the boat launch and campground are ready for Memorial Day Weekend visitors. Campsites–which are first come, first serve–cost $10; day use is free.

In Flathead National Forest, Tally Lake Campground is open, with campsites costing $14 per night. The small campground at Stillwater Lake is also open; however, Sylvia Lake is still closed. “If the weather does what they say it is supposed to, you should expect wet and muddy conditions,” says Dennis Jones, information assistant at Tally Lake Ranger Station. The forest also cautioned about resource damage on wet roads and trails.

On Whitefish Lake, the state park is also open for the summer with the boat launch dock installed. Day use is free for Montana residents and $5 for out-of-state visitors. Campsites cost $15 per night.

Weather forecasts predict rains and cool temperatures for the holiday weekend. “Stay dry and warm,” advises McMahon. Pack the raincoat!

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