Places: Tally Lake

By Beacon Staff

The road to Tally Lake may be a dusty nine miles, but it is well worth the grit in your teeth to be out and enjoying one of this area’s true gems.

Located west of Whitefish, its 492-foot depth makes it the deepest in Montana. With 1,326 acres of water surrounded by Flathead National Forest, the area is perfect for loon, eagle and osprey watching. Signs around the lake indicate it houses such fish as Kokanee salmon, rainbow, bull, brook and lake trout as well as northern pike – although most anglers will agree the fishing is less than spectacular.

Bordering the northern side is Tally Lake Campground. Campsites are divided into two sections by Logan Creek. The north shore sites have access to the lake but not potable water. Some of the loop section sites overlook Logan Creek and the lake. The campground also features a pavilion with grills for larger parties, bathrooms and volleyball court.

The lake is a spectacular place for a day trip if you’re not interested in camping. Unfold a blanket on the grass around the public beach access or take advantage of one of the nearby picnic tables. Walk a canoe down to the water or use the boat ramp to launch into the water around the swimming area. Fees are $3 day parking and $14 for camping.

If you plan on picking mushrooms, permits are required for commercial and personal use on national forest lands.

How to get there:
From downtown Whitefish, take U.S. 93 north four miles and turn south on Twin Bridges Road. Travel 1.4 miles and turn right at the Tally Lake sign (still Twin Bridges Road). After one mile, turn left on Farm to Market Road. After two miles turn right at Tally Lake sign onto Tally Lake Road. Go nine miles to campground sign.