For a slightly more private Flathead Lake experience, take the time to travel south on U.S. Highway 93 and visit the West Shore State Park.
The rocky shoreline eases into crystal clear water perfect for cooling off on hot summer days. A 0.4-mile lake trail takes patrons along the water’s edge to picnic tables and camping areas away from the main swimming access.
The marine trail campsites are reserved for campers arriving by boat, but if they are unoccupied after 6 p.m., any visitor may use them overnight until noon the following day.
After a night of camping at one of two campground loops, stretch the legs by taking a stroll along the 1.3 mile loop trail through a rich forest of fir, pine and larch. Or take in the surrounding vista of the Mission and Swan mountain ranges from the 0.6-mile scenic point trail.
The park’s amenities include vault toilets, grill and fire rings, firewood, picnic tables, bear resistant storage lockers, trashcans and potable water.
Boat access is available for easy put-in or take-out near a larger picnic and swim area. The day use fee is $5 for non-resident vehicles and $15 per day for camping.
How to get there: From downtown Kalispell, travel south on U.S. Highway 93 for approximately 22 miles. The park’s entrance is on the east side of the highway.
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