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PLACES: Tally Lake

By Beacon Staff

Although Tally Lake is best experienced by boat, even without a watercraft a day at the lake is worth driving the nine miles of dusty road from Farm to Market Road to the recreation area.

Located west of Whitefish, its 492-foot depth makes the lake the deepest in Montana. The crystal blue water spans 1,326 acres and is surrounded by Flathead National Forest. The area is perfect for loon, eagle and osprey watching.

The main recreation area and campground are located on the northern side of the lake. Campsites are divided into two sections by Logan Creek. The north shore sites have access to the lake but not potable water. The campground also features a pavilion with grills for larger parties, bathrooms and a volleyball court.

Even if you’re not interested in camping, the lake is a spectacular place for a day trip. Unfold a blanket on the grass around the public beach or take advantage of one of the nearby picnic tables. Walk a canoe or kayak down to the water, or use the boat ramp to launch into the water adjacent to the roped-off swimming area.

Numerous trailheads surround the lake, including an overlook mountain bike trail. Most hikes are deemed difficult, so do your research before heading out.

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. 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 the campground sign.

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