PLACES: Ashley Lake

By Beacon Staff

We most certainly picked the wrong day to explore Ashley Lake, after a warm morning turned extremely windy and cool. By the time we climbed up the road and down toward Ashley Lake, the wind was blowing up whitecaps on the water, precluding any paddling. Instead, we pulled on jeans and fleece to combat the chill.

A wrong turn also made the drive to the handful of public, waterfront campsites and boat launch area much longer. But a number of missteps aside, we will most certainly be back to this spectacular 4-mile long lake, located just northwest of Kalispell. With ample options for fishing, boating and swimming, Ashley Lake is a beautiful alternative to the summertime crowds at some of the Flathead’s other bodies of water. It’s surprisingly large too.

The public access features several campsites with fire rings, a toilet and a paved boat ramp in a fairly protected cove. From there, Ashley Lake’s crystal blue waters are all yours.

How to get there: From Kalispell, head west on U.S. Highway 2 and turn right up Batavia Lane. Stay on Batavia as it turns into South Ashley Lake Road. As the road descends toward the lake, turn right onto North Ashley Lake Road for the most direct route to the public access points, which will be on your left.

Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.