Little Bitterroot Lake

This corner of the state is home to the most natural lakes in Montana – more than 500 – including many of the most prominent and beloved

By Dillon Tabish

This corner of the state is home to the most natural lakes in Montana – more than 500 – including many of the most prominent and beloved. While Flathead, Whitefish and Swan lakes draw the most attention, several other worthy waters are only a short drive away with plenty of payoff. Bitterroot Lake, tucked in the forested foothills behind Marion, is one such destination. This scenic spot is a great escape from the crowds with roughly 2,969 acres of surface and an average depth of 114 feet. It has an easy-access concrete boat ramp with a small public park with restrooms along the western shoreline, managed by Flathead County. All together, it makes for a great day on the water, whether it’s via motorboat or kayak.

How to get there: From Kalispell, drive west 23 miles to Marion, turn north off U.S. Highway 2 and drive down Pleasant Valley Road. When you arrive at a fork, turn left onto Bitterroot Drive. Drive less than two miles to Bitterroot Lane, which is on the right. Turn there and on the left you’ll find the parking lot and straight ahead is the boat launch.

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