Summer Preview 2018

Your seasonal guide to all things summer in the Flathead: getting around without a car, fishing, avoiding the crowds, upcoming events and more!

By Beacon Staff
Beargrass blooms along the shore of Heart Lake as the rising sun illuminates peaks in the Mission Mountain Wilderness on July 16, 2017. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

It’s that time of year again, when the forests are full of explorers, the roadways full of travelers, and the Beacon is full of ideas and tips for getting the most out of your Northwest Montana summer.

Don’t just stand there! Read this then go make your summer one for the books.

Long lines of visitors wait at the West Glacier entrance station to Glacier National Park. Beacon File Photo

Hospitality, Recreation Officials Prepare for Another Busy Summer

by Andy Viano

As visitation records are broken with regularity at Glacier National Park, the park itself and other popular destinations are feeling the crunch from the unprecedented crowds and, as a result, more and more visitors are being met with closed gates, slow-moving traffic and jam-packed parking lots.


A historic Red Bus passes by Haystack Creek in Glacier National Park. Beacon file photo.

How to Get to Glacier (Without Your Car)

by Justin Franz

In 2017, a record-breaking 3.3 million people visited Montana’s most legendary landscape, a 10 percent increase over the previous year. Many of those visitors came in their own car, creating equally legendary traffic jams at West Glacier, Bowman Lake, Logan Pass and elsewhere.

But there are many ways to get to and around Glacier Park without your own vehicle. Here are a few of our favorites.


From Net to Table

by Tristan Scott

One year ago, the CSKT Tribal Government approved the incorporation of the nonprofit, tribally owned Native Fish Keepers, Inc., which has begun selling wild-caught fillets of lake trout and whitefish caught in its gill-netting operations, as well as fish harvested during the spring and fall Mack Days, a biannual fishing derby hosted by the tribes.


Erin Moore and DeWitt Fleming Jr. dance as they rehearse for Alpine Theatre Project’s summer series in 2017. Beacon file photo.

Summer on Stage

by Molly Priddy

Certainly summer is the season for playing in the sunshine and the waterways of the Flathead Valley, but it’s also the hottest season on stage for the valley’s venerable theater groups.

From Whitefish to Bigfork, audiences will take in shows from top local and visiting talent, singing and dancing into the sunlit evenings.


Kalispell’s Tyrell Toren rides Apple Pie at the 15th Annual Blue Moon Bull Bash in Columbia Falls. Beacon file photo.

Can’t-Miss Events in
Summer 2018

by Beacon Staff

Summertime is coming and in Montana that means warm weather, lake days, spending time in Glacier Park, and welcoming thousands of visitors to our little valley.

It’s also the valley’s primetime for can’t-miss events, activities, programs, and parties.



A fly fisherman searches for the right pattern.
Beacon File Photo

Flathead River Beginning to Shape up for Fly Fishing

by Myers Reece

The National Weather Service is cautiously optimistic that high water has peaked for the year. Stream-forecast graphs show steady declines across the board this coming week, from small creeks to big rivers, and bullish readings of snowpack, weather and historical trends suggest flows will continue to stabilize in the following weeks, with the occasional temporary weather-caused spike.



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