To begin with, Flathead Lake Montana is the area surrounding Flathead Lake in northwest Montana. The Lake is the considered largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi in the lower 48 states. There are over 200 square miles of water and 185 miles of shoreline. The southern half of Flathead Lake is within the boundary of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Flathead Reservation established with the Hell Gate Treaty in 1855.
There are thirteen public access sites around Flathead Lake Montana. These access sites include: Sportsmans Bridge, Somers, Big Fork, and Juniper Beach fishing access sites; Wayfarers, Woods Bay, Yellow Bay, Finely Point, Walstad Memorial, Big Arm, and Elmo state recreation areas, which have toilets, boat launch, camping, swimming and picnic facilities. All of these access points are included in the Flathead Lake Vacation Guide.
Another park is The West Shore State Park, located is twenty miles south of Kalispell on Highway 93. Also located along the west shore near the Big Arm is Wildhorse Island, a 2,165-acre state park. The park is accessible only by boat and is a public day use and picnic area only, no overnight camping.
Above all, recreation activities around the lake include: sailing, power boating, waterskiing, swimming, fishing, hiking, and camping. Summertime on Flathead Lake includes roadside fruit stands along the east shore. Many offer a variety of locally grown cherries, apples, plums, and other fruits. There are numerous motels and rental cabins in addition to public campgrounds scattered all around the shoreline. The population centers around the lake are Lakeside, Bigfork, and Polson, all of which offer a complete variety of groceries, supplies, and information.