Accessible Travel in Montana

Explore Accessible Adventures in Kalispell 

Kalispell and northwest Montana have some of the most jaw-dropping scenery around, including Flathead Lake and Glacier National Park. Whether you are looking to leisurely take in the views of the glacial-carved peaks along the Going-to-the-Sun Road or if you’d like to hit the mountain biking trails at Herron Park minutes from downtown Kalispell, northwest Montana is a destination for all ability levels.

Here are ways to experience the best accessible recreation in northwest Montana.

Experience the Outdoors with DREAM Adaptive

Based in the Flathead Valley, Dream Adaptive enhances the quality of life of individuals with disabilities by providing year-round outdoor adaptive recreational opportunities. Winter programs include alpine ski and snowboard lessons at Whitefish Mountain Resort, backcountry powder camp with Great Northern Powder Guides and nordic/cross-country skiing on local trails. 

Summer offerings include a paddle program (kayaking and paddleboarding), water sports program (seated water skiing, water skiing, wakeboarding and tubing) and mountain biking on the valley’s trails. 

Explore Lone Pine State Park 

Overlooking Kalispell, Lone Pine State Park Visitor Center is ADA accessible and its .3 miles Lone Pine Overlook Trail is ADA compliant. 

Take a Scenic Float or Go Whitewater Rafting 

Located in West Glacier, Glacier Guides and Montana Raft offer scenic float trips on the Middle Fork of the Flathead River. The scenic float trips are typically on relaxed currents with little to zero splashing and no paddling, while trips can be accommodated for any age and ability. Guests can relax, enjoy the views, listen to the rushing waters or scout for wildlife. 

Fish a Family-friendly Site 

Pine Grove Pond is a family-friendly 5-acre pond that is 3 miles northeast of Kalispell. It has three accessible fishing piers and a picnic shelter, as well as a paved path around the pond. Fish species include rainbow trout and cutthroat trout. 

Somers Fishing Access Site is a family-friendly site that is 9 miles south of Kalispell on Flathead Lake. It has an ADA Fishing Pier and ramp. Fish species include lake trout and whitefish.

Visit Glacier National Park

Explore Glacier National Park on your own or go with a guide. If you opt to drive yourself or take a private vehicle, keep an eye out for scenic pullouts along the Going-to-the-Sun Road. One not-to-be-missed stop: McDonald Falls. Located approximately 12 miles from the park’s west entrance, it is ADA compliant and has a graded pathway that leads to the overlook. Additional accessible locations include Trail of the Cedars and its scenic 1-mile loop on a wide wooden boardwalk. For an in-depth look at the park, book a guided red bus tour.

In addition, the park’s shuttles are ADA accessible. Plus, many of ranger-led evening programs are held in venues that are accessible for individuals with a mobile disability, including Apgar Campground Amphitheater, Fish Creek Campground Amphitheater, Lake McDonald Lodge Auditorium, Many Glacier Campground Auditorium, Many Glacier Hotel Auditorial, Rising Sun Campground Amphitheater and St. Mary Visitor Center Auditorium. More here

Scenic and informational boat tours with Glacier Park Boat Company are accessible with easy boarding at Lake McDonald on the West side of Glacier National Park.

Crown of the Continent Discover Center is a perfect stop for before or after visiting Glacier National Park. The center is wheelchair accessible, with interpretive stations of the natural history of the area, a gift shop with made-in-Montana souvenirs, and a restaurant.

The Whitefish Trail 

A short drive north of Kalispell is The Whitefish Trail. A multi-use non-motorized system, it has 15 trailheads and 47 miles of trails. For ADA accessible terrain, check out the Reservoir Trailhead, Holbrook Overlook Trailhead and Swift Creek Trailhead. Minutes from downtown Whitefish, the Reservoir Trailhead has 500 feet of ADA accessible trails, as well as an interpretive/picnic area, vault toilet and parking. Holbrook Overlook Trailhead has 400 feet of accessible trails, as well as an overlook and picnic/interpretive area. For a half-mile of accessible trails, head to Swift Creek Trailhead, where the trail leads to an overlook.  The 1.3-mile-long loop at Swift Creek is ideal for beginning handcyclists, while Lion Mountain is prime for more advanced handcycle riders.  

There are also several section of The Whitefish Trail that have wider doubletrack roads, including Lion Mountain Trailhead (.4 miles of double-track trail), Big Mountain Trailhead (.5 miles of double-track trail connecting to Whitefish Mountain Resort), Spencer Mountain (with miles of double-track gated forest roads - no ADA accessible parking) and Beaver Lakes (miles of double-track DNRC forest roads).

Annual 12 and 24 hours of Flathead 

The 12 and 24 hours of Flathead race is held in Kalispell at Herron Park. Choose between two courses, the adaptive hand cycle course or the non-adaptive bicycle course. Enjoy free camping and live music for all ages. Learn more about being a part of the race from racing, volunteering, or sponsoring!

Indoor Activities in Kalispell 

Two of Kalispell’s museums – the Hockaday Museum of Art and the Northwest Montana History Museum – are ADA accessible and have elevator access to all floors.

Enjoy a live theater performance with seasonal plays at Bigfork Summer Playhouse.

 For additional accessibility suggestions and feedback, contact Marisa at marisa@discoverkalispell.com.

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