Ways to Travel Responsibly and Safely in Montana

By Discover Kalispell on Sep. 22, 2020

In Kalispell, Montana, we’re big believers in safety first, adventure second. We also think that traveling responsibly and having fun can go hand in hand as we work together to keep our community, residents and visitors safe. In early June, Montana transitioned into Phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan, which means you are very welcome to come visit, set out on road trips to see fall colors and make unforgettable memories under our big blue sky.

And in a place as expansive as Montana, it takes all of us working together to travel responsibly and keep our destination safe and healthy. Whether you’re a traveler coming to Kalispell to experience fall, a resident who calls Montana home or a business that depends on both locals and visitors for support, we all have a responsibility to care for each other, look out for each other and be kind.

No matter what, we can all do our part to keep America moving, support local businesses, explore this land we love and travel responsibly:

  1. Take advantage of Montana’s natural social distancing opportunities. In northwest Montana, we have lots of room to roam and plenty of space to play, which makes it easy to practice social distancing. Recommended activities that allow for this include casting a fishing line on the Swan River, kayaking the wide-open waters of Flathead Lake, taking a scenic drive to look for fall foliage, setting out on a horseback trail ride or exploring the numerous hiking and biking trails that weave their way in, around and through the valley. Remember, no matter where you are, give folks room and stay six feet apart, whether you’re perusing shops in downtown Kalispell or flying in or out of Glacier Park International Airport.
  2. Wear a face covering/mask. As of July 15th, Governor Steve Bullock issued a directive that requires face coverings in businesses, government offices and other indoor spaces for anyone over the age of 5. A few other things to know: face coverings are required at organized outdoor activities of 50 or more people when social distancing is not possible. Face coverings are not required when you are eating or drinking at businesses that sell food or drinks but should be worn when entering, ordering and in public areas such as restrooms.
  3. Be considerate, mindful and respectful. Montana businesses have been making significant efforts to maintain a clean, safe and healthy place for you to stay, visit, shop and dine. When you come to a local business, you’ll likely see signage on the door with their guidelines (including masks). Take a few moments to read their policies, recommendations and more and be respectful of the efforts they are taking to keep you and their employees safe. Hotels and other lodging properties have cleaning policies they are following and each place wants you to feel comfortable staying in their rooms, cabins and accommodations. Feel free to ask individual properties about their cleaning processes, cancellation policies and more.
  4. Practice good hygiene, for all our sakes. We know you know this already, but just in case: if you or anyone in your traveling party doesn’t feel well, please don’t come to Montana (or anywhere else you’ve been thinking of visiting). Instead, stay home, continue daydreaming of Montana and plan a visit for when you’re feeling well. When you’re here, be sure to wash your hands often (after all, that’s just good advice), use hand sanitizer and plan to have travel-size bottles with you in case you need it. And while you know this already, if you need to sneeze or cough be sure to do so in your elbow or in a tissue and immediately throw it in the trash and wash your hands.
  5. Be cool, kind, patient and flexible. Listen, we know Montana is magical. And we know that there are certain places that have been high on your list of things to see (we’re looking at you, Glacier National Park). While that’s all well and good, we know that visiting Glacier National Park is different than it’s been in years past due to limited entrances and the arrival of fall. If you plan to see Glacier this fall, be prepared for limited services, waits to get into park entrances and of course, early snowfall. Find the latest on Glacier National Park, including what’s open and available, here.

No matter what, we’re happy you’re thinking about visiting Kalispell, Montana, especially in fall. While summer tends to take center stage around these parts, we tend to think that fall is the stuff dreams are made of in the Crown of the Continent. As always, we want you to enjoy your time in Kalispell.

As a reminder, here are a few things to keep in mind when considering travel to Montana:

  • Know before you go: Familiarize yourself with the local public health guidelines before arriving at your destination.
  • Be considerate: Wash your hands, wear face coverings and give people some space.
  • Stay home if you’re sick. If you are in Kalispell and feel ill, call Kalispell Regional Healthcare 24-hour phone line 406-890-7272.
  • Understand some services and destinations may be limited: Plan ahead and be patient, flexible and kind.

As the world spins on around us and we continue to navigate through this together, please don’t forget that it takes each of us—working together, being considerate of one another and being kind to our fellow humans—to make sure that Kalispell remains a safe, wonderful and beautiful place. From Discover Kalispell to you, thank you for doing your part to #TravelResponsibly as we soak up every moment of fall.

Sincerely, Discover Kalispell

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