Packing List

Pack It Up: Six Must-Haves for your Kalispell, Montana Vacation

A mountain town set in Montana’s Flathead Valley, Kalispell is one of those places you need to experience for yourself. A trip to Kalispell is an ideal escape, as it serves up snow-kissed mountain peaks and fresh air, as well as a lively downtown filled with diverse culinary offerings, locally owned shops and boutiques, signature events, incredible museums and seemingly endless outdoor adventures.

A year-round, four-season destination that sits at an elevation of 2,956 feet, one of the best ways to enjoy your trip Kalispell is to be sure your bag is packed for the time of year you’re visiting, playing and exploring under Montana’s big blue sky. One thing to keep in mind: dress codes in Montana are always casual; jeans are suitable no matter where you go.

No matter the season, Kalispell calls for layers. With a mountain climate, the city’s temperatures fluctuate between day and night. During the summer, bring a long-sleeve shirt or light jacket. Fall and spring call for raincoats, flannel shirts and long-sleeve transitional tops that can be added or removed depending on the time of day. In winter, be sure you come with sweaters, puffy vests, wool socks, hats, scarves and more.

A visit to Kalispell always requires a jacket. Most of the year, your packing list should include a raincoat, light packable down jacket or fleece. In winter, pack a down jacket or winter coat.

Baseball Caps or Hats
When it comes to any visit to Kalispell, you’ll be the most comfortable if you have proper headwear. Summer calls for hats that will shield your face from the sun, especially if you plan to be outside, playing on the lake or hiking at high elevations. During the cooler times of year—we’re talking about fall, winter and spring—be sure to pack beanies that you can throw on in cooler evenings or when you’re snowshoeing, skiing or dog sledding.

Sunglasses and Sunscreen
Northwest Montana is filled to the brim with plenty of sunny days and a landscape that is going to beckon you to explore. To stay comfortable, and be sure you can take in the jaw-dropping views of snow-covered mountains and valleys, bring sunglasses and sunscreen. Plus, with Montana’s low humidity, it’s a good idea to have SPF lip balm and lotion.

Shoes, Boots and Sandals
Kalispell is a casual destination and chances are, if you’re here for more than a few days, you’ll be setting out on a trail in Glacier National Park, taking a dip in Flathead Lake, exploring our walkable downtown or perusing our local shops and big-box retailers . When it comes to footwear, your Kalispell vacation will be well-served with comfortable sandals, water shoes, hiking boots, tennis shoes and winter boots.

Water Bottle
With our location in the Crown of the Continent region, Kalispell and surrounding areas are doing our part to eliminate plastic water bottle waste. Bring a reusable water bottle (or pick one up at one of our local shops) and take advantage of refill stations found throughout the valley. Water stations can be found in Kalispell at the Discover Kalispell Visitor Center (15 Depot Park), Montana Coffee Traders (111 Main Street), ImagineIF Library (247 1st Ave. E), ImagineIF Library Foundation (44 2nd Ave. W) and Sportsman & Ski Haus (145 Hutton Ranch Road). Glacier National Park also has a variety of refill stations, with a full list of locations available here.

Round out your packing list with pants, shorts, tank tops, T-shirts, a daypack, camera, binoculars and a waterproof pouch for your phone and keys.

A note on weather:

You’ve likely heard the saying, “If you don’t like the weather in Montana, wait five minutes.” And while it’s a total cliché to say it, the weather systems in Montana do change quickly and it’s always a good idea to be prepared for swiftly changing temperatures.

Seasonal average daytime temperatures can be found below:

January: Average high of 31°F; Average low of 16°F
April: Average high of 56°F; Average low of 31°F
July: Average high of 81°F; Average low of 48°F
October: Average high of 55°F; Average low of 29°F

Day Trips & Itineraries

A Montana Road Trip: Helena to Kalispell

Great Falls to Kalispell: Driving Montana’s Rocky Mountain Front

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