When it comes to the four seasons of Montana, spring tends to get overlooked. But this season is one of the brightest and most colorful times of year in Big Sky Country. Wildflowers start blooming and days are getting longer, with sunshine covering every corner of Kalispell and northwest Montana.
Spring in Montana is prime for wildlife watching, biking, hiking and golf, as well as planning your trip to coincide with an annual event. Make the most of your spring vacation to Kalispell with the following activities.
1. Golf Montana’s Flathead Valley. Set in a lush valley that’s complemented by rolling hills and glacier-carved mountains, it’s no surprise that there are nine golf courses in and around Kalispell, from Eureka and Whitefish in the north to Polson in the south. Here in Kalispell, Buffalo Hill Golf Club and Northern Pines Golf Club welcome the public to play at their immaculately designed courses.
2. Cherry blossoms. Around the shore of Flathead Lake there are numerous fruit orchards, many of which are home to cherry trees. Each spring, the orchards bloom and cherry blossoms can be seen lining the shoreline of the lake. The best way to see them is to take a scenic drive around Flathead Lake on Highway 93 and Highway 35.
3. Early season hikes. In our neck of the woods, trail access often depends on snowfall. Each spring, lower elevation trails tend to thaw out early, allowing access to some of the region’s best hiking trails and routes. Trails and destinations that are ideal for spring hiking, biking or walking include the Parkline Trail in downtown Kalispell, Great Northern Rail Trail, Lone Pine State Park and Herron Park, as well as trails in Glacier National Park. In addition, every spring the Going-to-the-Sun Road has a hiker/biker season and is accessible prior to the road opening for vehicular traffic. If you plan to check out an early season hike, be sure you’re prepared to encounter snow on the trail.
When recreating outdoors, be sure to keep an eye open for wildlife. Bears are emerging from their dens during this time of year. Make noise while you hike, never approach wildlife of any kind (this includes bears, bighorn sheep, moose, deer, elk, etc.) and give them plenty of room.
4. Downtown Kalispell. With an array of local shops, restaurants, breweries and more, downtown Kalispell should be on any must-visit list. Stroll the wide avenues and streets, pop into stores, take a museum tour, sip on a made-right-here craft beverage and shop local.
Spring in northwest Montana also brings annual events to the area, like the Bigfork Whitewater Festival and the Montana Spartan Race.