With Kalispell’s location in a lush valley, it’s likely no surprise that this mountain town is home to two of the tastiest fruits around — huckleberries and cherries.
The Flathead Valley area has lush fruit orchards that line Flathead Lake and are home to cherry orchards, with a diverse variety that includes Lapin, Sweetheart, Rainer and Lambert Skeena. And with more than 100 cherry growers in the area, there is no shortage of ways to taste northwest Montana’s sweetest treat. Cherries are typically harvested from mid-July through mid-August and you’ll find them in grocery stores and at roadside fruit stands. Plus, many orchards offer u-pick options where you can pick to your heart’s content.
While cherries grow in carefully curated orchards under the watchful eye of cherry farmers, there is another delicious fruit that grows wild in the mountains of Montana, the huckleberry.
This small dark berry only grows wild and cannot be domesticated, and you’ll find it along trails and in forests from early to late summer, depending on elevation and temperature. Huckleberries are also a favorite treat for bears and other wildlife; if you pick them yourself, be sure you are bear aware. And if you want to leave the picking to someone else? Hucks can often be found at roadside stands throughout the valley or in local markets.
10 Places and Ways to Enjoy Huckleberries and Cherries
When you visit Montana, you’ll likely notice an abundant array of huckleberry or cherry-infused items, from lotions to fudge and chocolate to burgers. If you’re looking to taste these two distinct flavors while you’re in Kalispell, here are some of the places — and some of the ways — you can enjoy huckleberries and cherries.
1. Norm’s Soda Fountain. Sip on a huckleberry milkshake or pick up a jar of huckleberry jam.
2. Withey’s Health Foods. Pick up Montana-made Windrift Hill goat milk lotion made with Flathead cherries.
3. Hops Downtown Grill. Dig into the wild boar burger, topped with huckleberry, bacon jam and candied jalapenos.
4. Big Mountain Ciderworks. Enjoy a cherry blossom hard cider, made with naturally fermented apple and cherries from right here in the Flathead Valley.
5. Rogue Wax. Enjoy the smell of Montana for months to come when you pick up a Flathead cherry candle.
6. Desoto Grill. Taste the flavors of the season with a summer salad topped with huckleberry-lemon vinaigrette and locally sourced huckleberries.
7. The Rancher’s Daughter. Swing by and grab a jar of Flathead Cherry Mostarda (a tangy and sweet condiment) or Flathead Lake brandied cherries.
8. Sykes Diner. Indulge in huckleberry bread pudding made with Montana hucks, chocolate chunks and caramel topping.
9. Sage & Cedar. Swing by and check out wild huckleberry infused organic lotions, soap and mists.
10. Glacier Distilling Company. Unwind with a huckleberry pearfection made with Huckleberry Gin (from Glacier Distilling), house made tonic, fresh sage and a float of Pear Eau de Vie.