What To Expect When You Visit Kalispell
First things first, we’re glad you’re considering a visit to Kalispell, Montana. As you have likely heard, we are in Phase 2 of Montana’s reopening plan, which means that we are officially open for travel. As this is new for everyone - including our businesses, travelers and locals - we want to make sure that you understand how businesses are opening safely and the steps they are taking to protect their staff, customers and families, all while following the directives and guidelines from the phased reopening plan.
Arriving at Kalispell’s Glacier Park International Airport
Whether you’re flying in or out of Kalispell, check with your airline regarding guidelines for wearing masks and the availability of food and beverage service.
When you arrive in Kalispell, be sure to soak in the stunning mountain views surrounding the airport. After you enter the terminal, the Montana National Guard will greet you and will provide voluntary temperature screenings, assess individuals for COVID-19 symptoms and inquire about exposure history. They are also available to answer questions about local health guidelines in Flathead County and Montana.
Kalispell has several national brand rental car services available. Each company is following their own brand guidelines and safety measures to assure that their counters, shuttle transportation and vehicles are clean and properly disinfected between customers. NOTE: due to this year's unique circumstances rental car inventory is limited. We recommend that you make a reservation well in advance of your arrival.
From hotels with full breakfasts to historic and lodge-style accommodations and RV parks with mountain views, Kalispell offers a variety of places to stay. All properties are open and have cleaning and sanitization procedures they are following to ensure you feel comfortable staying with them. Note: food services may be limited in some properties, with more grab-and-go options available during Phase 2. Be sure to check with individual properties for specific guidelines.
Shopping and Galleries
Kalispell has local shops for gifts and outdoor gear, as well as national brands. Stores, boutiques and shops are open and look forward to serving you. While visiting local businesses, remember to keep your distance from others (stay 6 feet apart if possible) and avoid handling items you don’t plan to purchase. Be patient and aware of each business's guidelines, particularly at smaller locally owned shops.
Restaurants, Bars, Breweries, Distilleries, Cideries and Wine Bars
Kalispell has a variety of places to eat and drink. During Phase 2, culinary-related businesses are open at 75% capacity to allow for physical distancing of 6 feet between customer groups. Specific cleaning plans are followed, and employees are trained in proper sanitization practices. With limited capacity, please remember that there may be a wait for dining. When waiting, don’t forget to remain physically distanced from others not in your party. If possible, we recommend making a reservation at one of our local dining establishments.
Salons and Spas
Whether you are seeking a new do, a massage or tattoo to commemorate your trip to Montana, salons and other personal care services are open. Customers are screened prior to appointments and staff and customers are directed to utilize face masks when practical. Stylist stations are positioned 6 feet away from each other and seating is reduced in waiting areas.
Kalispell is home to three incredible museums, each one sharing a distinct part of Montana’s culture and heritage. Learn about the history of the Flathead Valley at the Northwest Montana Historical Museum or tour the home of Kalispell’s founding family—the Conrads at the Conrad Mansion Museum. Soak in amazing art at the Hockaday Museum of Art and peruse its permanent Glacier National Park art exhibit, as well as rotating exhibits from local and national artists.
- Conrad Mansion Museum – Tours are offered Tuesday through Sunday at 11:00am, 1:00pm and 3:00pm. Group size will be limited to provide for social distancing. Private tours also available. Surface areas in public areas are cleaned regularly. For more information, call 406-755-2166.
- Hockaday Museum of Art – Temporary open hours for the general public are Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Additional senior-only hours are Thursday from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Surface areas in public areas are cleaned regularly.
- The Northwest Montana Historical Museum - Museum is open 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. All touchable surfaces are sanitized twice daily. Volunteers and staff are wearing masks, and visitors are encouraged to wear them as well.
Events are occurring in Kalispell and the Flathead Valley on a case-by-case basis. If an event is scheduled please remember to adhere to social distancing guidelines and it is strongly encouraged to wear a face covering even if the event is outdoors. See a list of events taking place during your visit.
Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park - Access to Glacier Park includes entrances at West Glacier, Camas Road and the North Fork. As of JULY 13 The Going-To-The-Sun Road is open to vehicles to Rising Sun, on the east side of Logan Pass. From that point visitors can park and take part in services such as restrooms, water filling stations and a restaurant providing on-the-go food service. Vehicles will then turn around and return over Logan Pass to exit at West Glacier. Services at Logan Pass includes visitor information services conducted outside of the visitor center from 9am-4pm daily. Roads and parking lot access throughout the open sections of the park may be closed during the day when parking areas become full and will reopen periodically as conditions allow. Map of areas currently open.
Visitors to the park should expect differences this year, including reduced services through Phase 2 of the Glacier National Park’s reopening plan and in some cases for the duration of the rest of the summer. Glacier National Park shuttles, Red Bus Tours or the Glacier Boat Company boat tours have suspended operations for the season. Our best advice: plan ahead, know before you go, be patient and have a back-up plan.
- Check road status before heading to the park on GNP Twitter as conditions continually change. For full information visit the GNP Park Status Page.
- Purchase a 7-day GNP entrance pass online prior to your visit at: Recreation.gov.
- If driving over the Going-to-the-Sun Road it is recommend to leave West Glacier with a full tank of gas as there are no gas services at Rising Sun.
- For up-to-date information on trail conditions visit the park's trail status webpage.
- Review the Glacier National Park Summer 2020 Safety Guide.
Share the Trail
Montana is full of wide-open spaces, with plenty of breathing room for everyone. While exploring the trails in town or in the surrounding wilderness and national forest areas, there’s ample space to continue to physically distance from others. Before you head out for the day, check to make sure the trail is open and be prepared for limited or unavailable services, including restrooms.
Montanans are friendly folks and often say hello when meeting or passing others on the trail. After that, it’s up to everyone to do their part to step aside and let others pass, staying 6 feet apart from other groups. For multi-use trails, the general rule is that bikers yield to hikers and both must yield to horseback riders.
If you’re stopping to take a break, be sure to move off of the trail. Avoid stopping in areas where groups may congregate and where you can’t maintain a 6-foot distance from others. Be mindful of where you stop to take a photo, while keeping in mind you don’t want to hold up the group behind you.
When recreating in Montana’s outdoors, carry water, bring hand sanitizer and wear sunscreen. And remember, you’re sharing space with our wildlife. Stay alert, be flexible and have patience. And most of all, have fun!
Camping and Campfires
One of the best parts of enjoying the outdoors is sitting by a campfire at the end of the day sharing stories. Montana’s forests are susceptible to wildfires, especially during the dry summer season. We ask that you use utmost caution when enjoying a campfire and smoke only in designated areas.
Here are some helpful tips and information:
- On average, 87% of wildfires are caused by humans each year (Source: NIFC)
- Have a shovel and bucket with water
- Choose an area with an existing fire ring or an area with bare mineral soil without sticks and leaves that can burn
- Attend your campfire at all times
- Make sure your campfire is dead out before leaving – if it’s too hot to touch, it’s way too hot to leave
Smokey the Bear’s checklist: https://smokeybear.com/prevention/SmokeyCampfireSafetyChecklist.pdf
What We Ask of You
While we know you’ve heard this before, we truly are all in this together. To keep Kalispell and Montana a safe, healthy and open destination, it’s vital that everyone works together to ensure the well-being of this place. Here are a few final reminders when visiting Kalispell.
Practice Good Hygiene and Be Respectful of Others:
- Understand that some services and destinations may be limited.
- Maintain a physical distance of 6 feet from others when out in public.
- Wear cloth face masks to protect yourself and others (mandatory as of July 15th).
- Wash your hands often.
- Avoid shaking hands or hugs (except immediate family members).
- Following the cleaning and sanitation protocols at businesses and public spaces. Respect the guidelines at each business.
- If you are feeling sick, STAY HOME. If you begin to feel ill contact Kalispell Regional Healthcare 24-hour phone line, 406-890-7272.
Respect and preserve the wild spaces, public lands and wildlife. This means leave no trace, pack out what you pack in and only park in designated areas.
Help us keep Montana’s water clean and clear of aquatic invasive species by being aware of the guidelines and certifications required when bringing watercraft to Montana. Clean Drain Dry.