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. Although the state is open for travel our health professionals, businesses and locals want to make sure you understand importance of traveling responsibly. Our local businesses are working hard to be open safely, taking numerous steps to protect their staff, customers and families, all while following the directives and guidelines from the phased reopening plan. When in Montana please remember to:
- Wear face covering when indoors and outside when in close proximity to others outside your travel group
- Be patient and kind
- If you're sick stay home. Montana will be here when you're ready to travel.
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, there are resources for visitor information, rental car agencies and visit Go Glacier Outfitters near baggage claim for Glacier information and bear spray rentals.
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 in advance of your arrival. As we transition in to winter be aware of changing road conditions. Find traveler information at mdt511.com.
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), wear cloth face covering while shopping 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. TIP: As we transition in to winter Kalispell's mountain climate calls for layers, warm boots, hats and gloves. Read about the 6 Must Haves for a Kalispell vacation.
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 50% 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 – Off-season tours of the Conrad Mansion are available by appointment Tuesday through Friday, between 10am-4pm. The museum asks for 24-hour notice. Group size will be limited to provide for social distancing. Surface areas in public areas are cleaned regularly and masks are required for staff and guests. For more information, call 406-755-2166.
- Hockaday Museum of Art – The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Surface areas in public areas are cleaned regularly and masks are required.
- The Northwest Montana Historical Museum - Museum is open 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday (closed Friday's through the remainder of 2020). All touchable surfaces are sanitized twice daily. Volunteers and staff are wearing masks, and visitors are asked 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 October 14th the alpine sections of the Going-to-the-Sun Road are closed for the season due to accumulating snow. The Going-To-The-Sun Road is open to vehicles to the Avalanche campground area. Visit the park's Current Road Status webpage for real-time updates on road closures and hiker/biker access restrictions.
Now that fall is here visitors to the park will need to be more self-reliant. Potable water and restrooms are limited. Fuel up and bring ample provisions when spending time in the park. Visiting Glacier In Fall
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.
Recreate Responsibly: Respect and preserve the wild spaces, public lands and wildlife and practice the principles of Leave No Trace.