De-Stress in Glacier Country, Montana
In Glacier Country, you have immediate access to the outdoors and its hundreds of rivers, streams, and lakes.
When people hear of Glacier Country, they tend to think of Glacier National Park, but it is so much than that. Destination expert, Lucy Beighle, shared her favorite parts of Glacier Country and the 22,000 square miles of outdoor recreation, history, and culture it offers.
What are some of the best kept secrets of Glacier Country?
Our ghost towns are some of our best-kept secrets. Back in the early pioneer days of our country, our region was mostly known for mining. Garnet Ghost Town is one of the most well-preserved ghost towns you’ll find anywhere in the United States. It’s accessible in the winter and the summer. The old hotels and saloons are where Glacier Country started.
What is the best place to snap a photo?
Flathead is the largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi River. In April and May you get to see beautiful cherry blossoms that surround the lake with snow peak mountains as a backdrop. It’s one of the most breathtaking views you’ll ever see. The end of July is when you can enjoy the cherries.
There are also 75 communities that make up the Glacier Country area. All with these quaint and charming downtown areas that are great photo opportunities.
Where is your happy place to get away from it all?
Running trails are always right outside your front door in our region. You can be at a trailhead in minutes and on the top of a mountain looking out at the Missoula Valley. Taking the “M” Trail or Hellgate Ridgeline up Mt. Sentinel is right in my backyard, so it's one of my favorites. But there are countless other trail options for you to check out all around Glacier Country.
Another really cool unique experience that is an amazing place to get away is Wild Horse Island on Flathead Lake. You can paddle out there and see the wild horses that call that island home. Native American tribes used to use the island to hide horses from neighboring tribes by swimming them out there. 15 horses still call this island home.
Who are some local makers or brands you love supporting?
I love enjoying the regional food and brewery scene, there is so much creativity in the area because of our access to the outdoors. People choose to live here. There are over 24 brewers and beer spots around Glacier Country. Our local chefs and brewers tend to be inspired by our local food selection like huckleberries, cherries, or mushrooms. The local beef and wild game.
Some favorites include Scotty’s Table, Pangea, and you also have the Kandahar Cafe where the chef there was nominated for a James Beard award. The HA brewery by Eureka Montana is another one. Eureka is incredibly rural, and The HA is rural for Eureka. It’s off the beaten path, and the beer is incredible. It’s a burst of life once you get there. They have a food truck and a deck all packed with locals.
What are your favorite summer activities to enjoy with friends or family?
Taking the ski lifts up to the top of Whitefish Mountain or Snowbowl in Missoula, and then walking, hiking, or mountain biking down is a great family-friendly activity. You can also pick wild huckleberries during the right time of year. One of the lesser-known activities is the Clearwater Canoe Trail, where you can slowly meander down the Clearwater River into the Seeley Lake. There are amazing marshes and areas for you to explore down the river.
Is there anything else that deserves a special mention?
One of the best things to do in Glacier Country is llama trekking. A unique 3-4 day experience where you get to be out in the open, connecting with nature, and you get the friendliest llama companion for the journey. This is through Swan Mountain Llama Trekking near Flathead Lake.
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