Trip Planner:   USA  /  Montana  /  Polson  /  Flathead Lake

Flathead Lake, Polson

4.7
#1 of 8 in Things to do in Polson
Flathead Lake is the largest natural freshwater lake by surface area that is west of the Mississippi River in the contiguous United States, if one takes Red Lake and Lake of the Woods to be north of the Mississippi River, rather than west of the river.With a surface area of between 191.5sqmi and 197sqmi, Flathead Lake is slightly larger in surface area than Lake Tahoe, but it is much smaller in volume.The lake is a remnant of the ancient, massive glacial dammed lake, Lake Missoula of the era of the last interglacial. Flathead Lake is 27.3mi long and up to 15.5mi wide. Flathead Lake has a maximum depth of 370.7ft, and an average of 164.7ft. This makes Flathead Lake deeper than the average depths of the Yellow Sea or the Persian Gulf. Polson Bay, at the lake's outlet, was raised 10ft by Kerr Dam. It is one of the cleanest lakes in the populated world for its size and type.GeographyLocated in the northwest corner of the state of Montana, 7 miles (11 km) south of Kalispell, it is approximately 30 miles (50 km) long and 16 miles (25 km) wide, covering 191.5 square miles (495.9 km²), making it approximate in size to Minnesota's Mille Lacs Lake and half the area of San Francisco Bay (main bay). Flathead Lake is 30 miles (48 km) southwest of Glacier National Park and is flanked by two scenic highways, which wind along its curving shoreline. On the west side is U.S. Route 93, and on the east, is Route 35.
Take the guesswork out of planning a Polson vacation by using our trip itinerary maker.
Source
Create an itinerary including Flathead Lake
map
Flathead Lake Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5.0
291 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Flathead is a must see in western Montana. It is just south of Kalispell and offers a multitude of outdoor recreation. Plus endless scenic beauty as well.  more »
  • We stayed at the Kwa Tac Nuq Resort and toured the lake on a large barge which is located at the resort. Itwas well worth the money. Do this if you get a chance. It was quite smoky when we were there ...  more »
  • If you don't marvel at the beauty of this deep blue tranquility surrounded by extraordinary Rocky Mountain views then you are a godless and petty loser. Just to stand and drink it in with you eyes and...  more »
Google
  • A beautiful lake with crystal clear water. I recommend everyone visit this place at least once in their lives.
  • I’m from Oregon. I’ve always wanted to go to Montana. Flathead Lake was amazing. Water was so clear. It was very cold tho tried to get into swim. Jumped in and out. Would I go again yes definitely. The views are amazing and if you love taking pictures the scenery’s just breath taking. Fishing I did not catch a fish but I enjoyed the fishing. There are many activities to do. House back riding was our favorite. Rent a boat go check it out you won’t be disappointed.
  • Nice fishing and family get together location. Great for swimming and fishing.
  • Beautiful lake. Hard to find boat for rent nearby. Best place for swimming and fishing.
  • Favorite lake, great people!
Places to stay near Flathead Lake

Plan your trip to Polson

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plans to Flathead Lake by other users

7 days in Glacier National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, kids, outdoors, historic sites, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, kids, outdoors, historic sites, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 36 days in United States BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 9 days in Glacier National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, outdoors, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, outdoors, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 19 days in Montana BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, wildlife, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 17 days in Montana BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, culture, outdoors, wildlife, fast-paced, hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 45 days in Glacier National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, outdoors, wildlife, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: May, outdoors, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 50 days in Banff National Park, Waterton Lakes National Park & Glacier National Park BY A USER FROM CANADA May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 9 days in Glacier National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 28 days in Glacier National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, kids, outdoors, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, kids, outdoors ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 15 days in Glacier National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, kids, outdoors, relaxing, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, kids, outdoors, relaxing, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 33 days in Montana BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, teens, popular PREFERENCES: June, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 16 days in Glacier National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium
View more plans