Archive for the ‘Seasons in Whitefish, Montana’ Category

Fantastic Fishing in the Flathead

August 12th, 2013 by kimtaylor

This could be you! [Photo from the Lakestream Fly Shop website]

This could be you! [Photo from the Lakestream Fly Shop website]

If you want to get some fishing in while on vacation in Montana there are a variety of resources to get information on where to go, what bait or flies to use and which fish live where…

First of all you do need a license to fish in Montana (the exception is if you decide to fish in Glacier National Park, no license is needed, but they do have their own set of rules.  Go to: http://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/fishing.htm for details).

Locally to purchase a visitor’s fishing license you can get them at several locations close to Whitefish: Lakestream Fly Shop [334 Central Ave.], Sportsman and Ski Haus [Mountain Mall] and Stumptown Anglers [5790 US Hwy 93 S]. Prices vary depending how long the license is good for & age, (under 11 years of age licenses are FREE!) See http://fwp.mt.gov/fishing/license/availableLicenses.html for prices, and you can even apply online.

Fishing opportunities abound here in the Flathead Valley.  Within 50 miles of Kalispell there are over 236 fishing “holes” for you to explore.

While you’re picking up your license, pick up the current year’s Montana Fishing Regulation booklet, chock full of good info including types of fish at which locale you can expect to find, as well as the fishing rules you need to be aware of.

For the best places to buy poles, flies or bait and to get advice on “what’s biting” stop in at some of our local fishing shops: Lakestream Fly Shop (406-862-1298 – http://www.lakestream.com/ ) and Stumptown Anglers (406 862-4554 – http://www.stumptownangler.com/) Both shops are well versed in the area’s fishing “gold mines” and they can also set you up with a fishing guide, if you’d rather just fish! Many of the local rafting companies also offer half and full day fly fishing trips.

So come to Whitefish and “go fish!”

Author: Sarah Stewart

Motor fans get their fix at Raceway Park

July 17th, 2013 by kimtaylor

Sparks fly at Montana Raceway Park, just south of Whitefish

Sparks fly at Montana Raceway Park, just south of Whitefish

When it comes to motor racing, you probably don’t think of Montana as a hot bed for race fans – think again!  Right here in the Flathead Valley race fans can get their fix each Saturday night during the Summer months at Montana Raceway Park, a motorsports track just south of Whitefish.

The track hosts races in seven standard classes: Super Late Models, Super Stocks, Hobby Stocks, Bombers, CHS Legends, Bandoleros and Hornets. (Don’t ask me what each of them are, but it sounds impressive!)

The quarter mile track is high banked for high speed racing and the bleachers hold up to 4000 race fans.  Montana Raceway Park has been recognized as one of the top 10 short tracks in the nation.  Not bad for little old Montana.

Each Saturday, time trials start at 6 pm with racing starting at 7 pm. And, it’s fun for the whole family.  There are concession stands selling food, beer and souvenirs and it’s a great place to people watch.

So think outside the usual activities when you visit us in Whitefish, sure rafting, hiking, and mountain biking should be on your “to do” list, but a fun evening out can be had at nearby Raceway Park.

Info at: www.montanaracewaypark.com

Author: Sarah Stewart

Active Summer Fun at the Whitefish Mountain Resort

July 8th, 2013 by kimtaylor

Summer activities abound at the Whitefish Mountain Resort

Summer activities abound at the Whitefish Mountain Resort

If you think the Whitefish Mountain Resort is just for skiing, think again.  The Summer season has the mountain humming with activities for kids of all ages. And since it’s just a short 10 min drive from our front door, it’s easy to get there.

Scenic Lift Rides: Get whisked up to the summit of the Big Mountain via an open chair lift or enclosed gondola for a scenic ride that will have you oohing and aahing over views of the entire Flathead Valley and Glacier National Park. Round trip tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for juniors (7 – 12 yrs) or seniors 65+.  Rides are free for kids 6 and under and for 2012/13 winter season pass holders.  You can also buy a one way ticket for just $6, in case you want to hike up/down the mountain.

Hiking: There is a great hiking trail that takes you up to the top of the mountain.  Read more about it in our previous blog post.

Zip Line Tours: Whiz atop the trees 300 feet above ground as you glide along on your mountain adventure. The zip line tours are growing in popularity by leaps and bounds so reservations are recommended to avoid disappointment.  Prices are $75 for a 5 –zip tour and $84 for a 7-zip tour.

Mountain biking: Bike rentals are available on-mountain and with two new trails scheduled to open by August 1, there will be more that 25 miles of lift accessed free-ride and cross country mountain bike trails. The Summit trail offers spectacular views while Runaway Train offers adrenaline pumping free ride biking.  You can have your bike taken to the summit, for a downhill ride all the way. Prices vary.

Alpine Slide:  Great for kids and adults alike, take a sled and race down straight-a-ways and banked curves. Children under 48” have to ride with an adult. $8 per ride, discounts for multiple rides.

Aerial Adventure Park: Strap in and challenge yourself on a variety of treetop courses that range in difficulty – cross suspended bridges and cable walk ways, climb on nets and ladders, swing on trapezes and negotiate other fun elements.  $39/Adults or $29/Kids 12 and under.

Spider Monkey Mountain: Just for kids!  They can play all day for just $10. Children find their way up through a webbed tower and at the top are rewarded with a giant slide ride down.

Summit Nature Center: Located at the Summit House atop Big Mountain, the Nature Center offers a fun place for families to explore with hands-on discovery to learn about the mountain environment.  They also offer a daily wildflower nature discovery walk in July & August.  Free.

Dining: There are plenty of dining options available in the Whitefish Mountain Resort: For Lunch head to Base Lodge Bar & Café for casual lunch dining, The Bierstube offers a patio and serves up great burgers and beer or the Summit House restaurant where you can dine in the highest restaurant in NW Montana with views of Glacier National Park.  For Dinner the Hellroaring Saloon and Eatery has an outside deck and offers casual fare starting at 5 pm.  For a more upscale choice enjoy fine dining at Café Kandahar with Award-Winning chef Andy Blanton.

The Whitefish Mountain Resort… it’s just not for skiing!  For more info visit their website: www.skiwhitefish.com

Author: Sarah Stewart

Art is in the Spotlight – First Thursdays in Whitefish

July 1st, 2013 by kimtaylor

Look for the Art Spot flag outside of participating galleries and shops.

Look for the Art Spot flag outside of participating galleries and shops.

Gallery Nights, (aka. First Thursday Art Walk), in downtown Whitefish is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.  From the start, it was hit with locals and visitors alike, I mean what’s not to like about art, entertainment, beautiful Summer evenings & free refreshments?!  This laid back & low key tradition has been gaining traction since its inception on 2003.  Just remember to time your visit to “the Fish” to coincide with the first Thursday of the month if you’re planning to visit anytime between May and October. [One exception: for July, the Art Walk will be on Friday July 5th due to the Independence Day holiday.]

This year’s Gallery Nights has 14 participating art, specialty shops and galleries – (heck there’s even an artisanal pasta shop participating this year!), who swing their doors wide open and offer special art exhibits, (often with artist right there to talk about their artwork, techniques and to get them out of their studios), and most galleries offer free snacks and libations to their visitors. All of the participants are within a two block radius of Central Ave, the main drag of downtown Whitefish.  It makes a wonderful evening to stroll around to the various galleries and shops, starting at 6 pm and then head to one of the great Whitefish restaurants for dinner (Local’s tip: in the height of Summer make dinner reservations ahead of time, as this popular event has restaurants and bars hopping.)

Gallery Nights takes place from 6-9 pm and participating galleries have an Art Spot flag outside their shops so they are easily identified.  2013 Participating Galleries:

Mi Casa Pottery [550 E First St.]
Stumptown Art Studio [145 Central Ave.]
Going to the Sun Gallery [137 Central Ave.]
Whitefish Pottery & Stillwater Gallery [240 Central Ave.]
Stephen Isley Jewelry [241 Central Ave.]
The Purple Pomegranate [222 Central Ave.]
Great Northern Pasta [235 Baker Ave.]
Jest Gallery [305 E. 2nd St.]
Local Color Studio [116 Central Ave.]
Piney Creek Interiors [100 Central Ave.]
McGough & Co [131 Central Ave.]
Dick Idol Signature Gallery [238 Central Ave.]
Samarah Fine Art [15 Central Ave.]
The Walking Man [305 Baker Ave.]

The Whitefish Gallery Nights website is: http://whitefishgallerynights.org/
or follow them on Facebook.

This is a great opportunity to support local artists and to bring home a one of a kind memento of your trip to Montana.

Author: Sarah Stewart

Share your favorite #montanamoment and win

June 26th, 2013 by kimtaylor

The Montana Office of Tourism is sponsoring a contest where you can win a trip back to Montana, by sharing a picture of your favorite “Montana Moment”.  The contest runs through August 26th, 2013.

Here are the basic entry requirements:

  • The photo must be taken in Montana.
  • If a person is depicted, the person must be the Entrant; no other person(s) may be depicted.
  • The Entry must not have been submitted previously in a contest or promotion.
  • The Entry must not contain content that is false, inaccurate or misleading.
  • If you have more than one picture, each submission must be substantially different.
What's your favorite #montanamoment ?

What’s your favorite #montanamoment ?

There are three ways to enter the contest: via Twitter, Instagram or direct upload via visitmt.com website.

All eligible Contest Entries received during the Promotion Period will be judged on the basis of creativity (50%), and photographic quality (50%)

One Grand Prize Winner will receive the following: Winner’s choice of a five (5) day, four (4) night Montana National Park vacation package; winner can choose either a Winter or Summer Glacier National Park or Yellowstone National Park vacation package. Includes the following for 2 people: hotel accommodations, airfare, rental car, a $500 credit toward two (2) trip experiences (sightseeing, outdoor activity, or cultural/learning) per person totaling four (4) trip experiences and a park pass to the chosen National Park. The Grand Prize Winner will be determined on or about September 15, 2013.

Plus, there are Weekly Prize Winners too, that are selected randomly from all eligible entries for that week, of Montana Coffee Packages from FireTower Coffee in Helena and Huckleberry taffy from Sweet Palace in Philipsburg.

So… if you have a great shot from your last visit to Montana enter this contest. We’d love to see you again!

For full contest details go to: http://visitmt.com/step-out-of-bounds/montana-moments.htm

Author: Sarah Stewart

Whitefish Farmers Market adds local flavor to Summer

May 20th, 2013 by kimtaylor

Whitefish Farmers Market is held each Tuesday evening during the Summer from 5-7:30 pm.

Whitefish Farmers Market is held each Tuesday evening during the Summer from 5-7:30 pm.

“You Can Eat the Scenery” is the motto of the Whitefish Farmer’s Market held each Tuesday evening from May to September in downtown Whitefish.

Since 2005, local farmers, artists, food vendors and musicians make this a fun, family activity enjoyed by locals and tourists alike.  Pick up organic produce from local farmers who can tell you about their farm-straight-to-you fresh fruits & vegetables.  Pick up locally crafted jewelry, jams & jellies, artwork & crafts.  Whitefish Farmer’s Market vendors are vetted that their offerings are locally made making it a unique place to pick up one-of-a-kind souvenirs of your trip to Montana for your friends and family members back home.  No run of the mill “I ❤ Montana” made- in-China coffee mugs here.  Instead you’ll find locally crafted pottery, hand thrown by a local potter who lives and works in Whitefish.

In addition to great local produce, plant starts, baked goods & art, you can pick up dinner too.  Local food trucks sell crepes, pad tai, corn on the cob, kettle corn and handcrafted ice cream (Madagascar Vanilla or Whiskey Pecan anyone?), just to name a few of the offerings.  If you want to bring home dessert, the weekly pie auction allows you to buy a pie with proceeds going to a good cause.  Adding to the laid back atmosphere of the market, are local musicians who entertain the crowd – a different group, duo or single act each week.  From jazz & folk to reggae & rock the variety of musicians who play at the Whitefish Farmer’s Market is as varied as the produce offerings:

Music Schedule for 2013
May 28 – Kelly West (Reggae/Blues)
June 4 – Seventh Worthy (Funko-Politico)
June 11 – Porter Creek (Acoustic trio)
June 18 – Lee Zimmerman (Cello innovator)
June 25 – Dan Dubuque (One man freestyle soul)
July 2 – Sun Raven Band – (Acoustic folk)
July 9 – John Floridis (Missoula based guitarist)
July 16 – Rebop (Jazz trio)
July 23 – Greg Grant (Saxophonist)
July 30 – Jade Merchants (Folk/Country duo)
Aug 6 – Barrel Stove Combo (4 piece Jazz band)
Aug 13 – Fresh Off the Vine (Acoustic trio)
Aug 20 – Tra la Gael (Celtic)
Aug 27 – Brent Jamison (Bluesy/Reggae)
Sept 3 – Donnie & Kleist (Jazz duo)
Sept 10 – Tim Torgerson (Acoustic Indie)
Sept 17 – Moonshine Mountain (Acoustic country rock/bluegrass)
Sept 24 – Nick Spear (Songs in a variety of genres)

Going into its 8th year the Whitefish Farmer’s Market has become a Summer must-do for locals and tourists alike.

2013 Whitefish Farmers Market:

– Dates: each Tuesday from May 28 – Sept 24, 2013
– Times: 5 pm to 7:30 pm
– Location: Central Ave. Downtown, Whitefish between Railroad and Depot Streets
– Cost: FREE!
– Website: www.whitefishfarmersmarket.org

Author: Sarah Stewart

Spring Cycling the Going to the Sun Road

April 29th, 2013 by kimtaylor

A welcome sign of Spring cyclists in Montana.

A welcome sign of Spring cyclists in Montana.

High-tech cycling gear not needed.

High-tech cycling gear not needed.

 

Beautiful vistas await intrepid Spring bicyclists.

Beautiful vistas await intrepid Spring bicyclists.

 

When the Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park is fully open from West to East, cyclists play second fiddle to cars and the Park’s famous red busses, called Jammers.  During the peak Summer months, this famous scenic road is closed to bicyclists between 11 am and 4 pm. That means you have to set you’re alarm clock pretty darn early to make it up to Logan Pass and back down before 11 am.  Others prefer to hit the “night shift” and start up in the evening after 4pm, others wait for a full moon and cycle up by moonlight.

But, as the locals know, in the Spring time Cyclists have the road to themselves, save for a mountain goat that may wander in front of you (if you’re lucky) or a mama bear and her cubs scurrying up the hillside.

Yesterday we cycled the Going-to-the Sun Road in Glacier National Park, and experienced just about every type of weather you can think of, rain, sleet, a bit of hail, wind and at times sunshine.  We passed about 3 dozen other cyclists on our way from Lake McDonald to the Loop and about 3 miles beyond.

Tips for Spring cycling:

  • Be prepared for any type of weather.  It may look nice and sunny when you leave, but the weather can change quickly.  A windbreaker type jacket is a must, even on a sunny day, as the high speeds you’ll hit on the way down will cool you down quickly.
  • Bring a basic bicycle repair kit.  If you get a flat tire and you’ve got no way to fix it, you’re out of luck.  You’ll be hoofing back to your car. We ran into a stretch of unpaved road from Avalanche campground for a couple of miles, so you never know. A puncture could really ruin your day if you’re not prepared.  That being said, make sure you check that your bike is in good working order, especially your brakes!  You’ll be glad you did as you speed down the road on your way back.
  • Bring water and snacks.  During the Spring don’t count on Park concessions being open, so if you want to not give into your growling stomach and turn around early, throw in a granola bar or two into your bag.
  • Don’t forget your camera and have fun!

    Author: Sarah Stewart

Spring Things-to-Do in the “Off-Season”

April 15th, 2013 by kimtaylor

Cyclists can go where cars can't in the Spring on the Going-to-the Sun Hwy.

Cyclists can go where cars can’t in the Spring on the Going-to-the Sun Hwy.

When the lifts stop running on the Big Mountain for the ski season and before they roar back to life to take visitors zip-lining through the trees in the Summer it is known as the “off-season” here in Whitefish.  Things quiet down, life moves a little slower, traffic is a little lighter and the weather is a tad more unpredictable.  That being said, it can be a great time to visit our area – but you have to make your own fun with some of the more off-the-beaten path activities, take things easy and be prepared for just about any kind of weather.

So if you find yourself wanting to get away from the heat of the South, the noise of city life, or the traffic jams on your daily commute, visit us in the Spring and you can see what the life of a Whitefish “local” is really like, when the skiing stops and the hiking trails in Glacier Park are still covered in snow.

Here are some ideas for fun and sometimes overlooked activities that still go on when the tourists go home:

Visit a distillery, winery, or brewery: Great Northern Brewing Co. has a tasting room less than 2 miles from the Hidden Moose and samples of their many offerings are “on the house”.  Glacier Distilling Co. in Coram and the Glacier Sun Winery in Kalispell also offer tastings of their unique libations.

Visit a museum: You might think museums are just in big cities, but some of the funkier museums are located in small towns across the country and the Flathead Valley is no exception.  Right here in Whitefish is the Stumptown Historical Society Museum located in the Train Depot. Just 15 miles away in Kalispell there’s the Hockaday Museum of Art, Central School Museum and Conrad Mansion (Open May 15-Oct 13)  –  a hidden jewel of a beautifully preserved pre-1900 mansion of the founder of Kalispell, Charles Conrad, complete with over 90% of the original family furnishings.

Get pampered: Perhaps in your day-to-day life you don’t have time for massages & spa treatments – but now you do – you’re on vacation after all!   Take a day out for a mani/pedi, massage or facial at one of the many day spas & salons here in the Valley.  We’re happy to recommend our favorites or visit: www.whitefishchamber.org for a list of options.

Go thrifting: Yea, it’s a thing now – shopping at thrift stores and consignment shops – what used to be the necessity of a broke college student is now “cool” and a great way to find one-of-a-kind unique items and fashion finds. Whitefish has 2 thrift stores and several consignment shops including the Chic Boutique and Copperleaf Consignment.  More thrift stores and consignment shops are to be had in Kalispell.

Hike local trails:  The Whitefish Trail is a great place to get some exercise and the snow will be gone long before the trails of Glacier Park are cleared of the white stuff.  Pick up a trail map and get moving.

Bike: There are many local mountain bike trails less than 10 miles from the Moose, including Spencer Mountain.  You can rent a bike at Glacier Cyclery and hit the road.  Here’s a local’s tip – Bike the Going to the Sun Road before it opens to car traffic.  In mid-May to early June (perhaps earlier depending on the weather) the park service has the Going-to-the-Sun Road closed at Avalanche Creek to car traffic but beyond that point bikes are allowed and the road can be cleared to the Loop and beyond before you run into plow crews trying to clear the road.  The road offers spectacular views and you won’t have to worry about cars.  For road status call: (406) 888-7800 or see it at: http://home.nps.gov/applications/glac/roadstatus/roadstatus.cfm

See how things are made: Montana Coffee Traders gives tours of their roasting facility and as mentioned in a previous blog post Whitefish Pottery gives tours of their facility to curious visitors who want to pull back the curtain to see how artists get their hands dirty to make beautiful pottery.

Those are just a few of the things you can do in the “off-season” here in the Flathead Valley and I didn’t even get to mention: Seeing live music and theatre, antiquing, gambling, fishing or just bellying up to the bar at a local joint to get recommendations on things to do and see from a friendly barkeep who lives here year-round.

Spring is also a great time to get great rates at the Hidden Moose Lodge since it’s our “off season” too.  See our Specials & Packages page for more info.  Then give us a call at: 1 (888) 733-6667.

Author: Sarah Stewart

Whitefish Winter Fun for Non-Skiers

February 24th, 2013 by kimtaylor

Happy Beer Tasters at the Great Northern Brewing Co.

Happy Beer Tasters at the Great Northern Brewing Co.

One of the challenges of planning a ski vacation is how to accommodate & entertain the non-skiers in the group. While curling up with a good book in front of the fire in our Great Room is always a welcome option, there are plenty of non-skiing activities to entertain those who don’t ski or board or those who want to take a day off from the mountain.

If you want to still enjoy a winter activity there are plenty of recreation options to get your heart pumping: snow shoeing on the nearby Whitefish Trail, ice skating at the Stumptown Ice Den (skate rentals available), snowmobiling and dog sledding with Dog Sled Adventures in nearby Olney,  just to name a few. If you still want to strap on skis, there are several Nordic options as well. Cross-country ski rentals and groomed trails await you at the Whitefish Lake Golf Course (they even have a lighted trail for night skiing.) For a more rustic cross country ski option try the Stillwater Nordic Center offering over 20 km of groomed trails. Area sporting good stores offer rental options for snowshoes, skis, etc. And, don’t forget, Glacier National Park is open all year round and the quiet solitude is a wonderful way to see this beautiful jewel from a whole new perspective.

Another fun way to spend the day is exploring the town of Whitefish and you don’t even need a car! The same shuttle system that takes skiers up the the mountain, can take you to downtown Whitefish and the shuttle stop is just a stone’s throw from our front door. We recommend making your first stop in town the Whitefish Visitor’s Center located at the offices of the Whitefish Chamber of Commerce [307 Spokane Ave.] The friendly folks there will provide you with all kinds of good information on activities, festivals, special events, restaurants, galleries, and museums. Some highlights we recommend:

  • Stumptown Historical Museum at the Whitefish Train Depot. Learn about the history of Whitefish (yes, you too can find out why Whitefish’s nickname is “Stumptown”) and for train enthusiasts it’s a “must see”;
  • *FREE* beer tasting at the Great Northern Brewery;
  • Whitefish boasts over 14 Art Galleries/Shops – perfect places to find that unique one-of-a-kind souvenirs of your trip to Montana;
  • If you have kids in tow or you want to torch some calories in heated comfort, head over to the The Wave, a state of the art fitness facility that has a lap pool and a kid’s pool, a place to drop off the little ones while you workout, a variety of cardio & weight training equipment, and classes including yoga, Zumba, spin & step;
  • Stop for lunch at one of many local restaurants offering menu items for all tastes – from the carnivore to the staunch vegan and everything in-between. Ask us for our favorites, [you might get a different answer from each one of our staff members, but they’ll all be good!];
  • Bowling at the Pin ‘n Cue;
  • Paint your own pottery at the Stumptown Art Studio;
  • Catch a movie matinee at the Mountain Cinema 4-Plex, located at the Mountain Mall;
  • Support our local economy by shopping at one of many of the shops offering a wide range of products and souvenirs from artisanal olive oils to t-shirts to knitting & quilt shops to pottery & books – (yes, we still have a fantastic brick-n-mortar bookstore!);
  • Take a coffee roasting tour at Montana Coffee Traders or see how our Hidden Moose Lodge mugs are made by taking a tour at Whitefish Pottery located just 5 miles from Whitefish.

 

So as you can see, Whitefish has many options for both the skier and non-skier alike – we are happy to help you make your plans for an off-the-mountain-day.

Author: Sarah Stewart

Fall in the Flathead

October 31st, 2012 by kimtaylor

Fall is an amazing time to be in the Flathead Valley. As the summer crowds subside, a sense of peacefulness sweeps over the valley. With yellow Larch needles, orange Mountain Ash berries, and red Maple leaves, the landscape becomes more beautiful with each passing day. The fall activities are endless with some more appealing than in the busy summer months. Hunters hit the National Forest and State Land areas hoping to score a tag and get meat to last their family through the winter. Hiking in Glacier National Park is not only advised due to the hunting season, but is more pleasurable with visitor numbers down. Instead of encountering hundreds on the Avalanche Lake trail, there may only be a couple of dozen hikers on a busy day. Cycling on roads within Glacier also becomes more feasible with less vehicle traffic on the well maintained roads of GNP. Fishing is still great on various lakes and rivers, as well as paddling. The cool crisp air is refreshing and results in rosy cheeks on those partaking in outdoor activities. Early fall brings both black and grizzly bears in town to forage among fruit bearing trees, bird feeders, or improperly stored trash. Anything that can provide much needed calories before entering hibernation is fair game. Often an overnight dusting of snow remains, making it easier to see animal tracks and sign. Turkey and deer numbers are at an all time high in town. With hunters prowling in the woods, these animals and others retreat to town for safety. Due to fewer travelers in the area, accommodation rates drop and many establishments run specials, making it a very affordable time to visit. With low visitor numbers, an abundance of activities, and great prices, fall is by far one of the best times to visit Northwest Montana.