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The Flathead National Forest covers over 2.4 million acres of which about 1 million acres is designated wilderness. Pinchot, the first chief of the US Forest Service, promoted ‘managed conservation’ (rather than preservation like the NPS) for our public lands, allowing for responsible, partial commercial use of National Forests.
The 1.4 million acres of Flathead National forest which are not designated a wilderness area are used for two ski resorts, logging, limited berry harvesting and cattle grazing.
Our flight landed in Kalispell, Montana in the early afternoon. Not quite ready to take on Glacier National Park, we headed over to Whitefish Mountain Resort. Whitefish Mountain Resort is inside the boundaries of Flathead National Forest, which shares its Northern border with Glacier National Park.
We rode the ski lift to the Summit House. We had a choice of open chair lifts or enclosed gondolas. We opted for the open chair…photo opps always take precedence over being warm. It was 57 degrees Fahrenheit and windy at the summit.
The Summit House opened in 1990 and houses a nature center with a Forest Service Education Center in the basement. We stopped in the gift shop for a souvenir pin.
Outside, we took in the views of the surrounding Rockies and Flathead Valley. There was still quite a bit of snow, even in late June. We walked a little on some of the clear trails at the top, enjoying the smell of pine that wafted in the air.
We’d intended to hike the Danny On trail back down to the lodge, but it was closed due to snowy conditions. The Danny On Memorial Trail is a National Recreation Trail, with the shortest route to the base lodge being 3.9 steep miles. This is why the trail is closed when ice and snow are present.
So we improvised and took the chair lift halfway down the mountain. The best views were on the lift ride down the mountain. Then we rode the alpine sled back down to the lodge.
Location: 3808 Big Mountain Rd, Whitefish, MT 59937, USA
Designation: National Forest
Date designation declared: 2/27/1897
Date of my visit: 6/22/2018
27 thoughts on “Flathead National Forest-Whitefish Mountain”
No photos while on the alpine sled? 😂😂
Only one of me, because I was the slowest. I’m not posting that…I look ridiculous, LOL 🙂
I love this!
So glad you enjoyed my post! Thanks for commenting!
Such beautiful scenery! I’m envious of your fearlessness on the lifts. I think I’d be so nervous I wouldn’t be able to look around, much less take photos.
Thanks! I don’t know about fearlessness…I may have let out a shriek or loud gasp out on the descent when I saw how high it was. 🙂
this place looks awesome I hope to go someday! I nominated you for the mystery blogger award. For instructions of how to accept, they’re all here: http://explorewitherik.com/2018/07/02/the-mystery-blogger-award/
Thanks for that! I will check it out 🙂
Gretel and I are always looking for new places to hike and take in the land. Thank you for the information!
Your friends at GKexplorers,
Glad you find my post helpful. I have over 400 photos from our Montana trip, so look for more awesome hikes in future posts.
Really liked this post. Many wonderful memories of Whitefish and area from years ago. Still as beautiful as I remembered. Also love that you were just there. Thanks for sharing.
So glad you liked it! This was our first major trip since I started the blog, so I am happy to be writing the posts while everything is still fresh in my memory.
A great choice. Thanks!
Nice view shot.
Thanks so much!
thanks so much!
Wonderful photos! They are all beautiful, but my favorite is the fifth one down, with the clouds over the mountains – you can see the precipitation and there are flecks of white among the pines.
Thanks so much!
Love it! I live in Missoula, have a daughter that lives in Whitefish-so this is all ‘home’. You can see why it averages a million visitors a month in the summer. Though fall is my favorite time to visit.
Lucky you! Yes I think we’d return in the Fall next time, though we were there in June before the millions started arriving
Nice! Very informative and great photos!
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