Photo courtesy: John Ansotegui
Photo courtesy: Hockaday Museum
Sailing on Flathead Lake
Photo courtesy: MTOT
Photo courtesy: Woodland Park
Kalispell is the "Hub of the Valley" of the Flathead Valley in northwest Montana. Officially born in 1891, Kalispell developed on the site where founder Charles Conrad knew the railroad would establish the main line junction. Conrad opened the Kalispell Townsite Company, established a bank and began building a 26-room mansion. His east side home, the Conrad Mansion
, is just one of many historic homes and buildings created for one purpose and now used for another. From bed and breakfast inns to museums and art centers, Kalispell honors the past while building for the future. A perfect blend of old and new, Kalispell is ready to welcome every visitor.
The railroad depot welcomes visitors as the home of the Chamber of Commerce and the Kalispell Convention & Visitor Bureau. Andrew Carnegie's spirit survives in the elegant former library, now the Hockaday Museum of Art. Kalispell's first school brings the past alive as the Museum at Central School. On Main Street, new construction blends with historic buildings now housing artists' studios, galleries, restaurants, hotel, offices, shops and boutiques. The city has more than 20 parks. Some surround historic structures, including Depot Park, Courthouse Park and the Conrad Mansion grounds. Woodland Park, the city's largest, is a year-round family favorite. And where Conrad's buffalo herd once grazed, golfers play the challenging layout of Buffalo Hill Golf Club.
Kalispell is also a hub for four-season recreation. Summer experiences include hiking, biking, fishing, riding and scenic drives. Winter experiences include snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, two downhill ski areas and snowmobiling. All are within 30 miles of the picturesque town, surrounded by mountains and water.
Near Kalispell, Flathead Lake is the largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi in the lower 48 states, with over 200 square miles of water and 185 miles of shoreline. The southern half of Flathead Lake is within the boundary of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Flathead Reservation.
Glacier National Park is also just a short drive from the Kalispell area. It is perhaps the last vestige of pristine wilderness left among the national parks in the continental U.S. Uncrowded and blessed with some of the world's most beautiful scenery, its 1.4 million acres of rugged landscape was sculpted eons ago by slow moving glaciers, 50 of which are active today. Wildlife abounds and the world's most scenic highway, The Going-To-The-Sun Road, cuts a swath through grand vistas.
Elevation: 2,955 feet