Springtime in Whitefish

Whitefish, Montana is nestled among North America's most stunning landscapes, in the heart of the Glacier National Park region, often called the Crown of the Continent. It is a storied region where dramatic mountain peaks tower over expansive valleys that cradle countless glaciated lakes and blue ribbon streams.

No matter how you explore this region — by car, by foot, by bike or with a paddle — your experiences during the day will be both thrilling and soul-enriching. As day becomes evening, the hospitality and vitality of Whitefish will inject you with new energy. World-class dining and nightlife are packed into an imminently walkable downtown.

When the long day is over, luxury resort lodges and small inns, high-quality hotels, or guest ranches at the edge of town are just some of your options. Distinct and compelling vacation home rentals are also choices for larger groups or families.

When the snow retreats from this remarkable ski and winter destination, Glacier National Park and surrounding forests begin to take center stage for the summer season. However, visiting Whitefish in the spring and early summer months will introduce you to the quieter side of town before the busier July and August months. When you visit during these times, you'll have the opportunity to experience what later visitors will miss. Here are some spring and early summer Whitefish experiences that make it worthwhile to plan your trip a little earlier in the year:

Biking the Going-to-the-Sun Road before it is opened to motor vehicles

One of the best kept secrets is the spring season when the Going-to-the-Sun Road is closed to cars, but open to bikers and walkers, providing a quieter glimpse into the heart of the park. Glacier's Going-to-the-Sun Road has been called "the most beautiful piece of mountain road in the world" for good reason. It's an engineering marvel that spans 50-miles through the park's wild interior.

The waterfalls of Glacier National Park

The deep snows of winter become powerful and awe-inspiring waterfalls when winter becomes spring and summer. The mountain slopes of the park are laced with hundred foot waterfalls in the spring and early summer season.

Biking the quiet spring and early summer roads

Beyond the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park, there are miles of quiet backroads and single track trails in and around Whitefish for road and mountain bikers alike. Bikes can be rented in Whitefish at several locations.

The Whitefish Trail at the edge of town is open to hikers, bikers, runners, and equestrians with 26 miles of trail. There are also many other mountain biking destinations like the freeride features at Spencer Mountain, or in the early summer you can explore the nearly 30-miles of lift-served trails at Whitefish Montain Resort.

The "Fish Trails" network winds in and around town for bikers and pedestrians. Sections of the trail follow the edge of the Whitefish river, throughout the town and loop into quiet forests.

Exploring downtown Whitefish and Central Avenue

A good part of a day or more could be spent exploring the shops and art in Whitefish. The covered sidewalks of Central Avenue are gateways to treasures to be discovered. A family shoe store, barbershop, hardware store, and sport shops are interspersed with award-winning restaurants, pubs, coffee shops, a brewery, Broadway-caliber theater, art galleries, and gift shops.

Getting to Whitefish may be easier than you thought. The town is only 12 miles from the Glacier Park International Airport (FCA) which is served by several flights daily from Seattle, Salt Lake and Minneapolis, with other direct flights from locations such as San Francisco, Denver and Las Vegas. Every day the Amtrak train arrives in the heart of town at the historical Whitefish train depot from Portland, Seattle and points west — or Chicago, Minneapolis and points east.

For more information and to plan your spring or early summer trip to Whitefish, Montana, check out: www.explorewhitefish.com