Content Produced in Partnership with Explore Whitefish
Whether it's adventurous hiking, paddling, or biking trips you're interested in or laid-back endeavors like yoga and massages with fantastic views, there's plenty for your springtime visit to Whitefish, Montana. Located in the northern Rocky Mountains of Montana just shy of the Canadian border, Whitefish is comfortably nestled near Glacier National Park. Frequently rated by NBC's Today Show as one of the most popular fall getaways and coined the adventure capital of the United States, the adventures to be had in this scenic mountain town are as varied as the seasons it experiences. Springtime is the secret season in Whitefish. As the snow plows begin to clear the roadways and the winter thaw reveals flowing waterfalls, visitors are given exclusive access to the national park and the surrounding area. It'll become evident Whitefish is your go-to destination for adventure and relaxation this spring, here's how you can enjoy it all:
Biking the Going-to-the-Sun Road
Sometimes, the road is best traveled without the sputtering of a car engine. For roughly two months every spring, the beautiful Going-to-the-Sun Road is closed off to cars and especially reserved for pedestrians and cyclists. Start your journey at Avalanche Creek, which will give you the chance to breeze past several waterfalls on an easier segment of the road. As the path climbs and the going gets tougher, look out for rewarding views of the heart of Glacier National Park, including views of the snowcapped Heavens Peak or the blissful Birdwoman Falls. Wildlife enthusiasts should keep an extra eye out for bighorn sheep and mountain goats roaming the surrounding peaks as well.
iExplore Tip: As with any Rocky Mountain town, spring is a season of fluctuation and change. Make sure to check, and then double check, the National Park Service website before your bike trip for current road conditions. Weather and other sudden circumstances — like rain — can affect which stretches of the road are open.
Sightsee on the Lake
In addition to killer mountain views, Whitefish is also famous for its alpine lakes. Whitefish Lake, located just outside town, was formed millions of years ago from a glacier melt. Today, the lake and the nearby state park are incredibly popular with water enthusiasts. You don't need to get wet to access jaw-dropping views from Whitefish Lake itself, though. You can skim along the surface of the glittering clear water by stand-up paddleboard, taking in sights any way you turn. Outfitters like Paddlefish Sports or Sportsman Ski Haus Paddle offer hourly equipment rentals so you can paddle wherever the flow takes you — be it under pedestrian bridges, around the lake or by the beachfront, which is also a fantastic lunch spot.
Hit the Links
Play a round of golf, but don't forget to pause to take in the views. The Whitefish Lake Golf Club features a sprawling 36-hole course, making it the only one in the area of that size. The course is very close to downtown, and tee times can be booked with most lodging reservations at nearby hotels. Considered the most requested golf destination in Montana, the course is as famous for its two-legged players as it is its four-legged visitors. Don't be surprised if you look over and spot a few deer, turkeys or even elk cheering you on.
Hike the Whitefish Trail
As soon as the snow melts, more than 42 miles of accessible trails reveal themselves. Though collectively known as The Whitefish Trail, the giant loop is a series of a dozen different trailheads that roll through forests in full spring bloom and alongside lakes that are ideal for hiking, biking and even horseback riding. Just one mile from downtown is the Lion Mountain Trailhead. The loop trail is relatively short and one of the most accessible trailheads in the area, making it ideal for families and quick sunset hikes. A little farther from town you'll find other trailheads — like South Beaver Lake and Woods Lake — that offer quieter hikes with rewarding viewpoints and outlooks.
Take It All In
While there are endless adventure activities available in the surrounding Whitefish area, its scenic downtown area is a special treat as well. For those who want to keep their muscles moving, fitness and yoga studios are available for use downtown. Meanwhile, aching muscles can be soothed with specialty massages instead. Unsurprisingly, the beautiful scenery provides fodder for the stunning art galleries in town. Conveniently located on Central Avenue, you'll find it easy to while a day away moseying in and out of the shops and galleries in search of souvenir or two before checking out one of the area's award-winning restaurants and breweries for live music. Ready to visit? Click here to begin planning your spring break in Whitefish, Montana.