A hub for golfing, lake recreation, hiking, mountain biking, and skiing, Whitefish sits at the base of Big Mountain Ski and Summer Resort. Nine lifts serve 3,000 acres of powder skiing and provide outstanding winter and summer views (the mountain is closed mid-April–early June and late September–mid-November) into Glacier National Park and the Canadian Rockies. At Whitefish Lake, Native Americans once caught and dried
whitefish. Euro-American settlers came a century ago to farm or join the timber or railroad industries; the sporty resort town now has 5,000 residents. Skiers descend Big Mountain late fall through early spring, and summer attracts hikers to the Danny On Trail. The trail leads to the mountain summit, which can also be accessed via the Glacier Chaser chairlift. Numerous other activities, such as a kids’ bike academy, art treks, art and music festivals, and nighttime stargazing events, keep the mountain busy throughout the warmer months. You can tackle mountain-bike trails, rent mountain scooters, try a 9-hole folf (Frisbee golf) course, and walk in the trees along an 800-foot path in the treetops, 60 feet above the forest floor. A nature center and a few gift shops and restaurants remain open mid-June–mid-September, daily 9–4:30.