Mini Trip Report: Whitefish, Montana

Old Jul 30th, 2021, 08:48 PM
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Mini Trip Report: Whitefish, Montana

Dates: 3 nights end of July
hotel: Chalet Inn motel, Whitefish (cute motel with decent breakfast)

activities :
1) Farmerís Market in White: every Tuesday
Fresh local produce, jewelry and food trucks all serenaded by a live band (in our case, it was magically Irish): Worth it!
2) drive to Big Fork from Columbia Falls: gorgeous ďcountryĒ scenery
3) drive to Loganís Pass with hike to Hidden Lakes: glorious! Itís truly like Swiss Alps or the Dolomites
4) Big Mountain zip line tour: loved it! Thereís. But of walking between launches so wear good shoes and donít forget to tip the guides
5) Big Mountain Summit: Loved it! Glorious views and chair lifts/gondolas made in Switzerland/Austria
6) Thursday night Rodeo in Columbia Falls: yes! Medium sized rodeo full of Flathead talent. For 14 bucks, definitely a highlight

drawbacks:
- high season hotel prices: more than double (almost triple) off season prices
- not enough staff for restaurants do many are closed or only have drive thru. We refused to wait the one hour wait and looked for alternatives.
- limited passes for the road to the sun. We got lucky
- wildfire smoke /haze: no clear views anywhere in high summer

Found on our journey to and from Montana:

Post Falls, Idaho: White House Greek Restaurant
fantastic food at reasonable prices. I recommend the outdoor dining to reduce garlic stench

Wallace, Idaho: authentic historical town that hasnít changed much in 100 years. We are in an adorable cafe on cedar and 6th street. Highly recommended!

Thatís my mini trip report! Yeehaw!



kleeblatt is offline  
Old Jul 31st, 2021, 06:13 AM
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Thanks for this lovely trip report on Montana. My only experience with Montana is the visuals from the Empire Builder train from Chicago to Seattle, which was really spectacular from East Glacier and points west. Your report reminds me that there must be a ton of beauty in that state.
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Old Jul 31st, 2021, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Daniel_Williams View Post
Thanks for this lovely trip report on Montana. My only experience with Montana is the visuals from the Empire Builder train from Chicago to Seattle, which was really spectacular from East Glacier and points west. Your report reminds me that there must be a ton of beauty in that state.
youíre very welcome. Montana has been on my bucket list for a long time and it lived up to the hype.
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Old Jul 31st, 2021, 05:45 PM
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Thanks for the report. All of my dad's side of the family is from Montana. A number of years ago I was privileged to do a 2+ week (expense paid) business trip to visit clients in Montana. Actually more than once. The route took in Whitefish, where I cant recall the hotel where we stayed. But the wife bought some jewelry there, that's for sure. She bought some Yogo sapphires in Lewistown but bought the setting in Whitefish. We enjoyed our short stay. But the loop was essentially Billings, Roundup, Lewistown, Great Falls, Blackfoot, Browning, Whitefish, Missoula, Butte, Bozeman, Red Lodge and points in between, including Glacier (briefly). I was selling/servicing jail/prison phone systems. Which took me to a number of off the beaten tourist path places.

Last edited by baldone; Jul 31st, 2021 at 05:55 PM.
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Old Aug 4th, 2021, 03:46 AM
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Thanks for the report. It will have to be my look at Montana this year as we had to cancel our trip this summer and I am bummed.
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Old Aug 28th, 2021, 05:04 AM
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Kleebatt, your trip report is very timely. We just returned from spending 3 weeks in France visiting our daughter and her family who we haven't seen in 2 years. We now leave on September 9 for Whitefish, MT to attend a family wedding. I have not done much research at all because of planning the France trip and things going on with my 91-year old mother. So I appreciate your report and have a few questions.

We will be in Montana for a total of 10 days, and that includes our travel days. We have the wedding on September 12 and some wedding events, such as barbecue, breakfast, etc. We are staying at the Lodge at Whitefish Lake, and then after that we will be at 2 other locations near the park.

Do you know if the farmer's market is held on Tuesdays in September?
Can we drive from Whitefish to Big Fork and back in one day?
Is the hike from Logan's Pass to Hidden lakes difficult? We are 74 and 71, and not in the best of shape. We did some hikes in the French Alps that were considered easy to moderate, and we went slow and I admit were exhausted afterwards. But the scenery was worth it. But we don't want to risk falling and breaking ankles!
Thanks for the tip about Big Mountain summit
I am interested in the rodeo. How far is Columbia Falls from Whitefish?

Going to the Sun Road doesn't require passes after September 6 so we don't have to worry about that.

What kind of alternatives did you find for the restaurants that were closed?

Thank you so much for any advice/help you can give!
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