Whitefish Mountain Resort is probably best known for the ski resort, but a summer visit is also a must if your visiting this area of Montana. Located in the town of Whitefish, MT, and just 15 minutes from the bustling Downtown Whitefish area, it’s the perfect place to play for a day or spend the weekend.
DEETS BEFORE YOU VISIT
WHERE IS THE WHITEFISH MOUNTAIN RESORT?
Whitefish Mountain Resort is located in northwest Montana, 35 miles west of the Glacier National Park West Entrance in Whitefish. It’s only about 15 minutes up Big Mountain from Downtown.
WHEN SHOULD YOU VISIT?
Whitefish is best known for epic ski and snowboard runs, so we highly recommend a visit in winter. However, to enjoy the actives we cover here, you’ll need to visit in the warmer months of the year, generally June thru mid-September.
We visited at the end of August to celebrate Elliot’s 9th birthday. The weather was perfect…the adventure was epic…and it was a great way to celebrate.
CAN I OVERNIGHT HERE?
Absolutely! Who doesn’t want to sleep right next to all the fun, right? Whitefish Mountain Resort offers multiple lodging packages (even in summer) with accommodations ranging from luxurious townhomes to private residences and cozy cabins to condominiums.
Kandahar Lodge is one of those options. It’s elegant yet casual, offering everything from a studio to a deluxe family suite (with three queen beds)!
MOST FUN SUMMER ACTIVITIES
FLY HIGH ON THE ZIP LINE
As I mentioned, we were celebrating this cute nugget turning nine, and the zip line was his favorite adventure of the day. I’d say he was spot-on – we all loved it.
Six lines take you over a mile, soaring back and forth above Big Mountain. The longest run is 1,900 ft and the highest is 300 ft above the forest floor. My favorite part, though, are the views. See Whitefish Lake and the entire Flathead Valley like you’ve never seen them!
The zips here use a unique trolley technology. You sort of “sit” in the seat, and you’ll hold a bar while you fly through the air as fast as 45mph.
It felt super safe to me (maybe even safer than the typical zip lines we’re used to) but it does mean that you have to carry your trolley up and down the hills between zips. That can be a little challenging if you’re not in great shape (or you just hiked a 15 miler at Glacier) but heck – our 9-year-old zipped alongside a gentleman who was 90 years old! If they can do it, you can, too!
SEE FLATHEAD VALLEY FROM THE SCENIC LIFT
Another more relaxing way to see the valley is via the scenic lift rides. Take either a gondola or a chair lift access up to the top of Big Mountain. We rode the gondola up, but took the chair down so we could snap photos of the epic scenery.
The summit offers 360-degree views of the valley, and they are breathtaking. There are a few trails you can take from here, or head to the patio for a soda or beer before hitching a ride back down.
SOAR THE MOUNTAIN ON AN ALPINE SLIDE
The Resort gives you the chance to soar down the mountain side on the only alpine slide in Flathead Valley. You’ll take a lift to the slide (this isn’t the top of the mountain…you’ll go up further for the scenic lift) and pick from one of two slides.
The “left” slide has a dip and takes you under a short but awesome tunnel. We spent most of our time on the “right” slide which included two dips and seemed a lot faster. The 4-pack ticket was perfect for me and Dan, but I swear the boys would have taken the slide a dozen more times if we’d let them.
BIKE THE BIG MOUNTAIN
The Resort is home to 25 miles of lift-accessed downhill trails and 9 miles of routes for cross country mountain biking. There are 4 easy/moderate trails and 18 more difficult to most-difficult for advanced riders.
We were not able to bike when we visited, but could see the bikers coming down from the summit as we rode the scenic lift. It looked exhilarating and we hope to do it next time.
TAKE A HIKE FOR HUCKLEBERRIES
Eleven miles are multi-use trails, ideal for hikers also. The most popular is Danny On Hiking Trail, extending 8.6 miles from the village to the summit. It’s not easy, with a 2,000 ft elevation gain to the midway point, but the views are sensational and you can pick huckleberries as you climb!
Want something easier? Arnica Ridge is a 1.2-mile family-friendly hike to Jumping Rainbow Pond that features early-season berry picking. Whichever trail you take, be sure to always pack the bear spray. Those black and grizzly bears love huckleberries even more than you do!
Arnica Ridge isn’t on All Trails, but you can find more info about it and other hiking options here.
GRAB A BITE
You’re going to want to spend an entire day here, so be confident that there are also dining options. We headed to the Base Lodge Cafe for burgers and salads. Nothing fancy, but the food is filling and you can sit in the bar area if mom or dad want a cocktail with lunch.
These were our favorite adventures while visiting, but that’s not the end. Here are just a few other options for your summer family fun day:
- Mountain bike lessons
- An aerial adventure park with 5 courses and 60 obstacles
- A Strider bike park for those just learning to balance
- Spider Monkey Mountain climbing for kids
- Summer tubing
- The Summit Nature Center. (We loved touching pelts for various animals you can see in the area mountains.)
Whether you’re touring Whitefish, MT, or just taking a break from your time inside Glacier National Park, Whitefish Mountain Resort is an epic place to bring the family in summer!
MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO MONTANA
- GLAMPING IN YELLOWSTONE: 7 Best Glamping Locations Near The Park
- BILLINGS: 15 Awesome Things To Do in Billings MT (Including SE Montana Day Trips)
- MANY GLACIER: 5 Captivating Reasons You Will Love Many Glacier in Glacier NPS
- BOZEMAN: 12 Amazing Things To Do In Bozeman, MT
- WATERFALLS: 17 Amazing Waterfalls in Montana (Inside and Outside Glacier NPS)
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