Lakeside is a small town of about 1,340 homes on the western shore of Flathead Lake. The town is a tourist destination due to the lake access, a town park, and proximity to Blacktail Mountain, Glacier National Park, skiing, hiking and outdoor activities. There are restaurants and a grocery in town, as well as many others to choose from in nearby Kalispell and Bigfork.
Lakeside is located on the western shore of Flathead Lake, a 30 mile long and nearly 15 mile wide lake. Flathead Lake is the largest lake in the western United States. It boasts 160 miles of shoreline, 200 square miles of water, and 300 feet of depth in some places. The Flathead River and Swan River feed the lake all year long.
There are many parks around the lake, as well as attractions such as the Dragon Boat Festival, Wild Horse Island, Wayfarers State Park and more.
Volunteer Park is located in the town of Lakeside and is open all year long. The park provides views of the Swan and Mission Mountain Ranges. During the summer, fishing, swimming and boating are available. The park has a beach, docks, bathrooms and pavilions. It can be located right in the center of town at 7225 US-93.
For information on the other Flathead Lake parks check out the Kalispell Montana community page.
Enjoying the Outdoors
Whenever someone mentions Montana, the first thing most people think of is the great outdoors. Montana is a treasure trove of outside activities including hiking, downhill skiing, mountain biking, cross-country skiing, skating, hunting, fishing, horseback riding, events, and more. Here are a few highlights:
In the town of Lakeside, there is a park located just south of town on Route 93. The Flathead Lake State Park West Shore Loop offers a few miles of relatively easy hiking. If you’d like to spend time near the water enjoying a non-strenuous walk, this is the place to go! There is also room for fishing and sunning.
In addition, the surrounding Flathead Valley has tons of hiking and climbing opportunities. Just a few examples are:
In the Swan Range, the Jewel Basin is a popular site for hikers. This area is just outside of Bigfork. The Jewel Basin includes over 15,000 acres, 35 miles of trails and 27 lakes. Motorized vehicles and horses are not allowed in the area.
Also in the Swan Range is Alpine Trail #7 which is a 54 mile-long trail that starts at Columbia Mountain, which is east of Columbia Falls. It passes through the Jewel Basin, and ends at Inspiration Point, a 7,552 summit which is located near the southern end of Flathead Lake.
In the Salish Mountains, there are more than 4,000 square miles of forests, hills and mountains. If you are interested in climbing, the Stone Hill Rock Climbing Area provides over 300 climbing routes. In terms of hiking, there are multiple hiking trails in the Salish Mountain Range. Trailheads are located at Ashley Peak, Lupine, Blacktail, Wild Bill, Elk Mountain and more. The best way to find trails in the Salish area is to purchase a Kootenai and East Half Kaniksu National Forests map.
For more information on these hiking options, check out the Kalispell Community Page.
Lakeside’s ski area is Blacktail Mountain, located at 13990 Blacktail Road. The downhill ski area is about a 30-minute ride from the center of town. The road leading to the ski area can be snow and ice packed, so a four-wheel drive vehicle would be useful.
Blacktail Mountain provides 1,000 acres of forest, 1440’ of vertical elevation, and close to 30 runs including a 1.75 mile run. In addition, the ski area provides views of Flathead Lake, Glacier National Park and several other mountain ranges. Approximately 250 inches of snow falls per year, and the trails are 100% natural snow. There is also a cross-country ski area which is located a few miles before the downhill ski area and is clearly marked with signs. The cross-country area is available from December 1stand March 31st. During those times, no snowshoes, bikes or vehicles are allowed. Only cross-country skis!
Another possible ski location is Whitefish Mountain Resort is about an hour drive from Lakeside.Whitefishhas 105 marked ski trails, bowl and tree skiing, and covers 3,000 acres. On average, the Whitefish area gets about 333 inches of snow. There are 11 chairlifts and several T-Bars. In the summer, the area provides mountain biking trails. As with Blacktail Mountain, there are cross-country skiing opportunities in Whitefish as well.
There are horseback riding opportunities in nearby Kalispell and Bigfork. Those include horseback riding and summer barbecues at Artemis Acres in Kalispell or an all-inclusive vacation at the Flathead Lake Lodge in Bigfork.
Fishing and Hunting
I am definitely not an expert in the areas of hunting and fishing personally, but know plenty of people who are! Here is what I can share.
Regardless of whether you prefer lake fishing or stream fishing, you can find it near Lakeside.
Some of the options for lake fishing include Bull Lake, the Chain Lakes, Jewel Basin lakes, Koocanusa Reservoir, Lake Koocanusa, Lion Lake, Lupine Lake, the North End Lakes, Noxon Rapids Reservoir, Sylvia Lake, Tally Lake and the Wilderness Lakes. The type of fish in each varies. You can find westslope cutthroat trout, kokanee salmon, bass, perch, bull trout, rainbow trout, lake trout and pike, to name a few. If stream fishing is more your style, the Kootenai River and the North, South and Middle forks of the Flathead River can provide days of fishing fun. More details on all these options can be found at the Go-Montana website.
While the exact dates can change from year to year, early in the year, turkey and bear season is underway. In the Fall, archery season for big game starts in the September timeframe. General hunting for black bears and wolves follows in mid-September, and the general season for deer and elk in mid to later October. The general season usually goes to late November, and there can also be some youth-only days prior to the start of general season.
In Montana, many species can be hunted with proper approval. Hunting for white trail deer, mule deer, black bear, elk, wolves, mountain lions and game birds are all possible. Also antelope, big horn sheep, bison, moose, mountain goat and turkey.
Hunting in Montana, as with many other states, requires that hunters are licensed and have the proper tags. If a black bear tag is requested, hunters must also pass a bear identification test that proves they know the difference between black bear and grizzlies, since the latter cannot be hunted. Also, resident and non-resident license costs can vary dramatically (for example, $125 for a resident versus $1250 for a non-resident).
The other things to keep in mind in Montana is hunting requires vigilance for bears. Hunt with a buddy and keep an eye out when finding carcasses. Also, hunting on private land is only doable if the landowner provides consent. For more information on hunting in Montana, see the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks website.
Lakeside MT Places to Live
As with the rest of the Flathead Valley, there are variety of home types to choose in the Lakeside area. Your choices might include manufactured homes, condominiums, townhouses and single family homes. Single families could include small remote cabins up to and including beautiful lakeside estates. See the bottom of the page for currently listed homes.
Living in Lakeside MT
Once you’ve purchased your new home in Lakeside MT, there are so many additional things to know such as how to dispose of garbage, where to get your news, where to grocery shop and the like. Following are answers to some of those questions.
How do I dispose of garbage/recycling materials in Lakeside MT?
Valley Recycling is one option, located at 1410 Highway 2 West in Kalispell. They are open Monday-Friday only from 7:30am to 4:30pm. They have several drop off sites, which can be found on their website. They accept non-waxy cardboard, newspaper, office paper, magazines, shredded paper, aluminum cans, aluminum foil and aluminum pie dishes.
The Flathead County Landfill site is located at 4098 Highway 93 North in Kalispell. You can bring items such as construction debris, appliances, refuse, used motor oil, brush and yard waste to this site. They will also retrieve junked vehicles. Household Hazardous waste can also be delivered to the landfill site, but only on every third Saturday and registrationis required. Also, four passenger vehicle tires per year can be delivered at no charge, and more can be dropped off with a small fee.
Household garbage can be delivered to various drop off sites as indicated in the Flathead County Solid Waste link provided here. Latex paint can be included in regular garbage as long as it is hardened. If it isn’t, it will be accepted once cat litter or sand or sawdust is added to absorb the moisture. For the Lakeside area, a drop-off location is located on Route 82 in Somers.
Where can I get my news?
There are several local newspapers which are online and can help you get acquainted with the area before you move here. Once you are here, you can arrange for delivery of the actual paper if you so desire.
The first is the Flathead Beacon which is published in Kalispell and covers news from Northwest Montana. In addition to their reporting of news, events, outdoors and arts and entertainment, the publication includes a sometimes humorous view of the police blotter. This is a free publication that you can pick up at most stores in the area.
Another source of information about the area is the Daily Inter Lake, which is also published in Kalispell. In addition to local news, sports and classifieds, this paper also includes a section called “The Best of the Flathead” which highlights restaurants, places to stay, local businesses and more.
If you want to know more about the most important part of Montana, the outdoors, you can also subscribe to a magazine called Montana Outdoors. It provides amazing photos of wildlife and nature and is stock full of information about the local environments. their website can be found here for more information.
Where can I buy groceries?
The Lakeside area is home to Blacktail Grocery which is located at 105 Stoner Creek Road. While the store’s inventory is not quite as robust as the options in the Kalispell area (Albertson’s, Rosauers, Smith’s, Walmarts, and two Super 1s), they have all your basic necessities. If you are looking for more, please visit the Kalispell page for other options.
What other activities might I find to do in Lakeside?
Culture is alive and well in the entire Flathead Valley area. The Bigfork Summer Playhouse is located at 526 Electric Avenue in the town of Bigfork. They host shows from May through September. More information can be found on their website.
Also in Bigfork is the Center of the Performing Arts. The center is open year round. The 435 seat theater is home to musical theatre, plays, live music, concerts as well as movies.
From October to May, the Kalispell movie theater provides live Metropolitan Opera events. See the attached link for current schedules.
In Whitefish, the Whitefish Performing Arts Center is located at 127 Spokane Ave. They offer live performances as well as the live Metropolitan Opera events mentioned above.
The area also provides many opportunities for live music, both in restaurants and bars, as well as outdoor events. Check out the Flathead Beacon’s Events guide for more information.
If you have any Lakeside MT questions that were not answered here, feel free to reach out to me directly. I can be reached at 406-270-3667 (cell) or via email at email@example.com.
Lakeside Montana Homes for Sale