August 11- August 14, 2017- Travel Days 9-12
We are spending the next four nights in and around Whitefish. We drove through downtown Kalispell to Glacier Peaks RV Park which is actually just west of downtown Columbia Falls. We are close to three local burgs, Kalispell, Whitefish and Columbia Falls and the mighty Flathead Lake here. Jil’s sister Kim, her hubby Dave and her son Dillon, Kim’s grandkids Maci and Flynn all live in Whitefish, a town of 6300 souls. Whitefish is popular with US citizens as well as Canucks as Whitefish is a short 60 miles from the border. Whitefish offers downhill skiing on Big Mountain, riding snowmobiles through the forest and ice skating in the winter, water sports and fishing on the Whitefish River and beautiful Whitefish Lake in the summer.
Whitefish developed around the Great Northern Railroad. Originally called Stumptown due to the abundant timber that needed to be cleared to build the town and the railroad. As the lumber industry became less important the tourist industry rose to what it is today. The historic Whitefish Depot saw 68,000 people embark and disembark in 2006. US Highway 93 is the main thoroughfare; during peak season that rode is bumper to bumper with traffic.
Kalispell, Salish for “flat land above the (Flathead) lake” is the seat of Flathead County and is the most populous city in the county. The Micropolitan Statistical Area reports a population of over 93,000 souls. Besides being a commercial hub to northwest Montana, Kalispell serves as the gateway to Whitefish Mountain Ski Resort, Glacier National Park, many golf courses and of course, Flathead Lake.
A Little Kalispell Whimsy in Upper Photos
Columbia Falls (4600 souls) is northeast of Kalispell. US Highway 2 runs through it as does the Flathead River. The Montana Veterans Home is located here. If you like to “recreate” this is the place. Swimming, hiking, visiting Glacier N.P., river raft trips and camping are available in the summer. Winter activities include dog sledding, cross country skiing, snowmobiling, ice skating and ice fishing are all available.