Tour Kalispell and Montana’s Flathead Valley by Bike
Cycling in Montana’s Flathead Valley is a stunning way to experience some of the most spectacular scenery in the lower 48 states. Highways are wide open and, especially during the “shoulder” seasons of spring and autumn, largely uncrowded by vehicles. Several tours offer more intimate glimpses into the scenic vistas Northwestern Montana has to offer and centrally located Kalispell is the perfect place to refuel at the end of the day.
It is also a great place to start the day with a stop at Wheaton’s, the cornerstone bike shop in downtown Kalispell since 1918. Their inventory of over 400 bikes plus gear, skates and other hobby items is impressive; and if your two-wheeled vehicle needs a repair or tune-up, Wheaton’s repair shop and full-time bike mechanic will fully revive it.
Camas Road (Glacier National Park): Begin your journey in West Glacier and pedal northwest, beginning along the western flank of Lake MacDonald and past Fish Creek, through charred remnants of the 2004 wildfire and ending at the pristine waters of the North Fork of the Flathead River. From this point either pick up your car shuttle or turn tail and pedal back to West Glacier. Don’t forget to stop for a huckleberry shake après-ride!
Rails to Trails (Somers to Kila via Kalispell): Pick up your Rails to Trails map at the Kalispell Visitor Information Center at 15 Depot Park in Kalispell. Then hop on the trail in the village of Somers on the northwest end of Flathead Lake. From Somers the trail follows the former path of the Great Northern Railway north to Kalispell and offers a gentle grade for cyclists of all abilities and ages—not to mention stunning views of the Flathead Valley and surrounding mountain ranges. The paved trail offers a very safe path around Kalispell’s Bypass and then follows U.S. Hwy 2 west out of town. The second half of the trail winds along Ashley Creek and the Batavia Waterfowl Production Area, culminating the 15-mile journey in the small town of Kila.
Farm to Market Road (Kalispell to Whitefish): From downtown Kalispell, pedal northwest of town on Montana Hwy 424, also known as Farm to Market Road. This roadway takes you through the heart of the Flathead Valley’s most stunning scenery. From sweeping views of the valley floor to unobstructed views of Whitefish Mountain Resort, you’ll be inspired by Montana’s wide-open spaces along this route, delving into the area’s rich agricultural backbone.
Top off your day of adventure with a fine dining experience in historic downtown Kalispell. Then, rest your bones at familiar hotels including the Hilton, Hampton and Red Lion; or stay at a more unique property such as the historic Kalispell Grand Hotel or Glacier Ridge Suites.
The vibrant city of Kalispell is the gateway to Glacier National Park, Flathead Lake, Whitefish and all of the recreation, art, shopping and adventure that northwestern Montana has to offer. Plopped in the center of the Flathead Valley, it’s an easy drive to the park entrance, the art galleries of Bigfork or the water sports mecca of Flathead Lake and well-equipped with affordable, comfortable lodging, great dining and a range of shopping from one-off boutiques to price-conscious large-format retailers. For more information, visit http://www.discoverkalispell.com.
Tags: Batavia Waterfowl Production Area, Capers Restaurant and Pizzeria, Cycling, Glacier National Park, Glacier Ridge Suites, Kalispell Grand Hotel, Kalispell rails to trails, Somers, Wheaton’s