Illustrated travel guide to Flathead Valley recreation
We present six options guaranteed to raise adrenaline (and maybe even your hairline), fit for the whole family.
Written by David Steele. Illustrated by Collin Hamman
Sperry Chalet Resort and Spa
A few errant flames rendered the historic Sperry Chalet a smoking ruin in 2017. But not to worry: the rebuilt Sperry Chalet Resort and Spa includes an indoor waterpark with enough H2O to keep that from ever happening again. With a quick heli ride up the hill, you can join in glacier ice fishing, glacier golf, or a bobsled course (closed in August). Relax and recharge in geothermal hot tubs in the signature Huckleberry Spa, and coming next year: tram service to the glacier.
Jewel Basin jewel hunt
Sure, it’s got hiking, but the crown experience of Jewel Basin happens below the trails. Dig for treasure deep in the caverns beneath Mt. Aeneas, where you’ll find a variety of semi-precious stones amidst heaps of other rocks. Hire a guide (pickaxes and torches provided) for a better chance of striking it rich, and enjoy the satisfaction of paying top dollar to do manual labor underground. Fun for the whole family!
You’ve done ziplining, but have you ever done it yourself? Glacier Rental Ziplines (an authorized concessioner of Glacier National Park) now offers you the chance to set up a valley-spanning zipline anywhere you’re bold enough to try. Their kit comes complete with a modified spud gun, a selection of grappling hooks, harnesses, and two miles of cable. Goats are not allowed in harnesses, after a previous incident. Life insurance sold separately.
”If you’re like us, you’re vaxxed, got some money stacked, your bags packed, and fixated on one fact: this summer’s adventures have to make up for all the good times missed”
The Uber/Lyft Horse Division
Post-Covid, it’s understandable that summer nightlife is going to be a bit loose. To meet demand, enter the Uber/Lyft Horse division, serving downtown Whitefish and Columbia Falls between 9:30pm and 3am. Ride home (or elsewhere) in style! Single mounts and buckboards available, wagons (extra charge) for those who cannot remain vertical.
Fishing for the Flathead Lake Monster
Make a fish story worthy of a novel: go fishing for the Flathead Lake Monster. Thought to only be mythical, this leviathan has recently been spotted near Somers Bay. Choose from harpoons, downriggers, or try your luck to catch the beast on a fly. Purchase your own non-resident cryptid tag prior to departure. And don’t worry—the captain calls everyone Ishmael.
Take your uncle to The Montana Vortex
Speaking of family—there’s such a thing as too much. You want to enjoy your summer, and when your visiting uncle mentions moving here for the fifth time, the Montana Vortex is where you should take him. Previously an illusion, this full-fledged spinning hole in the ground is now perfect for transporting anyone (or anything, really) to someplace else. Of note, TSA does not allow bear spray to be carried into the vortex, even in checked luggage.
Illustration: Colin Hammond
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