On a recent trip to Glacier National Park in the RV, we were heading home via Hwy 2 and stopped to visit Whitefish, Montana. About 30 miles west of the Park, this great little city is not what we expected at all. While it has all the appearances of being a town in the wild west, Whitefish is also an artists colony, a ski resort, a great central location for local fishing, hiking, exploring and biking. The town sits on the south end of Whitefish lake and we saw photos of people swimming in the lake but it was still spring and the water was simply freezing!
We walked up a little trail near the ski resort and saw thousands of wildflowers in bloom. The big Whitefish Mountain Resort takes full advantage of their ski runs during the off season with zip-lines, canopy tours, an alpine slide, and the ski lifts take hikers up to higher trails.
The town has fun plenty of charm with The Great Northern Brewing Company (where we had excellent burgers), gift shops, restaurants, galleries, and clothing shops. Sitting in a mountain valley, Whitefish is home to just over 6,000 hearty souls and 14.3% are over the age of 65. The mean value of an owner occupied home is $261,000, higher than the state average. Research found that 44.9% of the adults have at least a Bachelor’s degree, compared to 21% nationwide. The crime rate is below the rest of the state and well below the national average.
If you live in the hot southern states, we think Whitefish, Montana would be a great place to spend a summer. There are plenty of rentals and RV parks and lots of things to do. There is the Huckleberry Days Arts Festival and Taste of Whitefish where you can sample all the local restaurants specialty dishes. Be sure to stop in the train depot Museum and learn about the railroad and its history in the area.
On our way back to Washington, we crossed over the mountains on Highway 2 and will definitely come this way again. The road follows a river valley and there are no real passes – a bonus when pulling a trailer. It takes a little longer, but hey, we’re retired!