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Kalispell, Montana: Gateway to Glacier National Park…

Posted by on September 13, 2014

SEPTEMBER 13, 2014

KALISPELL, MONTANA is a quiet town of about 20,000 people, located in the heart of the magnificent Rocky Mountains, poised in the northwest corner of Montana and kalispellabout an hour south of the Canadian border. As Montana’s seventh largest city and the seat of Flathead County, it’s a progressive, thriving community; the very essence of Big Sky Country – with the best backyard in the country. A half-hour to the east lies the rugged grandeur of Glacier National Park. Fifteen minutes to the south is Flathead Lake – a glacial jewel – the largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi, and one of the purest anywhere. Encompassing the valley is the Flathead National Forest…2.3 million acres of federally protected public land, home to abundant wildlife, including grizzly and black bears, moose, deer, elk, mountain goats, bighorn sheep and wolves. At more than 5,000 square miles Flathead County’s 90,000 residents have plenty of elbow room. About as many people live within the three incorporated towns as outside of them. With a population of 22,000 Kalispell is the largest. It is within a 15-minute drive of the other two, Whitefish and Columbia Falls; and less than 30 minutes from Bigfork and Lakeside, two smaller but vibrant communities nestled on the east and west shores of Flathead Lake.


Downtown Kalispell, Montana. Nearby Sundance  RV Park will be our base camp as we explore this beautiful area.

MORE RAILROAD TRAINS. Critical to northern Montana’s economy, train traffic has increased over the last seven years, and Amtrak’s ridership has increased by nearly 40 percent over the last five. BNSF Railway Co. operates a busy rail yard in Whitefish and has invested $54.4 million in capital improvements for Montana along its northern route – the mighty Chicago-to-Seattle Empire Builder makes twice-daily stops in Whitefish on its trans-American route. Our campsite is close enough to the tracks that the whistle of passing freight trains entertains us off and on all day and into the night. Another chance to try for some good freight train action shots! Yes!


Dusk at Sundance RV Park, as seen from our campsite high in the Rocky Mountains.

SUNDANCE RV PARK. We’re staying at Sundance RV park, which will serve as our base camp while we explore the National Park and Flathead Valley. The owner boasted that the area’s climate is akin to Camelot. It’s relatively mild: glorious Summers with warm days, cool nights and little humidity; golden Autumn days turning crisp by late October; Winters made for skiing, snowboarding and ice fishing; and Spring with daffodils dusting the valley while fresh snow powders the surrounding peaks – an extraordinary season when you can ski and golf – in the same day! High mountains to the east and west protect Kalispell from harsh extremes. The valley’s many lakes and rivers also tend to moderate temperatures in both winter and summer.

CURRENT WEATHER COMPARISON: The prediction for tomorrow in Deerhorn Valley near San Diego…home to us, is 104 degrees. Prediction for Kalispell: 77 degrees with bright sunshine and a cool, crisp evening. Can’t say that we’re homesick right now! The weather here right now is about as good as it gets.



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