After we left Glacier National Park we headed back west towards Kalispell so we could spend a few days soaking up the atmosphere in both Kalispell and Whitefish. There are some great motorcycle rides in the area that we wanted to take advantage of and just explore the region.
Kalispell is a fairly large city with a population of approximately 20,000 yet it has a nice small town feel. It’s a wonderful town to walk around in the historic district with great little shops and restaurants. We stayed in a hotel right in the historic district with easy access to everything.
The town of Whitefish is a short 30 minute or less drive north from Kalispell. It is much smaller than Kalispell and sits on the southern edge of the beautiful Whitefish Lake. It is also the home of Whitefish Mountain Resort which provides both winter and summer activities. Besides the typical ski activities for the winter, the summer activities include a chair lift to the top of the mountain, an Alpine Slide, a Walk in the Treetops, Zip-lining, an Aerial Adventure Park, mountain biking, and lots of hiking. We decided to spend the day checking out the resort.
One of the many summer activities offered is a scenic ride up and/or down the chair lift. It is actually a multiple type of lift offering either a chair or a gondola and a special lift for mountain bikes. We choose the chair lift so we could have a more open air feel for the ride up and down. There are hiking trails so you can hike in one direction and take the lift the other direction or just hike the whole way. Be sure to bring your bear spray as you are in a grizzly bear habitat area. Since we were on the motorcycle we didn’t have hiking gear so we took the easy way out, up the chair lift AND down the chair lift. Ahhh….the lazy days of summer!
Next to the bottom of the Big Mountain Express lift is the top of the Base Lodge lift where you can board the Alpine Slide and zip down the mountain. Lots of fun.
The Base Lodge Chair Lift is free during the summer and allows access down to the Base Lodge and back up again. So off we went to the lodge to check out the Aerial Adventure which looks like terrific fun.
From there we headed to the Base Lodge where we sat out on the patio and enjoyed the perfect day. We could see the zip liners heading to and fro but you cannot see the actual zip lines as they are further up the mountain but the Aerial Adventure Park is in view from the patio. Lunch and drinks are served on the patio which makes for a perfect day!