Located near the icy wilderness and untouched beauty of the north, Big Fork is the preferred choice of many tourists looking for a relaxing break. Along the sparkling blue bay of the Swan River and Flathead Lake, this majestic and homey town caters to some of the best art galleries and theatre performances in the world.
If you, like many others, are interested in visiting the large, rugged, and open landscape of Montana, you’ve come to the right place.
Continue reading to know more about the various airports near Big Fork that you can use to get to your destination.
Glacier Park International Airport (FCA)
By far the closest airport to Big Fork is the Glacier Park International Airport, which is only a short thirty-five-minute drive from your destination.
Though the route within Glacier National Park is somewhat intricate and perplexing, they offer numerous facilities to help cater to your needs. From private shuttles to security guards, they provide everything to ensure a pleasurable, comforting, and friendly experience.
Other than that, the airport is known for facilitating numerous tourists. It connects flights from multiple locations such as Seattle, Portland, Chicago, and Houston.
Additionally, there are various routes you can take through the park in under an hour. Not only would this be quick, but the rental car would also be able to drive you through the various scenic sights of the state.
Missoula International Airport
Founded in 1977 and managed by the Missoula County Airport Authority (MCAA), Missoula International Airport (MSO) is possibly your second-best choice. Located in the center of the Rocky Mountains, it is a two-hour drive away from Big Fork and only a couple of minutes from downtown Missoula.
They offer excellent services, which include free Wi-Fi, chargeable ports, and a variety of snacks. They also have various shopping centers, conference rooms, and restaurants available 24/7. All of this will ensure a comfortable and easy stay for you. The airport utilizes some of the most renowned airlines, such as Allegiant Air, Frontier Airlines, American Airlines, and Alaska Airlines.
When it comes to food, MSO has predominantly two vendors; Liquid Plane and Liquid Planet Grille. They are located at pre and post-security checkpoints, allowing you to grab a drink or bite at the point and time of your convenience.
And, if you’re looking to buy last-minute travel necessities, the Big Sky Gift Shop at MSO is your go-to choice. It offers snacks, clothing, souvenirs, magazines, and a vast selection of huckleberry products.
Other than that, there are other notable services such as ATMs, Smart Carts, massage chairs, and mail drops.
Spokane International Airport
Being a large commercial airport located in downtown Spokane, Washington. Spokane International Airport (GEG) is available 24/7 for all your traveling needs. Hosting daily flights, this renowned airport is the second busiest in Washington. Due to this, it provides top-notch services, which include free Wi-Fi, lost baggage claim, currency exchange, and mart carts.
Therefore, it is well-known for catering to numerous international tourists. It is also connected to nearby landmarks. Within a short car ride, you could find yourself in Glacier National Park or, through a taxi or bus, you could visit the Empire Builder.
Along with this, Spokane is home to some of the country’s best wildlife. if you want to experience this, a trek at Mt. Spokane to the Spokane Waterfalls will give you a good sense of the wilderness before reaching Big Fork.
Great Falls International Airport
About three miles southwest of Great Falls in Cascade County is the Great Falls International Airport (GTF). It is a public airport that connects around twenty cities. Located in-between Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park, the airport routes run through the country’s most scenic regions.
However, despite the possible detours, a car ride from here to Big Fork is four hours long. Meanwhile, if you want the cheapest alternative, a series of bus, train, and car rides should cost you under $35 as well.
Just 10-15 minutes away from downtown Alberta, Canada, Lethbridge Airport (YQL) is a great choice if you’re looking to travel from the US. Since Canada doesn’t require any visa permits for flying as a US citizen, flying there is practically the same as flying domestically.
Also, it’s worth noting that the airport is still only a two to three-hour drive from Big Fork. This leaves room for detours, allowing you to experience Canadian culture on your way to a peaceful forest retreat.
Bert Mooney Airport
The relatively new 40,633 square foot airport terminal of Bert Mooney Airport (BTM) is located in the center of the Rockies. It is a public airport that was named in honor of Bert Mooney, an aviator who was the first to fly mail into Yellowstone National Park.
The airport is spread across 890 acres and is 5,500 feet high. In 2011, it had an estimated 65 airport operations on any given day and 23,934 employed staff in total. Out of these operators, 86% would be general aviation, 8% for air taxis, and 3% for commercial and military each.
On the other hand, its services include free parking and Wi-Fi, on-site car rentals, and its ADA-accessible single level. For food, the Ore Cart Restaurant provides all the refreshments you might need after a long journey.
If you don’t have any closer alternatives, it’s worth noting that Bert Mooney Airport is about a 3-4 hour drive from Big Fork and it costs a meager $30 to rent a car.
Helena Regional Airport
Constructed in 1993 and owned by the Helena Regional Airport Authority, Helena Regional Airport (HLN) is a public airport northeast of Helena in Montana. Its terminals cover over 1,224 acres with a vertical height of 3,877 feet. On average, the airport has 106 general aviators working per day. Additionally, a total of 38,877 aviators are employed: 68% for general aviation, 14% for air taxi and military, and 4% for the airlines.
Generally, the airport is known for its exuberant and general aviation presence. Residing in Montana’s capital city, it caters to your needs with numerous amenities such as short-term free parking, five car rental agencies, and free WiFi. Moreover, a road trip from HLN to Big Fork can be exceedingly cheap whereas renting a car for a 3-hour drive can cost a minimum of $18.
Traveling in the United States
The following laws apply to all international tourists:
- All passengers need to receive a negative COVID-19 test. This applies to everyone who is 2 years of age or above and the test needs to occur a maximum of 3 days before your flight.
- If you’re vaccinated, you are required to self-monitor COVID-19 symptoms instead. For example, you would be exempted from a COVID-19 test but you still need to do a viral test three to five days after arriving. However, if a vaccinated traveler tests positive, the same regulations are in place; they would have to self-quarantine until recovery.
- If a traveler is unvaccinated, they would have to quarantine for at least a week. Along with this, they would have to follow with a COVID-19 test 3 days post-arrival. If you were to test positive within this period, you would have to isolate until recovery.
- It’s also worth noting that currently travel bans have been imposed on 33 countries globally due to COVID-19. These countries include Brazil, China, Iran, Ireland, India, Schengen Areas (Austria, Belgium, France, Hungary, etc.), the United Kingdom, and South Africa.
In general, you can try looking up travel guides to find closer airports with more affordable rental services near Big Fork.
However, except for a couple, most airports are over a 3-hour drive from Big Fork which should be expected given the rural forestry and outland area that Big Fork is.
On the plus side though, most domestic flights to Big Fork are exceedingly cheap and budgeted. In this modern-day age, online travel guides and sites would do most of the work for you. And, you would easily be able to pick the quickest and simplest routes, by bus or a rented car.
Overall, if you’re looking for a short rural retreat to connect with nature, Big Fork is your go-to choice. You can join in on numerous activities such as hunting, fishing, mountain biking, camping, and horseback riding to satisfy your outdoorsy spirit.
During the winter, you can also take part in snowboarding, dog sledding, and ice fishing.
In addition to the activities, the best part of retreating to Big Fork is that it’s accessible throughout the year.
Whether you want to enjoy snowy hilltops or horse riding in the summers, Big Fork is suited for every season. It’s packed with a diverse range of outdoor adventures that is sure to make for a fun and unique experience for the whole family.