Wayfarers State Park is located along the shores of Flathead Lake near Bigfork, MT. This state park is known for its lakeside cliffs and outstanding views of Flathead Lake.
Wayfarers State Park is a relatively small state park and was not long ago a part of the neighboring Flathead Lake State Park.
This small state park is a popular location for campers, hikers, and anglers. The park is also a popular stopping point for individuals that are hiking or biking the Continental Divide Trail.
The resort town of Bighorn is just a short drive from Wayfarers State Park, making it a nice place to visit for restaurants, family activities, and lodging when you’re visiting Wayfarers State Park.
Wayfarers State Park Stats
- Size (acres / ha) – 67 acres
- Season (when can it be accessed) – Year-Round
- Largest Lake/Forest – Flathead Lake
- Number of campsites, RV Parks – 30
Wayfarers State Park Main Attractions
While you are visiting Wayfarers State Park, you’ll find that there are a few things that you shouldn’t miss checking out while you’re in the park. Here are some of the best attractions.
This is the one attraction at Wayfarers State Park that is hard to miss. Flathead Lake is one of the largest natural lakes in Montana.
It was formed by retreating glaciers when the area was covered in snow and ice during the last ice age. Today, the lake is fed by runoff from mountain snow and summer rains.
Flathead Lake is central to the recreational activities available at Wayfarers State Park. It is also one of the more popular recreational sites in the Flathead Valley.
Visitors to Flathead Lake and Wayfarers State Park can enjoy swimming, boating, and fishing on Flathead Lake.
The rocky beaches and dramatic shoreline cliffs are popular places for visitors to Wayfarer State Park to enjoy the views of the lake and access the lake for its many recreational opportunities.
The one trail in Wayfarers State Park, the Park Loop trail, follows along the cliffs offering great views of the lake, the Flathead Valley and the surrounding peaks.
The cliffs also offer access to the forest above the lake which is full of native wildflowers and a great place to practice your photography skills.
Harry Horn Native Plant Garden
If wildflowers and native plants are one of the things that interest you about state parks, then you’ll want to stop at the Harry Horn Native Plant Garden. This garden was planted in 1998 by the East Shore Bigfork Garden Club.
The garden features numerous examples of the native wildflowers, plants, and grasses that can be found around Bigfork, MT and within Wayfarers and Flathead State Parks.
The gardens are named after Harry Horn, a well-known Ecologist who had a passion for forest ecosystems and spent some of his time as a researcher in the Bigfork area.
It seems like a strange attraction, but many visitors to Wayfarers State Park say that the cliffs on the east shore are the best place to enjoy the setting sun throughout the year.
The cliffs are a great place to set up your camera and enjoy the views of the lake and the setting sun while capturing some spectacular photographs.
Wayfarers State Park Recreation Activities
Wayfarers State Park has a number of recreational activities that you can enjoy while visiting the park.
Wayfarers State Park is a popular place for locals and visitors to enjoy a hike along the shores of Flathead Lake.
The Wayfarers Loop Trail is the only trail through the State Park, but its opportunities for amazing views of Flathead Lake, the Flathead Valley, and the mountains that line the west side of the valley are some of the best in the area.
The State Park also provides access to the Continental Divide Trail which is popular for long-distance hikers and mountain bikers.
Wayfarers State Park provides a handy stopping point for those on the Continental Divide trail along with access to Bigfork, MT which provides food and other amenities for hikers.
Wayfarers State Park is a very popular spot for bikers on the Continental Divide Trail. The State Park is a designated stopping point for bikers who are attempting to travel this trail that runs from Mexico to Canada.
While there are no trails open to bikers in the State Park, the area around Bigfork and Wayfarers State Park has plenty of opportunities for more adventurous and longer biking trails.
The Town of Bigfork is also a very bike-friendly village, and you’ll find many people on bikes throughout town.
Wayfarers State Park offers a single campground that is able to accommodate both tents and RVs. Many of the park’s 30 campsites are located with lakeside access so they are perfect for some of the other recreational activities available in the park including fishing, boating, and swimming.
The campground in Wayfarers State Park has 30 sites available. Of the 30, seven are for tents only. The campground offers toilets (flush and vault), showers, drinking water, an RV dump station, and bear lockers.
The campground also has a group tent site that is specifically designed for bikers on the Continental Divide Trail. This site has nine tent pads and bike maintenance facilities at the campground.
Flathead Lake is a very popular place for anglers to try their skills in catching Lake Trout. Lake trout is one of a number of fish species that live in Flathead Lake, but it is the most populous, and the one trout species in Flathead Lake that you can harvest.
Besides Lake Trout, Flathead Lake is home to pike, yellow perch (sunfish), and whitefish. These are the most abundant species in the lake, but you’ll also find rainbow trout, bass, kokanee salmon, cutthroat trout, and bull trout.
The lake isn’t a popular spot for fly-fishing, but you’ll find plenty of people fishing from boats and the shores at Wayfarer State Park. Wayfarers State Park has a nice boat ramp and dock that are also popular with anglers.
If you are interested in fishing at Wayfarers State Park, make sure that you visit the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks for information on fishing regulations and how to acquire a Montana Fishing License.
Flathead Lake is very popular with boaters. Its size makes it a great place to spend the day on your boat, whether your boat is a fast power boat or you prefer a slower, quieter pace than a kayak or canoe.
Wayfarers State Park has a primary boat launch and dock that are available to visitors to the state park. Many of the lakeside campsites are also great places to put out your canoe, kayak, or paddle board.
Wayfarers State Park is located in a part of the Flathead Valley that is perfect for checking out some of Montana’s most interesting and unique wildlife species.
Along the Wayfarers Loop Trail keep your eyes out for waterfowl like loons, ducks, and even swans. The area is also home to a number of songbird species.
If birds aren’t your thing, keep your eyes out for deer, and small animals like squirrels, rabbits, and chipmunks. Larger animals that you may catch a glimpse of in the state park include bears, mountain lion,s and bighorn sheep.
Wayfarers State Park Trail Routes
Wayfarers State Park has only one designated trail route, the Wayfarers Loop Trail. This short 1.8-mile loop follows the shoreline and offers spectacular views of Flathead Lake.
The trail is considered to be an easy hike and is great for families. Wayfarers Loop Trail has only about 226 feet of elevation gain, so it is a perfect trail for a quick hike to stretch your legs.
Wayfarers Loop is popular with locals, so you’ll likely encounter plenty of other people along the trail. The trail is also dog-friendly, but dogs must be kept on a leash at all times when in the State Park or on the Wayfarers Loop Trail.