A popular state park surrounded by glacially-carved cliff faces, West Shore State Park, as the name implies, is located on the western side of Flathead Lake. It’s extremely popular with boaters and watersports enthusiasts, and there are several docks and boat launches along the shore.
There’s also an in-park gear rental facility that operates from mid-June until Labor Day with a permit from Montana Wildlife, Fish, and Parks where you can find stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, and pedal boats.
Flathead Lake is famous among anglers, and West Shore State Park has several fishing access sites along the shore. The biggest draw here is trout and bass, and it’s generally a prolific place to try your luck.
Many visitors merely come for the day, but there’s a very popular campground on the grounds. It’s set in a mixed fir, pine, and larch forest with a view of the lake below. There are sites suitable for both tents and RV’s up to 40 feet long that have full hook-ups.
From the campground stem numerous hiking trails that go through the forest and up on top of the mountain from which there is a spectacular view of the lake below.
West Shore State Park Stats
- Fees: $8, free for Montana residents
- Size:129 acres
- Season: Year-round
- Major Feature: West Shore Campground
Main Attractions in West Shore State Park
Already in a popular region for outdoor recreation, the West Shore State Park draws folks looking to get out onto the water.
Sea Me Paddle Kayaking Tours
Offering both boat rentals and guided tours, Sea Me Paddle Kayaking Tours is the premier rental facility in the region.
Rollins RV Park & Boat Rental
Rollins RV Park & Boat Rental is a campground and boat rental company in West Shore State Park Montana. Their campsites are open year-round and provide water, electric, and sewer hookups. Visitors can also rent boats, take day trips with Rollins’ guided tours, and get information on the area’s best fishing spots.
Hockaday Orchards is a family-owned farm that has been in operation for over 100 years. Located in West Shore State Park, they are the only U-Pick orchard in the region.
They have pick-your-own strawberries, apples, peaches, and pumpkins as well as an array of delicious baked goods from their on-site bakery.
Tamarack Brewing Company
Tamarack Brewing Company and restaurant is the only taphouse in West Shore State Park Montana. It was opened by a couple who fell in love with the state park and decided to open their restaurant there. The brewery features six beers on tap, and their menu features dishes made from fresh ingredients from local farmer’s markets.
Whispering Pines Cabins
Whispering Pines Cabins is a family-owned and operated business, located in West Shore State Park Montana. Though it’s in a fairly rustic setting, they have a variety of enviable amenities onsite like wireless internet, and satellite TV.
Activities in West Shore State Park
With a popular campground, excellent hiking, and access to the famous Flathead Lake, there are tons to do in this well-located state park.
The West Shore State Park is home to the extremely popular West Shore Campground, which has a variety of types of campsites, from primitive, tent-suitable plots to full-service spaces for RVs.
The campground also has several amenities like garbage pick-up, vault toilets, potable water, and fire rings. The campground is quite large, and the sites are spaced out enough that it feels very private. While there aren’t many shade trees around the campsites, it’s located right next to the forest.
The many hiking trails within West Shore State Park range in difficulty from easy and suitable for kids to legitimately challenging. The summit hike especially shouldn’t be attempted without plenty of water and at least some basic hiking gear like a map, compass, and suitable footwear.
Outside of the campground, the docks and boat launching areas are the park’s largest draw. While motorized crafts are allowed on Flathead Lake, canoes and kayaks are most popular within this park.
If you’re coming from out of state, be sure you check with the Montana Wildlife, Fish, and Parks to ensure that your craft has been properly disinfected to prevent introducing non-native or invasive organisms.
While the majority of anglers who visit the park are lake fishing from a boat, there are some fishing access sites along the shore for anglers without a craft. In order to fish in Flathead Lake, you’ll need a tribal fishing license in addition to a Montana fishing license as this state park is within the borders of the Flathead Indian Reservation.