Clicky

Lakeside, Montana

Lakeside, Montana, is a small, quaint town located on the north side of Lake Michigan in the United States of America.

It has much to offer visitors and residents alike, making it an ideal place to go on a holiday with friends and family or even as part of one’s retirement plans.

Lakeside was founded in 1866 as a stopover point along the Yellowstone Trail. Today, locals are proud of their heritage and enjoy giving visitors a sense of what it was like to live there more than a hundred years ago.

This charming lakeside town has much to offer its residents and tourists alike, including pristine views, excellent fishing opportunities, many historical sites, and activities all year round to enjoy with family and friends.

Lakeside has a population of about 2,000 residents and sits at an elevation of almost 4,500 feet. This town is well known for its great recreational opportunities, with 16 lakes within its borders and many tourists rushing here during the summer months.

Main Attractions

Lakeside, Montana is a scenic oasis in the Flathead Valley area of Montana. Lakeside offers fun activities and beautiful scenery to both tourists and locals alike, making it an ideal place to visit year-round.

If you’re looking for a few places to visit while you’re in the area, consider these main attractions at Lakeside that are sure to delight you!

Lake McDonald Lodge

lake mcdonald lodge

One of our favorite lodging choices, Lake McDonald Lodge, is perched high on a hill overlooking part of Glacier National Park’s most breathtaking scenery. You can walk out onto your balcony and take in views of forested slopes dotted with tiny lakes.

Even better, you can rent one of the resort’s boats and explore some of those smaller lakes yourself! Hiking trails to Hidden Lake, Avalanche Lake, and St. Mary Falls are also within easy reach from here.

It’s worth noting that from June 1st through September 30th, each night spent at a lodge comes with its own complimentary boat rental!

The full benefit comes from stays over three nights, but even a two-night stay gets you half off boating for your entire party.

Iceberg Lake

iceberg lake

This is a small alpine lake located in a tiny but beautiful basin underneath Lower Kintla Lake. This serene and stunning sight is best seen from across Upper Kintla Lake, where it’s easy to catch a glimpse of its reflection on calm waters.

Iceberg Lake is accessible only by horseback or by way of a long cross-country hike, so be sure to pack wisely! If you’re up for an adventure, take a trip over Granite Pass and experience something truly one-of-a-kind!

Bowman Lake

bowman lake

A getaway to the heart of the Rockies, Bowman Lake is a must-see. Unlike many other lakes in Montana, Bowman isn’t just popular with fishermen and campers but it’s also a haven for hikers and mountain bikers.

This little slice of paradise is located in an area of staggering natural beauty, making it perfect for anyone who enjoys spending time outdoors.

You can reach Bowman Lake by car, but you’ll probably enjoy your visit more if you go on foot. Mountain biking and hiking are popular activities around Bowman Lake, or you can just relax and enjoy the scenery!

Bring your own bike or rent one from a local shop to really get the most out of your trip to Bowman Lake! You’ll want to spend as much time as possible exploring such a gorgeous place.

Going Downstream from St. Mary’s

Your next option is to take a different river and go down through St. Mary’s Canyon, which offers more fishing and swimming opportunities than you’ll find in all of Baker’s Hole.

The water gets deeper as you descend into St. Mary’s Canyon. You’re much less likely to have an audience along for your ride, considering the low number of campsites available. 

Most trips through St. Mary’s Canyon can be made in two days, either one night paddling with an overnight onshore or one day on a raft trip followed by a car shuttle or boat drop-off back to civilization.

The beauty of St. Mary’s Canyon is particularly worth experiencing after having gone through Baker’s Hole, so it makes sense if you want to start your journey here!

Baring Falls

baring falls

About an hour and a half north of Bigfork, right in the middle of the town is Baring Falls. This waterfall is a local favorite during any season. Still, in fall, when leaves are changing color and splashed with bright sunlight, it’s remarkably breathtaking.

Follow Lake Street to its end and cross over Whitefish Creek to view it. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife — especially deer — on your way down there!

Make sure you visit Baring Falls on your trip to Lakeside, or else you’ll be missing out on a great hidden gem.

Accommodations

When visiting Lakeside, there are plenty of lodging options to consider. Some of your choices include hotels and inns, which are a good option if you have time to plan ahead; bed-and-breakfasts, which typically provide a more intimate experience; and vacation rentals and cottages that provide a taste of home without all the furniture.

Special Events

It’s a charming little town where nothing ever happens — except when it does! Like any small town that makes its living off of tourism, it experiences a sudden boom in business depending on the season of the year.

Even if you don’t live here full-time, there is always something interesting going on around town.

Recreation

recreation

If you’re looking to get out into nature and enjoy some of the best recreational activities Montana has to offer, then head to one of these fantastic lakeside spots that you can reach by car in a day’s time or less!

Here are five of the best Lakeside recreational activities that you can take advantage of today.

Camping

Lakeside Montanans flock to public campsites and private resorts alike for a weekend of rest, relaxation, and recreation. If you’ve been cooped up in a cubicle all week, make your escape to a lakeside campground and pitch a tent.

For a chance to experience nature up close, pitch a tent in a lakeside campground. When you’re camping by a lake, you can enjoy the best of both worlds: being close to civilization but also far enough away from it that you get that fresh-air feeling.

Fishing

Fishing is one of those activities where you can’t go wrong — and Lakeside, Montana has some of North America’s finest fishing spots.

Big Arm State Park is an excellent place to fish for walleye, trout, pike, salmon, and rainbow trout; Madison Lake has a fantastic fishery for perch, largemouth bass, and bluegill; Beaver Creek in Paradise Valley is an excellent place to fish for bullhead catfish and smallmouth bass.

Golfing

There are a number of golf courses in and around Lakeside, Montana, including some of the most well-regarded golf courses in the US. The course at Meadow Lake Golf Club has hosted three PGA Tour events and nine major LPGA tournaments.

For amateurs looking to improve their game, there are also a number of lessons available at many clubs. Lakeside Golf Club is another popular option for those looking to enjoy a day on a course overlooking Flathead Lake.

Horseback Riding

Lakeside has a number of different horseback riding trail options like Circle Bar Ranch and Rockin’ Heart Ranch.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely ride with your children or an adrenaline-pumping experience with your friends, horseback riding is the perfect vacation activity.

These horseback riding trail destinations in Montana will give you something to talk about for years!

Hot Air Balloon Rides

Hot air balloon rides offer beautiful views of Lakeside’s mountain ranges. They are a magical experience for both families and first-time flyers.

When you have time to spare while staying at Lakeside, Montana, make sure to schedule a ride with a hot air balloon; it will be one of your favorite memories from your trip.

Lakeside Activities

National Parks and Forests

State Parks

City and County Parks

Museums

Conclusion

The serene landscape of Lakeside attracts a lot of visitors from nearby cities to the countryside. The small community of Lakeside, Montana makes it perfect for an exciting vacation with friends or family.

So plan your next vacation to Lakeside and get ready for an unforgettable adventure!

Related Articles