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Whitefish Travel Guide

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Location & Getting To Whitefish

The Train Depot in Whitefish
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Whitefish is located at the far northern end of the Flathead Valley in Northwest Montana. Whitefish lies 15 miles north of Kalispell, on Highway 93. Columbia Falls, a smaller town to the east, lies just 7 miles away. Whitefish Mountain Resort sits just to the north of town while Whitefish Lake (and the city beach on Whitefish Lake) lies less than a mile away from the downtown.

Getting to Whitefish is painfully simple if you like to travel by train. Whitefish is the busiest train depot in Montana. Conveniently, the train depot lies one block from downtown. Best of all, most of the hotels and resorts in the area have free pickup of guests from the train station – making it a snap to arrive in town without a car. Travel by the train is also significantly less expensive than by air.

An airport, Glacier Park International Airport, is located nearby too – just about 14 miles away. It’s a nice airport, although it primarily serves Kalispell. However, flying in and out of the airport is expensive, to say the least. Direct flights are only available from Salt Lake City, Minneapolis and Seattle. Every time I check into flights back home to Wisconsin, I’m usually floored by the price. This explains why, of course, that I end up on the train instead of a plane on my annual trips back to Wisconsin. Just remember my golden rule of train travel – two nights on the train is one night too many (unless you can afford a sleeping compartment).

There are no interstate highways up in this part of Montana, for better or worse. As such, getting into the Flathead Valley (where Whitefish is) is an exercise in patient driving on twisty mountain roads (most are in good condition, though), sometimes in surprisingly heavy traffic – especially on Highway 93 to the south. Highway 2 offers a better and less crowded way of getting into the Flathead Valley if you will be coming from the west (from Libby) or the east (East Glacier/Havre/Great Falls area).

Where to Stay in Whitefish

Whitefish has very few inexpensive hotels. Rooms range from fairly high priced to very high priced ($300+) during the prime summer period. Moreover, it is fairly common for hotels to be booked solid weeks or months in advance during the summer. Moral of the story is...make your reservation long before you visit Whitefish.

See List of Hotels in Whitefish at Hotels.Com

Map of Whitefish & The Flathead Valley of Northwest Montana

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