We had a lot of fun in Montana. We rented an AirBnB on Echo Lake. We tried to rent on Flathead Lake, but we could not find anything available. You should be aware that most places in Montana (unless you are in a hotel) will not have air conditioning. This is usually not a problem because it doesn’t get very hot there until August. There are usually no issues with wildfires until August either, which is why we chose to go in mid July. (If you go earlier in July Glacier is not completely open.) However, the temperatures hit the 90s when we were there and there was a lot of smoke from wildfires. The smoke really just affected our views, there was only one day that we smelled it.
We rented a boat through Flathead Boat Rental for half a day. We had a good time checking out all the houses on the lake. We also drove slowly by Wild Horse Island to see if we could find any horses. We saw a few deer, but no horses. The lake has a lot of logs floating in it and the depth can change considerably, so make sure you know where you are going if you decide to explore. We were in one section that was 25 feet deep and we could see the bottom clearly. It was lined with giant rocks.
I would definitely recommend staying on a lake, if possible, or near a lake. I would also recommend going for a horseback ride when in Montana. We went on one last year in the mountains and this year we tried a different company, MT Horseworks. They were very thorough explaining things to us before the ride, including being aware that the horses could spook while in the woods. (You should hold on and try not to fall off if this happens.) There were eight riders in our group and two guides. We rode through a field and up the mountain. We were in the back of the line, so we missed seeing several deer and a baby elk (which did spook several of the horses). We were on a two hour ride and had a break when we reached the top of the mountain.
One day we drove down to the National Bison Range to see some bison. We did not see as many as we have in the past, but we saw quite a few. It was fun to watch them interact with each other. We also saw a few deer and an elk in the distance. There are two drives that you can do and we always do the longer one. We have always seen bison, so I think it is pretty much guaranteed when you go there.
Our favorite thing to do while in Montana is to try everything Huckleberry flavored that we can. We love Huckleberry ice cream, milkshakes, beer, and pastries. This time I tried some chocolate with huckleberry cream that was delicious. We also had a huckleberry smoothie (milkshakes are better). I think huckleberry soda is too sweet, but Jef loves it. The best huckleberry beer is from Idaho. It’s a huckleberry cream beer. I would highly recommend trying Sweet Peaks ice cream. They have homemade waffle cones that are also delicious.
Montana is one of my favorite states to visit. I was sad that I didn’t get to enjoy the views as much this year as I have in the past, but it was amazing to stay on a lake and drive Going to the Sun Road again. This year we stayed near Bigfork and explored the town a bit. We spent time in both Kalispell and Whitefish as well. If you have been there, let me know if you have places you love.