A few weeks ago we spent a week with my parents in the charming town of Big Fork, Montana. Big Fork is a quiet town, about thirty minutes from Glacier National Park. Being from Los Angeles, it was nice to experience a bit of actual fall for a few days.
The leaves were turning colors, the temperatures were in the forties and fifties and it was a perfect break from the eighty to ninety degree temps we’ve been having in Los Angeles. There are many things I love about L.A., but I do miss the fall and the fall colors.
If you’re passing through this side of Montana, there are definitely a few places to check out along the way.
1. Glacier National Park — From Big Fork, it’s an easy thirty minute drive to the west entrance gates and the Road to the Sun. Give yourself plenty of time to enjoy the Road to the Sun, there a lots of different turn outs and trails. Our first stop was the Trail of the Cedars, an easy mile or so trail that is mostly flat terrain and easy to navigate. We were there on a drizzly day, so there were not many people on the trail. The lack of people meant we could take advantage of the quiet of the woods and really just enjoy being on the trail.
The Trail of the Cedars, Glacier National Park, MT (Photo Credit: Erin Moore)
2. The National Bison Range, Moieses, MT — If you’re really looking a “Home on the Range” experience, this might be it. The range is home to bison, elk, deer and variety of other animals. As you drive through the range, you have the chance to see the animals in their natural habitats. The road through the range is a one way, windy, dirt road. If anyone is prone to car sickness, this might not be the adventure for you.
Bison, National Bison Range, Moieses, MT (Photo Credit: Erin Moore)
3. Whitefish, MT — Whitefish is a smaller town with a vibrant downtown area full of shopping and dining. We stopped into a couple places in town for food and drinks and had a great time.
If you’re looking for good food, local beers and friendly bartenders, stop into The Craggy Range Bar and Grill on Central Ave. Brett enjoyed the Bison Chili and we both liked the Chicken Spring Rolls. After lunch we headed over to Spotted Bear Spirits, a local distillery for a tasting. From Huckleberry Vodka to Gin, Spotted Bear does a great job taking normal spirits and adding their own unique twist. Brett and I love checking out new distilleries when we travel and Spotted Bear Spirits definitely did not disappoint it.
4. Big Fork, MT — In between our adventures we had time to explore Big Fork, MT. Wandering the Main Street of town will take less than a couple hours but you’ll find some fun stores, including Eva Gates, Homemade Preserves. Stop into Eva Gates for a sample of their Huckleberry preserves. I guarantee you’ll want to take some home with you! A few doors down from Eva Gates, is Roma’s Gourmet Kitchen Store. Head into Roma’s to find every kitchen gadget you never knew existed, but now you definitely need! While you’re in Roma’s’ be sure to try some of their homemade fudge.
Finally after your shopping stroll through Big Fork, make your way to The Old Pub for pizza and local craft beer.
On our last day in Big Fork we took a walk around part of the lake and headed over to Flathead Lake Brewing Company for a few tasters. On a warm day, they have a fantastic patio with great views of Flathead Lake.
We have so many more things on our list for the next time we’re in the Big Fork area. We’re definitely looking forward to our next trip!