Montana, aptly nicknamed “the treasure state” is best known for its numerous mountains ranges (it is home to over 100!). However, its “treasures” also include its headwaters, which add to the state’s unmistakable natural beauty and unique geography. Montana is one of the few geographic areas in the world whose rivers are part of three major watersheds. Its rivers feed into the Pacific Ocean, Hudson’s Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. And although there are no ocean views in this inland state, there is no shortage of water to enjoy. With thousands of freshwater lakes and rivers, Montana proves it can be just as much fun as the coasts.
One of the most beautiful spots in Montana is Flathead Lake. This lake is the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi and includes 185 miles of shoreline. The lake’s sparkling waters offer magnificent views of Swan and Mission Mountian ranges and are perfect for recreational activities. Whether you are kayaking on its glassy surface or fishing for trophy-size trout this lake has something for everyone to enjoy.
North of Flathead, lies the beautiful glacial, Whitefish Lake. This lake is home to one of the best public beaches in the states, City Beach. City Beach’s sandy shore and designated swimming area make it the perfect spot to escape the summer heat.
Further North, is Glacier National park. Known as the “crown of the continent”, it encompasses over 4000 square miles. Glacier National Park is home to 700 lakes, 131 of which are named. These lakes were formed by Glaciers during the last ice age, and are generally cold. In fact, most lakes in the park do not get warmer than 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The colour of these glacial lakes range from milky turquoise to extremely clear, due to the varying amount of nearby Glacial activity.
With no shortage of beautiful scenery and freshwater to enjoy, it’s no wonder Montana is known as the Last Best Place.
© Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, 2011 - 2018