Flathead Valley

Creston Fish Hatchery
Provides rainbow trout for Montana's Indian reservations, and westslope cutthroat for Hungry Horse dam projects. Open to the public with interpretive displays, and tours by arrangement, phone 406-758-6868. E-mail

Flathead Indian Reservation
The 1.2-million-acre Reservation of the Salish and Kootenai tribes encompasses the southern half of the Flathead Valley. Unlike the Plains Indians who inhabit Montana's six other reservations, these tribes are descendants of a coastal culture. They are known as the Flathead Indians, although there is no evidence these Indians ever adopted the practice of flattening their children's foreheads as some of the tribes further west are believed to have done. Due to the historical encroachment of non-native settlers, the Indians are a minority on their own reservation. The Reservation is wealthy in natural resources. It receives sizeable payments for the operation of Kerr Dam near Polson.

Char-Koosta News
The online edition of the Char-Koosta News, the official newspaper of the Flathead Indian Reservation.

The People's Center Museum
Official web site for the confederated Salish, Kootenai and Pend d'Oreille Tribal Nations. Part of the Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribes. Six miles south of Polson, MT on HWY 93. The Center provides the perfect starting point for a genuine Montana adventure, minutes from Glacier Park and situated on the banks of the beautiful Flathead River. Phone: 406-883-5344; Fax: 406-675-0260. E-mail

Jewel Basin Hiking Area
Over 15,000 acres are a designated hiking area, which means hikers don't have to contend with horses or machinery such as snowmobiles. There are 35 miles of trails, with typical destinations being one of the area's 25 lakes. Contact the Flathead National Forest office in Kalispell on 406-755-5401 for trail maps. The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks stocks certain lakes on a rotating basis.

National Bison Range. 132 Bison Range Road, Moiese, MT 59824. Phone: 406-644-2211; Fax: 406-644-2261. E-mail

National Bison Range Article
This Go Northwest! travel article will give you a good feel of what it is like to visit the Range and encounter bison up close!

Ninepipe National Wildlife Refuge
Hundreds of glacial potholes and a large reservoir sustain over 180 species of birds.

Wild Horse Island
Boat is the only access to this island-park that lies in the southwest arm of Flathead Lake. At 2,063 acres, it is big enough to support and independent ecosystem. The island was bought by the state in the late 70s, however homes remain along the shore. There is no fee to use the park, and it is for day use only - camping, dogs and fires are not allowed. Salish and Kootenai Indians once used the Island as a hiding place for their horses when they were threatened by Blackfeet horse-raiding parties. Horses that were never retrieved gave the island its name.
The state keeps four horses on the island in memory of this tradition.
There is also a herd of 200 bighorn sheep.


Flathead Valley Festival. PO Box 219, Somers, MT 59932. E-mail

Flathead Valley Golf Association. Toll-free: 1-800-392-9795; Fax: 406-862-7976. E-mail

Montana Wilderness Association - Flathead Chapter
Founded in 1958, the association aims to protect and preserve all of Montana's remaining wild lands and naturally functioning ecosystems. Contact the Flathead Chapter on 406-755-6304 for details on free hikes in the area. Hikes are led by volunteers and reservations are necessary.

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