Guest Ranches and Camping
One of Montana’s most famous and exclusive guest ranches, Averill’s Flathead Lake Lodge (406/837-4391, www.flatheadlakelodge.com) is a well-established full-service dude ranch that runs $3,143 per week per adult (includes all meals and activities; children and teens have lower rates). The ranch is located right on the shores of Flathead Lake, just south of Bigfork, so if you’re looking for a family ranch vacation that mixes swimming, fishing, tennis, and windsurfing with the traditional horseback riding and campfire sing-alongs, this is it.
Save an easy $100 by making Wayfarers State Recreation Area (406/837-4196, http://fwp.mt.gov, May–Sept., $15) your base in Bigfork. This campground is just across Highway 35 from the main road into town. Because there are only 30 sites here, plan your arrival strategically, especially on holiday weekends.
© W.C. McRae & Judy Jewell from Moon Montana, 7th Edition