Fans of dam technology will want to tour the visitors information center at the Hungry Horse Dam (406/387-5241) four miles south of town. The 564-foot-high concrete dam holds back the 34-mile-long Hungry Horse Reservoir. Guided tours of the dam are offered during summer.
A road circles the reservoir and provides access to trails into the surrounding national forest and wilderness areas. Jewel Basin Hiking Area lies to the west of the reservoir, the Great Bear Wilderness Area is to the east, and the Bob Marshall Wilderness Area is to the south. Great Northern Mountain, east of the reservoir, rises to an elevation of 8,720 feet. The South Fork of the Flathead River flows into the southern end of the reservoir. You’ll see guest ranches around the reservoir, and there’s no dearth of public campgrounds.
Hungry Horse Reservoir is a good place to fish for cutthroat and bull trout; most people fish from boats, and the best fishing is during the late summer and fall.
Don’t want to ogle the dam? How about visiting the House of Mystery (7800 Hwy. 2 E., 406/892-1210, www.montanavortex.com, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. daily Apr. and Sept., 10 a.m.–6 p.m. daily May–Aug., $8 adult, $6 child), where laws of physics go awry, or the A-Mazing Ventures Fun Center (406/387-5902, 9:30 a.m.–dark, Memorial Day–Labor Day), with a giant maze and bumper boats, both on Highway 2. Divert the kids as you pass by.
© W.C. McRae & Judy Jewell from Moon Montana, 7th Edition