Whitefish Lake State Park (406/862-3991, http://fwp.mt.gov, May–Sept., $15) is about two miles west of town off Highway 93. Pick this as your place to stay if you’re after convenience, if you want to spend some time near civilization, if you want to eat out or shop in Whitefish, or if you want a handy launching spot for a trip to Glacier National Park.
It’s a crowded place, even for a state park campground, and trains rattle and toot their way through all night long, but it’s a good place to meet friendly people. There’s a boat launch and a swimming beach popular with local kids. The campground has running water, flush toilets, and showers.
Out of town, Tally Lake (800/416-6992, www.fs.fed.us/r1/flathead, Memorial Day–Labor Day) has a Forest Service campground six miles west of Whitefish on Highway 93, then 15 miles west on Forest Service Road 113.
© W.C. McRae & Judy Jewell from Moon Montana, 7th Edition