Beaches and camping in Whitefish: Whitefish Lake State Park, Whitefish, Montana
The Montana State Park on Whitefish Lake is tucked away in the southwest corner of the lake behind Whitefish Lake Golf Course. I would visit this park if you want shade, less people, and calm waters for boating activities.
There is a fee to visit for the day or to camp at this park, but entry is FREE if your vehicle has Montana license plates.
This park is easily forgotten. It is always the last place I think about when I am thinking of visiting Whitefish Lake. (City Beach and Les Mason usually come to my mind first.) But this is a fantastic beach if you want shade with a nice area for wading for kids. This is also a calm bay, so it makes for great paddle boarding or kayaking. The water here tends to have a lot of pollen and debris from the trees that hang over the water, but swimming here is still nice and worth it.
There is a boat dock open here from April through November for putting a boat in for day use. There are also kayaks and paddleboards available to rent. The park is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The biggest problem with the day use at this park is the parking. There is hardly any parking available for day use. Once you pass the check-in station, there is a turn to your right that leads you around a camping loop. At the end of this loop there are are 4-5 spots on your left that you can use. If you do not turn right into the loop and continue ahead, you will see the parking area for trucks with trailers, and here there are a few more parking spots available to vehicles wanting to use the beach. Be sure not to park in the large spots that are made for a truck and a trailer; you will be asked to move.
There is camping available at this park. 25 campsites offer a variety of tent and RV camping. I have yet to camp at this location. One great thing about camping here is the close proximity to the beach. One downside are the trains coming through; this park is literally right next to the train tracks, so you will have noise from the trains day and night. The campsites themselves overall also do not seem very large. There is water and shower available here during the summer (5/1 – 9/30).
Getting here: Take your first right after the turn into the Whitefish Lake Golf Course. Then turn right again at your first right that follows along the golf course. There are signs at both turns pointing you to the state park. The road coming from downtown Whitefish is currently under construction but it is still easy to get to. Whether you visit Whitefish Lake State Park to camp or just for the day, you will certainly have a good time.
Warm Wishes from Big Sky Country,
Alex M. Neill
Montana Vacation Blog