July 27, 2017

Where to Find Huckleberries in Northwest Montana

Picking huckleberries at Whitefish Mountain Resort, Alex Neill, Montana Vacation Blog, www.montanavacationblog.com 2014

Here in Montana, we take pride in our huckleberries.

Particularly in the northwest part of the state.  Everywhere you go in the Flathead Valley, around Flathead Lake, all the way up to Glacier National Park, you will find stores that sell huckleberries and huckleberry products.

You can pick wild huckleberries, or buy them at farmers markets, and often along the road people sell wild huckleberries.

If you want to pick huckleberries yourself:  Learn what the leaves and berries look like.  There are similar berries, but if you know what a juicy huckleberry and its plant look like, you won’t pick the wrong thing.  You won’t want to start looking until July, when the huckleberries ripen.  You will find them along most of the hiking trails in Glacier National Park in Many Glacier and Two Medicine.

You do not need a permit to pick huckleberries in the Flathead National Forest (unless you are going to pick over 10 gallons per person).  Whitefish Mountain Resort has a lot of huckleberries in the upper last two miles of the Danny On Hiking Trail.  Asking at a ranger station is a great way to get tips on where the huckleberries are that year.  (And looking for a lot of cars parked along back roads can tip you off as well.)

Be sure to bring bear spray because these are a bear’s source of food. 

Here are some tips from a website that provides a Huckleberry Picking Guide.

Although huckleberries grow in other states also, (it is the state fruit of Idaho), it has become a huge Montana hit.

Huckleberries taste wonderful in preserves and syrups.  It is more of a seasonal item if you are looking for huckleberry pie or huckleberry ice cream (my favorite!).

The berries look like blueberries, but are darker purple.  When you eat them raw, a lot of them taste like blueberries.  But many also have a distinct taste different from blueberries, especially in pies and ice cream, they give a wonderful flavor that I love.

Even if you are not visiting Montana anytime soon, there are many stores that you can buy huckleberry products online from, including: The Huckleberry Patch, Montana Bear Food, and the St. Regis Gifts.  I have no particular preference from where you order, that is up to you.  I think you should order from wherever has the best prices!  They will all be quality huckleberry products.

I would recommend purchasing something huckleberry flavored to at least give it a try while you are visiting Montana.  Montana store shelves are lined with huckleberry flavored items.  You can find huckleberry things all over Montana, so keep your eyes open.

Warmest Wishes from Big Sky Country,

Alex M. Neill

Montana Vacation Blog

www.montanavacationblog.com

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