An RV is the best way to take in all Lakeside, Montana, and the surrounding area has to offer. Travel trailers start at about $100 per night, and Class C motorhomes begin at about $199 per night, so they are the most popular options. Popup campers start at about $75 per night, making them an excellent choice for budget-minded campers. Camp in luxurious comfort by renting a Class A motorhome for about $160 per night.
Kalispell, Montana, is a wonderful city to explore for a day or two. You will want to go for a hike while breathing in the aroma of pine trees at Lone Pine State Park. Anglers will love fishing at Foy’s Lake, which the state annually stocks with rainbow trout. Kalispell can also be the starting point of an epic road trip, like one from Kalispell to Olympic National Park.
Spokane, Washington, is a fun, family-friendly city. Your children will adore riding the old-time carousel in Riverfront Park, flying over Spokane Falls on the Numerica SkyRide, and skateboarding at Numercia Skate Ribbon. Everyone will have a blast spending an afternoon exploring the Historic Flight Museum.
Missoula, Montana, is a great place to explore history. You will want to spend a couple of hours at the History Museum at Fort Missoula, Holt Heritage Museum, and Montana Museum of Art and Culture. Expect to spend longer at the Made in America Museum, National Museum of Forest Service History, and Rocky Mountain Museum.
Lakeside was initially called Stoner after hotelier John J. Stone who constructed a boarding house at Stone Creek and Flathead Lake. While some early settlers moved to the area in search of a homestead to call their own, it was not until the railroad arrived in 1883 that this community started to flourish. A group of Methodists from Kalispell intended to establish a mission in Lakeside and renamed the town Chautauqua. Their plans did not work out, and officials renamed the city Lacon. In 1920, citizens voted to rename the town Lakeside.
As you drive around Lakeside, you will discover that many of these early settlers have roads named after them. While in town, consider dining at Beargrass Bistro on Stoner Loop and Tamarack Brewing Company on Blacktail Road.
Flathead Lake, which is the largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi, has always been a significant draw to the area. Wealthy farmers and business executives from western Montana built small cabins on the lake’s shores. Soon, West Coast visitors joined them. Word continued to spread, and soon Canadians joined those building cabins around the lake. Then, more people from the east arrived to join the group. Thankfully, there is no need to build a house near the lake. Just take your motorhome to West Shore State Park or other lakefront campgrounds.
When Blacktail Mountain Ski Area opened in 1998, more visitors arrived in the area, and some decided to stay. Approximately 45,000 people a year go skiing, snowboarding, and sledding at this facility that employs over 100 people.
Whitefish, Montana – This community of 7,750 people lies next to Glacier National Park. You will want to spend time taking a walking tour of The Avenues to see the historic old hones. This community, like Lakeside, is a great place to participate in winter activities.
20+ Gas Stations
3 RV Dump Stations
Columbia Falls, Montana – This community of about 5,300 people lies on Flathead River’s shores. It has one of the oldest veterans' homes in the country. Many people base a trip to explore Flathead National Forest here.
13 Gas Stations
1 National Forest
10 RV Dump Stations
Rollins, Montana – Initially called Bay View, this community had its name changed to Rollins in 1904 by postal officials. The community lies on Flathead Lake’s western shore. It is a short distance north of the Flathead Indian Reservation.
2 Gas Stations
2 RV Dump Stations
Glacier National Park is one of the most glaciated places in the United States. You can see some of those glaciers during a scenic drive along the 50-mile Going to the Sun Road. If you drive an RV or pull your trailer, you will have to take the free park shuttle on this road. If you are entering from the east, the first part of the road goes beside Lake MacDonald. You will want to stop at Agar to explore the historic buildings and enjoy the lake’s views. Take a hike on the four-mile Avalanche Trail to see the West Glacier. Then, follow the Trail of Cedars to experience the old-growth trees in this national park.
West Shore/Flathead Lake State Park is a terrific place to play for a day on Flathead Lake. The rocky beach is a great place for landscape photography. It is easy to launch a kayak or canoe from the beach for a day of paddling fun. The water near the beach is shallow, making it an ideal place for families to go for a swim.
Salmon Lake State Park provides easy access to the Clearwater River chain of lakes, so it is an excellent place for anglers to start a fishing adventure. This lake, about 100 miles south of Lakeside, is a fantastic place for sailing and waterskiing. Book a campsite here so that you can enjoy the views of Mission and Swan Mountain Ranges.
Head to Whitefish Mountain Resort to see the 12-foot statue of Jesus. This statue put in place in 1954 by the local Knights of Columbus has been the subject of a federal lawsuit because it is within the Flathead National Forest. Couples often choose to get married in front of this statue. Many routinely try to give the outstretched hands of Jesus a high five while others have routinely dressed Jesus in ski garb over his white robe. There are also a number of other famous Montana landmarks near Lakeside.
Flathead Cherry Festival – Learn about the history of growing cherries in this area and taste some beautiful ways to prepare them at this four-day late-July festival in Polson.
ThursdayFest – This downtown Kalispell festival featuring music and shopping fun occurs every Thursday night in July and August.
Great Bear Festival – Taste liquors from regional vendors and listen to musicians perform at this August festival in Kalispell’s Depot Park.
Art Walk and Tree Lighting – Visit local artists and watch the Christmas tree lighting in downtown Bigfork.
Christmas at the Fairgrounds – Visit vendors of homemade goods and eat food from food trucks at this festival at Flathead County Fairgrounds in Kalispell.
Flathead Lake – This lake has over 200 square miles of water and over 148 miles of shoreline. The state maintains at least 10 boat ramps on the lake that are open to the public.
Flathead National Forest – This national forest covers more than 2.4 million acres. There are more than 2,000 miles of trails; plus you can go fishing, hunting, and horseback riding.
Pablo National Wildlife Refuge – This 2,500-acre facility is a great place to go birdwatching. Anglers often catch yellow perch and largemouth bass.
Bison Range – Drive along the two scenic roads through the range to see up to 200 bison.
To take advantage of Montana's great outdoors, you may want to consider camping near Kalispell. Rocky Mountain ‘Hi’ RV Park and Campground sits about 15 minutes from the downtown area, and it is only about 30 minutes to Glacier National Park. Another option is West Glacier KOA Resort, which is only 2.5 miles from the west entrance to Glacier National Park. KOA named this their campground of the year, and it is easy to see why when you experience its amenities, like its restaurant, ice cream shop, and espresso bar. You may also want to consider Edgewater Resort in Lakeside, which offers chartered fishing expeditions and Jet Skis, boats, and kayaks for rent.
If you choose to stay on BLM land or boondock in a location without sewer hookups, there are plenty of terrific Montana RV dump stations so that you can take care of your rig. There are at least five dump stations in Glacier National Park. There are also dump stations at the West Glacier KOA Campground, Sundance RV Park and Campground, and North American RV Park & Yurt Village.
Montana RV storage facilities make it easy to leave your camper in a Kalispell option like Flat Lake Valley. Whitefish Self Storage offers outdoor storage for RVs in Columbia Falls. Windmill Business Park and Storage offers covered outdoor and interior storage in Columbia Falls. You can also find enclosed RV storage at Truman Storage in Kalispell.
Motorhomes are divided into Class A, B, and C vehicles. On average expect to pay $185 per night for Class A, $149 per night for Class B and $179 per night for Class C. Towable RVs include 5th Wheel, Travel Trailers, Popups, and Toy Hauler. On average, in Lakeside, MT, the 5th Wheel trailer starts at $70 per night. Pricing for the Travel Trailer begins at $60 per night, and the Popup Trailer starts at $65 per night.Do you need to be a certain age to rent an RV in Lakeside?
Yes. The minimum age is 25 to be eligible to get an RV Rental in Lakeside from RVshare.Does RVshare have emergency roadside assistance?
Yes. Every RV rental booked through RVshare receives 24/7 emergency roadside assistance.Does RVshare offer one way RV rentals in Lakeside?
Yes. Prior to renting any RV, check with the owner since not all will offer this particular option.