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Kalispell is a town in Montana, near Glacier National Park. The name of the town means "flat land above the lake" in Salish, a Native American language. The population is about 23,000 (2016).


Kalispell is the largest city in the Flathead Valley. The Flathead Valley is a unique area of Montana created by the forces of glacier processes. The valley is a testament to the wonders nature can create.

Today, the Flathead Valley offers a variety of recreational activities including skiing (considering world class Whitefish Mountain Resort is nearby), fishing, camping, water sports, climbing and old fashioned exploring. The city of Kalispell is full of shopping and restaurants and is also just north of Flathead Lake, which is the USA's largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi.

Get in[edit]

Kalispell's Main Street

By plane[edit]

The 1 Kalispell City Airport FAA LID: S27 is a city-owned airport for public general aviation use. The airport is 1.3 mi (2.1 km) southeast of the city center along US Hwy 93.

For commercial flights, the nearest airport to Kalispell, Whitefish and Glacier National Park is: 2 Glacier Park International Airport (FCA IATA) (roughly 10 mi (16 km) northeast of town on U.S. Highway 2.). The nearest U.S. commercial airport to Calgary and Edmonton, served by:
Horizon Air as Alaska Airlines (Seattle); Seasonally from Portland
Allegiant (Las Vegas; seasonally from Los Angeles and Oakland)
Delta and Skywest dba Delta Connection (Minneapolis-St Paul and Salt Lake City)
Gojet and Skywest dba United Express (Denver)
There is no public transportation from the airport into town. Alternatives are rental car, taxi or ride sharing.
Glacier Park International Airport (Q3273831) on Wikidata Glacier_Park_International_Airport on Wikipedia

By car[edit]

You can take either Exit 96 on I-90 near Missoula and head north on U.S. 93, or take Exit 364 on I-15 at Shelby and head west past Glacier National Park. U.S. 2 continues west through the mountains into northern Idaho and eventually reaches Spokane from the north, while U.S. 93 heads northwest into British Columbia, eventually reaching Cranbrook.

By bus[edit]

  • Airport Shuttle Express, +1 403 509-4799. Scheduled bus & shuttle services between Kalispell, Canmore, Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper and the Calgary Airport as well as local sightseeing tours for group charters.
  • 3 Flathead Transit, (Bus stop) Brian's 76, Inc at 2075 Hwy 2 East, +1 406 675-2700 x1352, +1 406 275-8700. Bus operated by the Confederated Salish & Kootnai Tribes with the help of Montana D.O.T. and in partnership with Greyhound Lines (as booking agent) for travel up to Whitefish from Missoula through Avaro, Arlee, Ravalli, St Ignatius, Pablo, Paulson, Lakeside and Kalispell along US Hwy 93. Passengers transfer to Jefferson Lines in Missoula to get to additional destinations. $31 o.w..
  • Northern Transit Interlocal. Bus service from Shelby.

By train[edit]

See also: Rail travel in the United States

The nearest 4 Amtrak Station is in Whitefish, 16 mi (26 km) north of Kalispell along Hwy 93. The train station is at 500 Depot St in the north side of downtown Whitefish. It is only served by:

  • Amtrak Empire Builder which runs once daily (towards each direction) between Spokane & Chicago via Glacier National Park (West Glacier stop) in one direction and Libby in the opposite direction. The westbound train splits in Spokane with one half continuing towards Seattle and the other towards Portland while the eastbound train joins in Spokane for the onward trip to Chicago.

Get around[edit]

Walk, drive, bike, or take the Mountain Climber to get around. The city isn't too large, so you shouldn't get lost.


Flathead Lake
  • 1 Conrad Mansion, 330 Woodland Ave, +1 406 755-2166. Tours May-Oct: 10AM-5PM. Charles E. Conrad Mansion (Q27958222) on Wikidata Charles E. Conrad Mansion on Wikipedia
  • 2 Flathead Lake. 15 miles south of Kalispell on US Hwy 93. Largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi. Flathead Lake (Q1427364) on Wikidata Flathead Lake on Wikipedia
  • Hockaday Museum of Art, 302 2nd Ave E, +1 406 755-5268. Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM. Price: $5. Hockaday Museum (Q105730277) on Wikidata Hockaday Museum on Wikipedia



Map of Kalispell

North Kalispell is the shopping area of the city. Stores include most of the nationwide chains.

For those who prefer the more traditional shopping mall, the Kalispell Center Mall is at 20 North Main Street. Anchored by JCPenney, it also includes a Red Lion Hotel.



  • Norm's News, 34 Main St. A combination soda fountain and newsstand, this establishment offers the usual soda fountain fare (shakes, soda, floats, burgers, etc.) and a wide selection of candy, magazines, and newspapers.
  • Frugals, 1815 US Hwy 93 South. Fast fresh burgers and shakes. Drive thru only.
  • Los Caporales Mexican Restaurant. (at least 3 locations) Real Mexican food, like enchiladas mole or verdes with real corn tortillas.


  • Desoto Grill (The Desoto), 227 1st St W, Kalispell, MT 59901, +1 406 314-6095. Closed Tuesdays. BBQ. Great beers and locally owned. Off the beaten path, where the locals gather. Indoor and outdoor seating.




Kalispell is part of the market region of Spokane, Washington, despite being in a different time zone. Local Montana over-the-air TV networks such as ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox have their weekday primetime from 7PM to 10PM, while those from Spokane are from 9PM to midnight (which is quite unusual).

Stay safe[edit]

Roads outside of town are mostly two-lane and winding. Naturally, use extra caution when snowing. It is advisable to turn on lights during the day in any rain. This gives better visibility of your vehicle to oncoming traffic.


Go next[edit]

Routes through Kalispell
SpokaneLibby  W US 2.svg E  Columbia FallsShelby
CranbrookWhitefish   N US 93.svg S  → Jct MT-82.svg EPolsonMissoula
END   N MT-35.svg S  BigforkPolson

This city travel guide to Kalispell is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.