Whitefish Lake, Montana, USA

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Whitefish Lake — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!

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Looking for Whitefish Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore our comprehensive list of favorite travel partners.

All About Whitefish Lake

Surrounded by the Rocky Mountains, Whitefish Lake in Northwestern Montana spans 3,315 acres and is seven miles long. Created by a melted glacier, the lake sits at the base of Whitefish Mountain Resort and is just miles from Glacier National Park. The shoreline of Whitefish Lake is rapidly being developed by private landowners, but a large portion of the area is protected from dense development by the Whitefish Area Trust Land Plan.

Whitefish Lake is surrounded by the town of Whitefish, named appropriately for the whitefish that the Indians fished from the lake many years ago. In the mid to late 1800s a few settlers came to what is now Whitefish, but the town was not officially established until the early 1900s when the Great Northern Railway decided to build through the area. Trains still pass through the town today, and train tracks on Whitefish Lake’s west side serve as a trail to the shoreline for anglers. The Whitefish Railway Depot, built in 1927, is one of the busiest Amtrak stops in the Northwest. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings.

Tourists and property owners can enjoy year-round activities at Whitefish Lake. During the warm months boating, swimming, fishing and hiking entice visitors to the lake and its surrounding areas. On the north and west sides of the lake where the shoreline is less developed, anglers can fish for several kinds of lake trout, northern pike and more. Public use areas for anglers and swimmers include Les Mason Park, City Beach and Whitefish Lake State Park, a 10-acre park with a campground. Golfers can enjoy the Whitefish Golf Course, a public course that boasts being the only 36-hole complex in the state. Whitefish Mountain Resort (formerly Big Mountain Resort) is just minutes from Whitefish Lake and offers the Walk-in-the-Treetops, a tour that includes a scenic journey across a suspended boardwalk.

In the winter, the Glacier Nordic Center features 15 kilometers of ski trails along the Whitefish Golf course. Whitefish Mountain Resort also offers skiing as well as snowboarding opportunities. Fishing at Whitefish Lake is not confined to the spring and summer seasons, as ice-fishing is a popular attraction when the weather turns cold. Glacier National Park is a mere 25 miles from Whitefish and offers an impressive 1.4 million acres for outdoors lovers to explore any time of the year.

History and culture enthusiasts who visit Whitefish Lake can find many opportunities for leisure. The Great Northern Brewing Company in Whitefish has a public tasting bar for beer-lovers. The Whitefish Theatre Company and The Alpine Theatre Project offer a taste of the performance arts, including an occasional Broadway play. Tourists can learn about the area’s timber and railroad heritage at the Stumptown Museum, housed inside The Whitefish Railway Depot.

Whether traveling by train, plane or automobile, the Whitefish area offers visitors an appealing getaway from city life. Whitefish Lake is a year-round haven for those seeking adventure or solitude.

Things to Do at Whitefish Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Hiking
  • Snowboarding
  • State Park
  • National Park
  • Museum

Fish Species Found at Whitefish Lake

  • Lake Trout
  • Northern Pike
  • Pike
  • Trout
  • Whitefish

Find Places to Stay at Whitefish Lake

If you’re considering a Whitefish Lake lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.

Recommended Sites to Book a Whitefish Lake Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Whitefish Lake lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • Booking.com – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, Booking.com connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • Hotels.com – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, Hotels.com is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

Whitefish Lake Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 3,315 acres

Shoreline Length: 16 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 2,988 feet

Maximum Depth: 232 feet

Trophic State: Oligotrophic

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

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