Polson Montana Vacations & Activities: Flathead Lake Boating, Fishing

Missoula Montana
> Polson Montana
> Activities


Summer or winter, the season doesn't matter in Polson, MT where there is always an adventure around the corner for the outdoor recreation enthusiast to enjoy. Read More

  • Visit Polson for the Cherry Festival.
  • Only an hour north of Missoula.
  • Boat, swim, or fish in Flathead Lake.
  • Look for wild horses as you hike on Wildhorse Island.
  • Snowshoe the snowy tundra of Flathead Valley.
  • Polson is a hot bed of activity in both the summer and winter.


Located in northeastern Montana, Polson is a small town that is buzzing with activity. Sitting on the southern tip of Flathead Lake, the largest freshwater lake in the west, Polson is a prime location for outdoor recreation.

Don't let the legend of the lake monster keep you away as there is plenty of room for all to fish, boat, water ski, and swim in this 28 mile long lake. Can't make it to Polson in the summer, don't worry, winter is just as exciting.


  • Swimming
    Although you can swim anywhere in the lake, try Polson's Boettcher Park beach. Cool down in the lake's chilly waters and run your feet through pebble bottom beaches.
  • Fishing
    From Polson, the southern tip of Flathead Lake is a skipping stone's throw away. Tease the trophy sized trout, whitefish, and yellow perch or catch the elusive lake monster. Note that the southern portion of Flathead Lake, as well as the city of Polson, are located on the Flathead Indian Reservation. Therefore, you will need a tribal permit to fish in this area. Not a problem as the permits are sold at most sporting good stores.
  • Boating/Kayaking
    It's no surprise that boating and kayaking are some of the most popular activities in the area. If you don't have your own boat, no problem. Rent a boat, kayak, canoe, or sailboat and enjoy a bit of time on the water. Marinas and boat launches are found around the lake.
  • Boat Cruises
    Hop on the Princess for a tour of the southern end of the lake. The hour and a half long cruise launches three times daily.
  • Hiking
    Wildhorse Island State Park, a 2,100 acre island in the middle of Flathead Lake, is a fantastic place for a bit of hiking. Keep your eyes out for wildlife that calls the island home, including three wild horses. No camping though, day use only.
  • Golf
    Two golf courses in the area will help you pass the day.
  • Painted Rock Petroglyphs
    On the western side of the lake, these petroglyphs and pictographs are only visible via boat.
  • Festivals
    Summer wouldn't be complete without a festival. Polson is a meca for festivals year round. Catch the Polson Main Street Flathead Cherry Festival, usually in July, that celebrates the bountiful cherry harvest of the year or check out the 3-day Polson Festival Days.


  • Ice Fishing
    With a moderate climate, angler's delight in the winter with a bit of ice-fishing on Flathead Lake.
  • Downhill Skiing
    With three big mountain options, the skiing around Polson is fantastic and the perfect weekend trip for Missoulians itching for fresh powder. For easy access, check out Blacktail Mountain Ski Area just 40 miles north of Polson.
  • Snowshoeing
    The fantastic part about snowshoeing is the freedom. Just strap on those shoes and traverse the snowy tundra. Blaze your own trail!
  • Snowmobiling
    Enjoy the 200 miles of trails that cut through Flathead Valley.

Other Activities Resources

Polson-Flathead Historical Museum

The Polson-Flathead Historical Museum preserves the homestead history and heritage of the Flathead Lake area.

Miracle of America Museum

The Miracle of America Museum in Polson, Montana is one of the largest museums in Montana.