There’s not much in the way of peaceful tent camping in Kalispell, but there are a handful of RV-style campgrounds right in town: Greenwood Village RV Park (1100 E. Oregon, 406/257-7719, Apr.–Oct.); Glacier Pine RV Campground (120 Swan Mountain Dr., 406/752-2760, year-round), one mile east of Kalispell on Highway 35; and Rocky Mountain Hi (825 Helena Flats Rd., 406/755-9573, year-round), which is located four miles east of Kalispell on Highway 2 and has some tent sites. Expect RV camping rates to run around $25.
A little farther from town you’ll find more tent-friendly options, including Whitefish Lake State Park, just outside of Whitefish.
To get to Ashley Lake (406/863-5400, www.fs.fed.us/r1/flathead, mid-May–mid-Sept., free, no water), go 16 miles west of Kalispell on Highway 2, then 13 miles north on the county road that starts around milepost 105.
Still farther west of Kalispell (32 miles) is the McGregor Lake (406/293-7773, www.fs.fed.us/r1/kootenai, mid-May–Labor Day, $12) Forest Service campground. Even though it’s just off Highway 2, it’s not a bad spot, and it has a few relatively private tent sites. Lake trout are the big fish here, but kokanee salmon, cutthroat and brook trout, and yellow perch are also caught.
© W.C. McRae & Judy Jewell from Moon Montana, 7th Edition