Outdoor Fun & Education
For this day trip, you will want to start by preparing a scrumptious picnic and grabbing a few water toys as today we are leaving Columbia Falls and heading 7 short miles east to Hungry Horse, Montana.
Start with a stop at the Glacier View/Hungry Horse Forest Service Office, located at 10 Hungry Horse Drive, Hungry Horse, Montana (406-387-3800). There you will find information on everything to do with our local and national forests. They also have information for kids to learn from and the options to purchase maps and books.
Now with your map in hand head towards Hungry Horse Dam. Follow the signs off Highway 2 that lead you to the Hungry Horse Dam visitor center. Once on this road, in about 1 mile you’ll find the cutest little lake, Lion Lake. It is about 35 acres in size and is nestled among the trees. Access to Lion Lake is easily accessible for all ages and is also ADA accessible. There is a great beach area, bathrooms, and picnic areas. This is the perfect place to play with those water toys you brought and have an afternoon picnic.
After lunch, continue on a few more miles to the Hungry Horse Dam and Reservoir. There is a visitor center open during the summer and features exhibits on the construction, history of the dam, its purpose, and its benefits. Guided walking tours are often available during the summer too. While at the visitor center, you can look down over the massive concrete structure and experience the flow of water below.
If you continue driving across the dam, you will find several campgrounds available for recreation. For those seeking a longer drive, you can drive the 112-mile loop around the reservoir. A word of caution, the pavement ends after a few miles.
Now as you head home make sure you stop in Hungry Horse for a famous Huckleberry Ice Cream cone or maybe a piece of pie. Either way, you can’t go wrong. As you head west towards Columbia Falls experience the breathtaking sunsets over the Flathead River.
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