Swan Lake Montana Fishing, Camping, Boating

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Swan Lake

Fed by a roaring river and located on the north end of the picturesque Swan Valley, the expansive Swan Lake will satisfy sportsmen and families alike.

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  • Enjoy thrills and spills waterskiing 8-miles of cool water. 
  • View a wide variety of birds, as well as Montana’s big mammals at the Swan River National Wildlife Refuge 
  • Admire the snowy mountain tops from your canoe as you reel in a big rainbow trout.

What can I do at Swan Lake? 

  • Boating: As you paddle Swan Lake’s chilly waters in a canoe or kayak, take time to enjoy the unspoiled views of the Swan and Mission Mountains’ towering peaks. Throughout the summer expect to see crowds of visitor enjoying a variety of recreational boating. Waterskiing is a favorite here. Sizeable concrete boat launch. 
  • Wildlife Viewing: Located on the south shores of Swan Lake, the Swan River National Wildlife Refuge offers some of the best wildlife viewing in the area-without the crowds. Walking the boardwalk trails makes it easy to observe the 170 species of birds found here. In spring, grizzly bears, moose and elk move through the almost 1,700 acres in search of food. From Bigfork take Highway 83 south and look for signs. 
  • Fishing: Although it’s 8-miles in length, there is very little shore access. It’s best to fish for kokanee, yellow perch, rainbow, brown and westslope cutthroat trout from a boat. Windy conditions can be a problem, so use caution. There are 36-campsites managed by the Forest Service.

Where is Swan Lake?

Southeast of Kalispell on the Swan Highway 83.

When is it open?

May 14 to September 30

How much does it cost?

Day use fee $5.00. Camping $15 a night.

Who can I call if I have more questions?

Flathead National Park Service 406-836-2775.

Questions & Answers