Western Montana Facts & Information

Western Montana Facts & Information


SIZE

facts-flatheadGlacier Country covers more than 22,000 square miles and is home to eight counties: Flathead, Glacier, Lake, Lincoln, Mineral, Missoula, Ravalli and Sanders. Our region encompasses more than 70 Montana communities, including Hamilton, Missoula, Kalispell and Whitefish.

LOCATION

As the westernmost region of Montana, we’re located about 350 miles south of Calgary, 475 miles east of Seattle, 900 miles north of Denver and 1,100 miles west of Minneapolis.

POPULATION

Our corner of Montana is home to approximately 320,000 residents.

CLIMATE

We experience four distinct seasons in Western Montana, with an average temperature of 30 degrees in January and 85 degrees in July. As a fairly arid region, we receive about 15 inches of moisture per year. The valleys receive about 40 to 60 inches of annual snowfall, while the mountains may receive up to 350 inches.

WATERWAYS

Water is big in Western Montana and the region is home to numerous river drainages, including the Bitterroot, Blackfoot, Clark Fork and North, South and Middle Forks of the Flathead. Major lakes and reservoirs include Lake Como, Flathead Lake, Lake Koocanusa, Lake McDonald, Noxon Reservoir, Seeley Lake, St. Mary Lake, Swan Lake and Whitefish Lake.

INDIAN NATIONS

facts-nationsStrong American Indian culture and history are found in Western Montana, both on the Blackfeet Nation and Flathead Indian Reservation. Located on the eastern front of the Rocky Mountains, the Blackfeet Indian Reservation is home to the Blackfeet Tribe. At roughly 1.5 million acres in size, the reservation is home to 10,000 residents, including 8,500 enrolled Blackfeet. The Blackfeet Nation celebrates and shares its culture through North American Indian Days, Museum of the Plains Indian, Blackfeet Heritage Center and interpretive tours.

Located west of the Rocky Mountains, the Flathead Indian Reservation is home to the Kootenai, Pend O’reille and Bitterroot Salish tribes. Encompassing 1.3 million acres, the reservation is home to approximately 27,000 residents, with nearly 7,500 enrolled members. The reservation includes the National Bison Range and part of Flathead Lake. The tribes celebrate their history and culture through the People’s Center, traditional Pow Wows and more.

WILDERNESS AREAS AND NATIONAL FORESTS

Within our borders, you’ll find the Bitterroot, Bob Marshall, Cabinet, Great Bear, Kootenai, Lolo, Scapegoat and Selway-Bitterroot.

MISCELLANEOUS STATISTICS

  • Glacier National Park is home to one million acres, 734 miles of maintained trails and six national historic landmarks. It’s also the largest intact ecosystem in the lower 48 states. Logan Pass sits at an elevation of 6,646 feet.
  • Flathead Lake is 30 miles long, nearly 15 miles wide and has a depth of 300 feet. The lake also has 185 miles of shoreline.
  • The highest mountain peak in the Bitterroot Mountains is Trapper Peak. It sits at an elevation of 10,157 feet.
  • Missoula is the largest city in Western Montana and the second largest in the state.
  • Montana is ranked second in the nation for breweries per capita.

GETTING HERE

Glacier Country is home to two international airports—Missoula International and Glacier Park International. With regular flights through Alaska/Horizon Air, Allegiant, Delta/Skywest and United, getting here has never been easier. Direct flights regularly arrive from Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Phoenix/Mesa, Salt Lake City and Seattle. Seasonal flights arrive from Atlanta, Chicago, Portland and San Francisco/Oakland. Amtrak’s Empire Builder also carries passengers through the northern tier of Glacier Country, with stops in Cut Bank, Browning, East Glacier, Essex, West Glacier, Whitefish and Libby.