Montana’s Sweet Autumn


September 1, 2011—Glacier Country, MT—At the end of each summer the crowds depart Glacier National Parkand Montana, leaving behind beautiful September weather, plentiful wildlife viewing and abundant recreational opportunities. But this year they’re leaving a little something else behind: rocking waters and incredible fly-fishing.

With the region’s high winter snowpack and cool early season temperatures, whitewater rafting and kayaking trips are available through mid-September, while scenic floats are offered through late September on many area rivers.

“This is the best water we’ve ever had,” said Kienan Slate from 10,000 Waves Raft & Kayak in Missoula, Montana. “We’re seeing water levels into September that we typically see in early August. Our river trips will be running well into September.”

Plus, local fishing guides are reporting that this season is providing “some of the best fly-fishing we’ve ever seen.”

Whether visitors are looking to fly-fish, bass fish or spend a relaxing day trolling, there are area rivers, reservoirs and lakes that can answer the call. For fly-fishing, try the Middle Fork of the Flathead, Bitterroot and Clark Fork rivers. For bass fishing, drop a line in Noxon Rapids Reservoir or Echo Lake. For trolling, spend a relaxing day on Lake Como or Placid Lake.

For more adrenaline-pumping activities, Whitefish Mountain Resort is offering zip line and Walk in the Treetops tours through September 24 (Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays), while the Hiawatha Rail Trail is open daily through October 2.

Autumn is also an ideal time to experience scenic drives. Try cruising Highway 83 through the Seeley-Swan Valley en route to Bigfork—a quaint community located on Flathead Lake and home to art galleries, fine dining and small-town charm. To “get lost” in Montana, travel the St. Regis-Paradise Scenic Byway (Route 135) as it winds through the mountains alongside the Clark Fork River.

For one of the most scenic drives in North America, travel the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park. To allow accelerated fall season rehabilitation on the Going-to-the-Sun Road, the last day to access Logan Pass from the west side via car is Sunday, September 18, while vehicle access to the pass will be available from the east side of the park through Sunday, October 16, weather permitting.

For more information on Western Montana’s Glacier Country, visit

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