Spring in the Flathead Valley & Glacier National Park
Summer and winter in the Flathead valley are on many people’s radar when it comes to taking a fantastic vacation. Pricey hotel rates, crowded campgrounds, and lift lines are evidence to prove it. Spring, on the other hand, may be one of this valley’s best kept secrets.
Spring is an awe-inspiring time of transition from the cold, dark, introspective winter into the livelihood of summer, but it is nothing to be skipped over. Outside, grey turns to gold, white to champagne, and lo and behold the sky is blue here, too! Mountains appear in the distance that had stayed hidden all winter, and all of this as the backdrop for trees with frosted-tipped branches still sparkling with untouched snow. It is the kind of beautiful you stop for, the kind that truly fills you with awe.
As snow melts, sidewalks and squirrels appear out of nowhere. You can hear birds again – a reminder that all around wildlife’s next generation is about to open its eyes. Flowers begin to sprout on the hillsides with the perfect combination of water and sunlight. The Flathead valley is world-renowned for cherries. By May the east side of Flathead Lake bursts into bloom with white cherry blossoms.
In Glacier National Park you can soak up everything about this very special time of year. Frozen peaks sit against sunny, blue skies and people in t-shirts walk around the park just to stop and absorb the blooming energy of this season (and maybe build one last snowman). Rapidly melting snow means that the water falls are rushing. Going-To-The-Sun road stays closed to car traffic in the spring while the roads are being cleared. This snow removal often takes until early June to complete, giving cyclists and runners an opportunity to explore Glacier National Park without being worried about passing car traffic.
April is a great time to get in some fishing. There is a window for incredible river fishing at this time before full river runoff. As the temperatures rise the fish become more active than in winter months. The aquatic bugs are becoming active and beginning to hatch into flies. This is the first major meal that the trout will have seen in months (just imagine being stuck in a dark, cold room for days with little food, then a heater is turned on and steak dinners are served one after the other!). By May the rivers fill with water and the fishing slows down as temperatures rise to summer levels.
Within weeks, it stays light past dinnertime. Patios fill with tables, chairs, and dogs, and running shoes are being dug out of closets. Snowmelt pushes a lot of water into the rivers, commencing whitewater rafting and kayak season. Rivers are running high – the big water during runoff is not for the faint of heart. But for adrenaline junkies, it’s a dream come true that peaks for just one month out of the year.
Finally, when the birds are chirping, it’s time for birdies. Fresh blades of grass are rapidly spouting after being under snow for the winter months, and as the green spreads across the course, dreams of golf are taking hold. In spring, tee times are more available than during the rush of summer. Plus, take advantage of getting that well-needed practice in before the summer tournaments. FORE!