Scenic strolls in the hills above Kalispell.
Bozeman-area residents who have checked off the trails in and around Bozeman should consider expanding their horizons with the expansive trail system at Lone Pine State Park, near Kalispell. Horizons indeed—some of Lone Pine's biggest draws are the stunning views of the vertical limits of nearby Glacier National Park and several scenic mountain ranges, along with Flathead Lake and the town itself. Consider it something like Kalispell’s version of the M Trail, but with facilities and events.
Located on a hillside just southwest of city limits, Lone Pine offers programs for all ages and interests, like plant- and tree-identification hikes, bird-related events, nighttime hikes, astronomy courses, navigation courses, myriad child-friendly programs, and more.
The centerpiece of Lone Pine is its well-maintained 7.5-mile trail system, which offers forested hikes for all abilities and is open to mountain biking, snowshoeing (rentals available), cross-country skiing, and horseback riding as well as hiking and trail running. Bring your binos for the spring birds and other wildlife that filter through, or tote your bow and quiver to keep your aim in top form at the archery range. Or just put on some comfy shoes and pack a lunch for a pleasant afternoon of scenery and strolling. It’s dog-friendly and there are picnic tables and fire rings.
Lone Pine also offers a recently remodeled visitor center with interpretive exhibits and a community room with amenities for weddings, family reunions, school field trips, off-site meetings, and more.
Noteworthy events later in the year include National Trails Day, the Birds of Prey Festival, and Public Lands Day. Lone Pine is open from 8am to sunset and covers 270 acres with an elevation gain of about 600 feet.
The simplest route from Bozeman is by taking I-90 west for about 200 miles to U.S. Hwy. 93 (just west of Missoula), then heading north for about 115 miles to Kalispell and LPSP. It takes around five hours when the roads are clear. For more information, visit stateparks.mt.gov/lone-pine.