The Finley Point Area of Flathead Lake State Park covers 28 acres of land near the northern shores of Flathead Lake, by surface the largest lake in the United States west of the Missouri River. This campground is comprised of several sites suitable for tents, boats, or RVs that are situated on a peninsula that juts into the southern portion of the lake, just a short 20-30 minute drive from the small town of Polson in Montana. The spectacular views and clear waters of the lake attract swimmers, boaters, and water-skiers, and the variety and size of fish that live in the cold waters of the lake, particularly the large rainbow and bull trout populations, entice fishermen to this area. Part of the lake is located in the Flathead Indian Reservation, so anglers will need to get both a Montana State fishing license and a Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribe fishing license to fish on Flathead Lake. The Finley Point area is fairly popular with both visitors and locals, so you may want to get your reservations in fairly early as spots can fill up fairly early on, particularly during the peak season, between mid-May and mid-September.
The Finley Point Area of the Flathead Lake State Park is just a little under 12 miles from the nearby small town of Polson, MT. From the south, Highway 35, also known as E Shore Road, is a well-maintained highway that travels through beautiful, scenic forests interspersed with small towns and a few eateries. From the north, Highway 35 hugs the coast of Flathead Lake. The curve that winds through these areas are fairly wide and easy to steer through, but it is important to keep your eye on the road as there are a number of deer in this area, particularly during the dawn and the dusk. When looking at a map, the turn from this road onto Finley Point Road looks fairly sharp, but it is actually wide enough to navigate even when driving a big rig or a towing a trailer or boat. The road within the park is still paved but is a little narrower than the highway. There is plenty of parking near the lake for larger rigs as well as for rigs that are towing boats
There are 16 campsites suitable for RVs that can be reserved in the Finley Point Area of Flathead State Park, as well as two tent-only sites and 16 boat slips that have boat mooring large enough for boats up to 25 feet long. The sites are situated fairly close to one another, and each includes a fire ring with a grill, a picnic table, and an electrical hookup. There are also several faucets with drinkable water throughout the campground. You can reserve your site anywhere from two days to nine months in advance. This is bear country and it is particularly important to stow your food, including any fish that you catch, in a hard-sided RV or in a bear-proof food storage locker, as well as throwing away food or fish waste in the bear-proof dumpsters. Your canine companions are welcome in the campgrounds and on the trails, but they must be under control and restrained by a six-foot or shorter lead at all times for the safety of both the wildlife and your pet. Generators are allowed during the daytime but should be silenced during the parks quiet hours between 10 PM and 7 AM.
The Finley Point camping area of Flathead Lake State Park is a popular place for both locals and visitors to launch their boats from. Smaller watercraft such as kayaks and windsurfing boards up to larger pontoons and sailboats can frequently be found on the clear waters of Flathead Lake. Boats up to 50 feet long are permitted on the lake. Water skiing and other types of towed recreation are also allowed on the lake from sunrise to sunset as long as a distance of at least 50 feet is maintained from any swimmers or any designated swimming areas. Contact the park about the availability of the dock; while the water level is typically high enough from mid-June through early September, low water levels at other times may render it unusable.
Not only is Flathead Lake the largest freshwater lake west of the Missouri River by surface area, but it is also quite deep and cold. Several fish species flourish in this environment, including kokanee salmon, pike, whitefish, bass, and yellow perch. The lake is best known for their bull and rainbow trout, however, many of whom reach great sizes, frequently exceeding 20 pounds. If you are seeking trout, you will want to be sure to pack your trolling gear in your trailer. During the majority of the year, these species spend most of their time in the deeper parts of Flathead Lake. In the fall, around September and October, flyfishing gear may be more appropriate as the trout are more likely to come nearer the shoreline. You will need both a Montana fishing license and a tribal fishing license to fish on Flathead Lake.
There are many trails and nature walks near the Finley Point Area that will allow you to explore both the shores of the lake as well as the abundant flora and fauna in the area. There are also a few paved trails suitable for bicycling that travel through the area, including the Gateway to Glacier Trail which is a 10.5-mile paved trail that travels through the Finley Point Area as it follows along the highway from Hungry Horse to West Glacier.
The Finley Point Campgrounds near Flathead Lake are a wonderful place to have a picnic. The fire rings with grills offer a great opportunity to cook your catch, grill some hot dogs or hamburgers, or put together some old-fashioned s’mores, and each campsite has a picnic table where you can enjoy your feast. Remember to clean and put away food, coolers, and cooking utensils either in your camper or in the bear-proof food containers on the premises, as well as throwing away all food waste in the bear-proof garbage cans located nearby.
Make sure that you pack your camera in your trailer when traveling to this State Park. The Finley Point Area on the shores of Flathead Lake provides beautiful views of the lake and the surrounding areas. Along with stunning scenic views, there are many types of flora and fauna for photography buffs to snap images of. There are a large number of mature trees including ponderosa pines and cottonwood trees to photograph as well as an abundance of wildflowers. Bears, deer, raptors, and bighorn sheep are often seen in this area, as are smaller animals such as squirrels, songbirds, and cottontail rabbits.
While scavenger hunts have been around for hundreds of years, the international scavenger hunt that is known as Geocaching was only made possible by relatively recent advances in cellular and GPS technology. The activity was first made possible in the year 2000 when GPS technology became available to the public by the removal of selective availability. Utilizing the combination of cellular and GPS technology, geocaching participants search for caches, usually small containers, where they can log their find, and possibly find a small trinket or trackable geocaching token. There are several geocaches that can be found in the Finley Point Area of Flathead Lake State Park.