Wayfarers Area - Flathead Lake State Park
Guide

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Introduction

The Wayfarers Area is a gorgeous and bountiful slice of Flathead State Park. It overlooks Flathead Lake less than two miles south of the town of Bigfork, MT. You will love soaking in spectacular Montana views, particularly from the cliffs near the lake. Flora and fauna are abundant in this area. An abundance of orchids, Indian paintbrushes, and shooting stars can be found in and around the Harry Horn Native Plant Garden, with bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds busily pollinating them. Bring your binoculars in your rig since this is a popular area for many types of wildlife, including bears, mountain lions, bighorn sheep, and deer. You can also spot several birds, including waterfowl such as ducks, loons, and swans, and many songbirds. Make sure that you bring your camera in your campervan since there are many opportunities to snap photos, including scenic panoramas along with the picturesque flora and fauna that live in the forest. There is also a site set up for groups of cyclists who are traveling along the Continental Divide, with nine tent pads and special amenities for bicycles.

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Transportation in Wayfarers Area - Flathead Lake State Park

Driving

The Wayfarers Area of Flathead Lake State Park is less than two miles south of the town of Bigfork, MT. Highway 35, from Bigfork to the campgrounds, is wide and flat with a robust shoulder, as is Highway 209, from the east, making for easy travel to and from the park. It is a pleasant drive no matter what the size your vehicle is, and there are a few parking spots near the lake that are large enough for a rig towing a boat. Vehicles larger than 40 feet are unlikely to fit in the campsites, but if you are only planning a short day visit before moving on, these parking spots may be suitable for larger rigs. The roads within the park are also paved, but they tend to be narrower and more winding as you search for your site. Drive slowly and cautiously as there are several corners that can be difficult to see around and both children and wildlife in the area are likely to cross the road without any warning.

Parking

Public Transport

Campgrounds and parking in Wayfarers Area - Flathead Lake State Park

Campsites in Wayfarers Area - Flathead Lake State Park

Reservations camping

Wayfarers Area Campground

Wayfarers Area of Flathead State Park is made up of 30 sites that can be reserved. The campsites are primitive, without any external hookups but they are kept exceptionally clean, as are the modern flush toilets and the showers. Campsites are spread out and there are typically several mature trees surrounding each of them, offering plenty of privacy, but they tend to fill up quickly, so reserving a site well in advance is advised. Campsites are available from April through October and come equipped with fire rings and grills, picnic tables, and bear-proof food containers. They are intended to accommodate up to eight individuals and all boats, trailers, rigs, or cars must fit entirely within the campsite. Equipment that does not fit in the campsite must be parked outside of the campgrounds, or an additional campsite will need to be purchased. Generators are allowed during the daytime, but should be silenced during quiet hours between 10 PM and 7 AM. Pets are welcome at the Wayfarers Area of Flathead State Park, but they must be contained or restrained on a leash that is six feet or less. Camping is limited to 14 days in a 30 day period.

First-come first-served

Wayfarers Area Campground

Seven of the sites at the Wayfarers Area of Flathead State Park are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in Wayfarers Area - Flathead Lake State Park

In-Season

Hiking

There are several well-maintained trails that are situated within the Wayfarers Area of Flathead Lake State Park. The short campground spur connects the campground area to the Lupine Loop, a trail that meanders up over a hill and back down again. It travels approximately a mile through matured forests that boast an incredible variety of wildflowers which bloom from early spring to late fall. If you want to see more wildflowers and local flora, to the east of Lupine Loop is the Harry Horn Trail, a pleasant nature walk that travels through the Harry Horn Garden.

Boating

The Wayfarers Area is situated on the shores of Flathead Lake, which is a popular body of water for boating. Boats under 50 feet in length are permitted, both motorized and non-motorized boats. Towed recreation like water skiing is allowed on the lake from sunrise to sunset, as long as those engaging in the sport stay at least 50 feet from designated swimming areas and swimmers. Watercraft that are entering the state of Montana are required to stop at all inspection stations and the low lake levels can render the dock unusable. It is typically usable from at least mid-June to early September.

Visiting the Harry Horn Native Plant Garden

The Harry Horn Native Plant Garden, located within the Wayfarers State Park area, was planted in 1998. It incorporates a number of local plants and flowers in its design. Heartleaf arnica, Indian paintbrush, shooting stars, death camas, and several varieties of orchid can be found in this garden. Bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds are also seen frequently as they pollinate the array of wildflowers that have been planted in this beautiful garden.

Off-Season

Geocaching

Geocaching is a fairly new activity, made possible by cell phones and GPS technology. This international scavenger hunt allows participants to search for geocaches, which aresmall containers that include a log sheet or logbook, using GPS technology from their cell phones. In some instances, the container also has trinkets stashed in them, which should be replaced with an item of similar value. RVers often enjoy finding and moving trackable trinkets, small items that are moved from one container to another in order to travel either to a specific destination or as far as possible. There are several caches located in and around the Wayfarers Area of Flathead Lake State Park.

Wildlife Viewing

Don't forget to pack your binoculars in your trailer since there are a large variety of wild animals who make the forests in and around Flathead Lake State Park their home. Both black bears and grizzly bears have been known to wander through the Wayfarers Area, and white-tailed deer, mule deer, martins, squirrels, and skunk are abundant in this area. Several types of waterfowl also either live here or migrate through the area, including varieties of ducks, loons, swans, and geese, as well as songbirds such as warblers, waxwings, and mourning doves.

Nature Photography

Photographers of all sorts will want to ensure that they have packed their cameras in their campers when visiting the Wayfarers Area of Flathead Lake State Park. The rocky cliffs along the shoreline provide scenic views at any time of the day, and the park also provides amazingly picturesque sunsets. An abundance of wildflowers such as orchids and shooting stars can also be photographed in the Wayfarers Area, particularly in the summer months. Many types of wildlife can be found among the scenic views as well, including deer, mountain lions, bighorn sheep, and a wide variety of songbirds and waterfowl.

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