Polson lies in a natural amphitheater at the south end of Flathead Lake in Northwest Montana. Polson is located on the Flathead Indian Reservation.
This charming lakeshore community is the trading center for one of most fertile farming areas in Montana. This prime cherry growing region is home to dozens of orchards, which Polson celebrates with an annual Cherry Festival.
The broad, sweeping Mission Valley south of Polson is bordered by the rugged, snow-capped Mission Mountains. The Flathead River that flows through Polson features whitewater rafting and Kerr Dam. Just south of Ronan, visitors can see large herds of bison, elk, deer, antelope and barn sheep at the National Bison Range at Moiese. Bird watchers will enjoy the Ninepipes and Pablo Wildlife Refuges.
Visit one of our museums, The Miracle of America ,thePolson-Flathead Historical Museum, or the Peoples Center in Pablo. All offer many displays and historic memorabilia. Polson also has several city parks situated along the lake. Golfers will want to visit the Polson Golf Course.
Polson becomes a popular attraction in the summertime, when temperatures range from 80 to 95 degrees. In July, Polson plays host to the Flathead Lake Basketball Tournament. The largest Car Show in the Pacific Northwest takes place in August, when 500 hotrods, custom and classic, line the streets of Polson.
Indian Nations: Pend d'Oreille Kootenai Salish
Flathead Lake is the largest natural freshwater lake in the western United States. Studies at the Flathead Biological Station show that water quality in Flathead Lake is among the best in the world.
Its major tributaries are the Flathead and Swan Rivers. Numerous small streams flow directly into the lake at its shoreline, particularly on the wetter East Shore.
Kerr Dam is located at the outlet of Flathead Lake in Polson. Regulations of outflow by the dam maintain the lake level between 2,883 and 2,893 feet above sea level.
At 2,163 acres, this is one of the largest islands in North America. It is now preserved as a state park. Wild Horse Island is home to many species of wildlife, including wild horses, deer and bighorn sheep. The Salish and Pend d'Oreille tribes probably brought horses to the island first. They hid their horses on the island to keep the Blackfoot tribes from taking them during raids.
Bird watchers love the island because it is home to a great number of species. Among the birds on the island are a variety of ducks, swans and geese, red tailed hawks, bald eagles, and many small songbirds.
The only way to get to Wild Horse Island is by boat. Cruises and boat rentals are available in and around Polson. The island is a day-use area only. As visitors hike around the island, they may notice the remains of several early 20th century homesteads. The local wildlife feed on fruit that grows in an old orchard.
Finley Point is hidden away in a conifer forest at the southeast corner of Flathead Lake, about 11 miles north of Polson on Montana Highway 35. There are state park campsites here, some with boat docks. This is a good place to fish for yellow perch and lake trout.
In addition to camping, Finley Point State Park has picnic sites, a swimming area, and a boat launch. Fishing for whitefish is said to be great. Whitefish live in deep water, so anglers will need to fish from a boat. Whitefish can grow up to 22 inches long. In the summer, lake trout also like the deep water and can be found in the middle of Flathead Lake. Try using large lures for these fish.
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