30 Lakes in 30 Days | Flathead Lake | Montana

You'll never paddle a more mind-boggling geological feature than Montana's Flathead Lake. Forget that its surface area of nearly 200 square miles makes it the country's largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi. Its distinction comes from being a remnant of an ancient, 3,000-square-mile, glacially dammed lake called Missoula, caused by a 2,000-foot-high wall of ice blocking the Clark Fork River. While the resultant floods were biblical, you'll be singing its praises while you're paddling. Named for the Salish (Flathead) Indians, it's located 30 miles southwest of Glacier National Park and flanked by the Mission Mountains on the east and the Salish Mountains on the west. No matter where you launch or paddle, you're guaranteed a pristine SUP experience. For rentals, try Bigfork Standup Paddleboard.

Camping: Sites surround the lake—private, state park and Forest Service. Big Arm State Park (406-752-5501, Montanastateparks.com) is on the southwest shore and offers 40 campsites, three yurts and full amenities.

Lodging: Try Mountain Lake Lodge or Flathead Lake Lodge

30 Lakes in 30 Days Project:

America is riddled with countless unsung watering holes ideal for your next SUP adventure. To highlight some of our favorite freshwater paddling
locales, we're profiling 30 lakes in 30 days for the entire month of July. We'll give you the lake’s local rundown, outfitting options in the area and we'll even tell you where to find the best bite and beer post-paddle. It's a resource just for you and it's brought to you by Tahoe SUP.