Once around the park and home, James
Yesterday, Courtney and I decided to check out the other four parks-within-the-park (“units”) in the Flathead Lake State Park Loop.
All of them have camping, but not all the same amenities. Each one also provides a unique camping experience, based on the layout, location and those aforementioned available or non-existent services.
This isn’t a review of each site, but more of a “Just so you know, before you go” and “what to expect” overview of each park.
Wayfarers: By far, the most most popular park in the loop with camping and a fantastic day use area (“the rocks”, kayak, canoe, paddle board rentals on site in addition to vendors that deliver watercraft rentals). It’s in Bigfork, so all the locals come to the day use during the summer, or after work, on weekends, etc.
As the only park in the loop with an RV Dump, and one of only two in the surrounding area (Logan State Park is the other, but 45 miles West of Kalispell so not in The Lake Loop), it sees a lot of traffic from RVers just for that reason.
- A very recently renovated hiker/biker area (the renovation was underway and has since completed while we’ve been here). Visiting bikers and hikers have said to us that it’s the best they’ve seen, with a bicycle repair station, great sites.
- Several pull-through sites for RVs
- One ADA/Disabled site with full RV hookup
- Aforementioned RV Dump
- Pump out at boat launch
- 3 tent-only sites right on the lake shore (2 reserve, 1 walk-in/first come, first served)
Yellow Bay: The tiniest of the campgrounds in the loop, it’s perfect for tent campers. We talked to the camp host and he said it is pretty quiet and low traffic. There is a nice memorial bridge and plaque honoring 3 climbers that died on Glacier December 29, 1969.
Finley Point: This was a, um, “fun” one to find at 4, “turn here, turn there” miles in from the highway. Because of that though, it’s quiet. Lots of RV parking on a parking lot, water and electric, but at a cost — you will be able to touch your neighbors’ slide out, if either of you can extend them
On the plus side, the boat area — it’s got honest to goodness boat mooring, not just a launch and parking. If you tow your boat or arrive by boat, this would be a camp for you.
Big Arm: The way I remember details about this campground is that you’ll need a big arm to wedge you way in to your spot. All/the majority the RV spots are along the side and it is a narrow fit. We saw a couple RVs that didn’t get close enough to the shoulder to extend their slide outs or they were able to extend them only part way.
The camp host is at the top of the campground in their own loop, so either you walk or drive to the host for any questions, firewood or ice, or maybe they deliver to your site (we didn’t see any of the 4 hosts to be able to ask about that). Likely the host spends a lot of time puttering in the grounds on the gator!
The nice thing is the the tent sites in the main loop and the RV spots you see in the picture are just a few short steps to the lake and it’s the only other camp with a shower house.
West Shore: The sites are really close together here, so if you’re wanting privacy, you’re not gonna find that at West Shore.
We got a chance to talk to the camp host (the host site, by the way, is “in the middle of things”, unlike the others that are separate from the camp sites) and she pointed out that the walk to the shore is not one for those who aren’t steady footed or don’t like a rocky walk to the water’s edge.
Each campground has something unique to offer, it just comes down to what are you willing to do without to have what you want?
Also, here’s a tl;dr (“too long; didn’t read”) chart: