The Whitefish Trail

To date, the City of Whitefish and Whitefish Legacy Partners have built 47 miles of natural-surface trail and 15 trailheads. Locals and visitors have a variety of easy-to-locate and easy-to-navigate recreation opportunities on public and private lands that will ultimately create a 55+ mile recreational trail surrounding Whitefish.

Holbrook Overlook – 2021

In 2019, Flathead Forest Service approved the Taylor Hellroaring Project that celebrates the many stacked uses of National Forest Lands on the southern Whitefish Range including timber management, recreation development, and habitat improvements. WLP, the City of Whitefish, and Flathead National Forest have partnered to develop the historic Holbrook Overlook on Big Mountain Road with 3.8 miles of new non-motorized, multi-use trails, a formal trailhead, a scenic overlook, and an interpretive trail with benches and picnic tables. The million dollar views look south across Whitefish Lake to Beaver Lakes and the Salish Mountains. Phase I of the project opened in 2021, and the project will be completed in 2022.

Haskill – 2017

Haskill serves as the eastern gateway to the Whitefish Trail. In May of 2017, we broke ground on 5.5 miles of new trail and two trailheads connecting Whitefish to Whitefish Mountain Resort. The Big Mountain Trailhead, in partnership with Glacier Nordic, has groomed cross country ski access during the winter. This project was funded by the Land, Water, and Conservation Fund, the Montana Recreation Trails Program, the Forest Service Resource Advisory Council, and local community donors. Final construction ended in 2018 with the addition of a scenic boardwalk and viewing platform at Haskill Lake.

Spencer Mountain – 2015

The eight-mile WT loop at Spencer Mountain officially opened in summer of 2015.  The Whitefish Trail at Spencer Mountain has a different character than other parts of the trail system because most of the trails are historic. Some new trail building in South Spencer has helped make vital connections, and in spring of 2016, we were happy to open a new East-West Connector Trail. This newly licensed trail cuts the once arduous eight mile loop into two, smaller 4-5 mile loops. Spencer Mountain is also home to the Freeride mountain bike trails developed and maintained by Flathead Area Mountain Bikers (FAMB).

Swift Creek- 2012 & Lupfer – 2010

IMG_3833 (800x600)Swift Creek at the head of Whitefish Lake, serves as a critical outpost for completing the trail system around Whitefish Lake. Swift Creek trails currently meander through old-growth forest with scenic overlooks and expanding view of the Whitefish Range. Access to a serene Smith Lake was also secured. Swift Creek will be the vital connection between connecting to Beaver Lakes to the south and Haskill Basin to the east.

Trails at Lupfer were added to the Whitefish Trail System to provide trail users yet another opportunity for recreation. A quiet and less-traveled 4 mile loop and scenic overlook provide panoramic views of the Stillwater Valley.

Beaver Lakes – 2011

img_6513The Beaver Lake area offers trail users the opportunity to explore 6 pristine lakes through a permanently protected landscape. The Beaver Lakes trailhead opened in 2011, and expansion of the Woods Lake trails and trailhead and the North Beaver Connection provides users better access. The Dollar Lake trails opened in October of 2015, and provide users yet more destinations to explore. Overall, the Beaver Lakes area contains approximately 20 miles of newly built trails.


Lion Mountain, Skyles Connection – 2010

img_6628 photo-pavillion

The popular trailheads of Lion Mountain and Skyles Connection were the first pieces of the Whitefish Trail to open in 2010. Lion Mountain provides over three miles of stacked loop trails to a scenic overlook. The Skyles Connection serves as a vital access point between Beaver Lakes and Lion Mountain. Users can explore west to the Beaver Lakes area or head east back to town through Lion Mountain. In 2015, the WT Learning Pavilion was completed at Lion Mountain to anchor outdoor education programs on the Whitefish Trail.