Whitefish, Montana, is one of the best places for outdoor people to enjoy activities, attractions, and much more. Although you might want to get outside and hike every single day, sometimes you’re just too tired! But what if you still want to see the incredible lush greenery, pine forests, towering peaks, rolling hillsides, and bright blue lakes? Not all is lost — we love going on long, scenic drives that wind through the countryside, towering peaks, and cute towns surrounding Whitefish in the Montana wilderness. Let’s check out some of the best scenic drives near Whitefish, MT to pencil into your itinerary during your vacation. It doesn’t matter if you are here for a weekend or a month — you will love these scenic drives as one of the most exciting and stimulating activities during your holiday here!
Going to the Sun Road
Going to the Sun Road is arguably the most famous road in this part of the United States. Featuring 50 miles that wind through valleys, peaks, and mountain towns, this amazing nature-centric road features the most spectacular and eye-catching scenery and viewpoints in Glacier National Park. We love heading here any time of the year to check out the great pull-off points for an Insta-worthy photo and nearby hiking trails.
Depending on your itinerary, you can take this road super fast and end in about 2 hours following the speed limit. Or, if you want to make stops and take full advantage of the pristine scenery, this drive will take around 5 hours. We recommend going slow and soaking in the incredible viewpoints! Stop at Lake MacDonald for a swim, walk around the visitor center, take photos at Glacier Overlook, and check out Sperry Glacier up close and personal.
Another popular drive among locals and tourists is Maria’s Pass, an incredible path that winds through the Rocky Mountains. This high-elevation road passes by Middle Fork and mountain scenery that makes you feel like you are winding through a beautiful fantasy!
This incredible two-lane highway soars high above sea level, coming in at 5,213 feet at its highest point! This drive takes around 1-2 hours and brings you past some of the best things in the entire state. You will be able to see West Glacier, Great Bear Wilderness, Lewis and Clark National Forest, Flathead National Forest, Mount Despair, Mount Stimson, Mount Phillips, and the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial.
We love driving the scenic Swan Valley Road if you prefer to stop along the way for a relaxing picnic in a shaded wooded area where you can really feel like you are in the wilderness and enjoy the wildlife. This is the best path if you are interested in stopping and going for a hike, as you will pass through Flathead National Forest. You can easily stop to go for a nice walk, climb a mountain, or take a dip in one of the many lakes.
We recommend this scenic drive because you will really feel more relaxed and secluded than on the more popular roads! If you have already done the Going to the Sun Road and Maria’s Pass, this child-out road is much quieter and can provide some much-needed time with nature.
This is one of our top choices because you can get out in the middle of nature and escape. Wind through the Swan Mountains, Seeley Lake, Mission Mountains, Condon Lake, and Lake Inez.
This drive takes around 2-3 hours to drive, starting in Kalispell to Route 93 South to 82 East and ending in Seeley Lake.
Last but not least, the Kootenai Valley really is something to write home about! This incredible valley features rushing waterfalls, rapids, ancient red cedar trees, and bright blue mountain lakes. The Kootenai Falls is the highest waterfall in the entire state, bringing tourists from all over the world. We love taking this relaxing drive and ending at Ross Creek Cedars Scenic spot to bring a picnic and chill out with our friends.
Plus, the Kootenai Valley is filled with trees, forested areas, woodlands, and peace — what more do you want on an outdoor-centric vacation? This drive passes through tons of wilderness, charming towns, and the infamous waterfalls. We recommend spending an entire day and taking your time driving this loop, as chances are you will want to spend some time at Lake Koocanusa, Cabinet Mountain Wilderness, Ross Creek Cedar Area, and Kootenai Falls.
Memorable Scenic Drives near Whitefish, MT
As you know, there isn’t much time for all the must-see in Whitefish, Montana! We love these scenic drives for either a super-hot day when it is too warm to hike or a cold and rainy day when you want to see the scenery without being exposed to the elements. The numerous scenic drives are also great for those with young kids or elderly adults. Stay in one of our properties from I Love Whitefish for an exciting and fun-filled vacation. Need more information? Contact the team at I Love Whitefish.