Tips For Your Flathead Lake Vacation


Surrounded by 2,000 Pristine Acres, bordering National Forest, Averill’s Flathead Lake Lodge is the ideal Montana Dude Ranch vacation. Experience the tranquility of the lake, speed up and explore the forest on horseback, or take a moment to rest. Our lodge offers a ton of activities, and it is important for you to have the information on what you do and what you need to bring. We are here to help you plan your adventure vacation to Flathead Lake Montana.

What To Do

Montana Horseback Riding Vacations

There is an abundance of amenities at Averill’s Flathead Lake Lodge. If you want to see the great outdoors; saddle up and explore the mountain wilderness and some of Montana’s most beautiful landscape. Cool off and take a dip in the fresh water lake. Enjoy sailing, canoeing, kayaking, and the stand-up paddleboards. Stay inside and have some fun competition in the game room with Ping Pong and Pool Table. Whatever you want to do you can do it at Averill’s Flathead Lake Lodge.

What To Bring

Figure out the activities that you want to take part in to know what to bring. If you want to do everything water, pack a swimsuit that can handle all types of water sports. Sunscreen and a hat and will come in handy when out and about during the day. If you want to go horseback riding grab the boots. Comfortable jeans and closed toed shoes will be a necessity. Go on an adventure and hike around the lake. Bring hiking boots and a backpack to hold your water bottle, sunscreen, and a mini first aid kit. That way there will be no stopping you. The most important item to bring is your camera. Document the amazing time you and your family will be having at Flathead Lake.

Where To Stay

With fantastic views and the fun atmosphere of our Montana Dude Ranch, your trip will be one to remember at Averill’s Flathead Lake Lodge. Enjoy the cozy ambiance of our accommodations ranging from 1-3 bedrooms in our log cabins or our historic log lodges. You will have access to all the on-site activities providing you with all the fun your family could need. Our Montana Dude Ranch is the perfect place to relax and explore the world on your family’s next adventure!

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End of Summer Fun at Averill’s Flathead Lodge

dude ranch vacation activites

Before you know it the children will be going back to school, summer will be coming to an end, and colder weather will be upon us. So before this happens, there is still time for you to book that last minute summer vacation! At Averill’s Flathead Lake Lodge we pride ourselves on making sure the whole family is having fun. That is why we look at each perspective from the parents to the kids and how their vacation will be spent at our Montana Dude Ranch.
Family Friendly Vacations Montana


Averill’s Flathead Lodge is the perfect spot for your family vacation. We offer plenty of activities for every age each day. There will be plenty to do, so there is no fighting over what the kids want. Scheduled activities are offered for the whole family and give you the chance to spend quality time together. We also want to make your vacation easy, so you are not overwhelmed and packing up the whole car for your vacation. We have fantastic amenities such as our All-Inclusive Western Fine Dining. There will be no need for you to go grocery shopping or for you to take the time out of your vacation to make a meal. This is your time with the family, and we want to make sure you spend it with them.


On vacations, you might hear “I am bored,” but this will not happen on your vacation to our Montana Dude Ranch. They will want to come back year after year.  There are plenty of activities that will keep the kids occupied all day long. From jumping into the water, horseback riding, and tennis the kids will have a blast. Children are a focus for activities and recreation at the Lodge. We have a unique children’s program where the kids have the freedom to roam the property and the various activities as they would like. This way all kids are taking part in what their interested are. With all of these attractions, the kids will be exhausted by night time and ready to take on the next day. While you are taking pictures to remember these awesome memories, they will be taking selfies to show their friends how much fun they are having!

Averill’s Flathead Lake Lodge is the ultimate location for fun family vacations in Montana. With an extensive selection of family activities, each day will offer new memories for the whole family. Whether you are interested in spending the morning on horseback and the afternoon on the water, the day is yours for you to decide. As summer comes to an end receive 10% off on Lodge accommodations, August 13th-20th and August 20th- 27th, for your all inclusive Montana Dude Ranch.

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Wedding Bells at Averill’s Flathead Lake Lodge

Imagine walking down the aisle and seeing your partner standing in front of the gorgeous Flathead Lake as blue skies hang over your head and your loved ones watch in the beauty that is your wedding day. At Averill’s Flathead Lake Lodge we offer the ideal location for all things wedding in our Montana Dude Ranch. Over the years we have hosted a vast amount of wedding ranging from country chic to extravagant elegance. So we know a thing or two when it comes to weddings, and we have some great tips to make your wedding the best day of your life!
Pantone’s color of the year is Greenery which is perfect for our stunning property. We are surrounded by natural forest and blooming flowers. Greenery is the perfect pop of color but in a neutral and earthy way making it the perfect color for all seasons. Going green does not mean that your bridesmaids have to wear it or table clothes need to be in that color. Using greenery can be creative and using it in your surroundings. Use potted flowers on the tables, such as succulents. It is an easy way to decorate tables but can also be a gift for your guests. Use blooming flowers as an alter backdrop or grab some fallen pine to make garlands for the head table. Use the trees around to hang linens or flowers to create an intriguing space. Using the materials around you can create a simple and elegant design. Greenery is symbolic for fresh beginnings, which is perfect to represent your big day!
A fun way to get guests to interact and mingle are games. Have an interactive wedding program with mad libs or a fun scavenger hunt describing some of your guests. These will lead people to talk to one another and have an excuse to do so! Another fun way to break the ice is to have reception lawn games. Have games laid out such as Jenga for people to verse each other. However, you have the whole resort to use and have fun. Your guest can join in on a game of basketball, beach volleyball, and more. Alternatively, maybe while you are having your pictures taken let them get out on the canoes and explore the lake. There are so many options at the resort that your guest will not be bored during their stay.
When picking a destination, it is important to think about your guests as well. Is there enough room for them, will they have things to do while you are prepping for the wedding. At Averill’s Flathead Lake Lodge the answer is yes! Guests will have comfortable and cozy accommodations ranging from one to three bedroom log cabins to one of our historic log lodges rooms. They will have plenty to do from all of the games to horseback riding, lake activities, and guided adventures. At Averill’s we want to make sure that everyone is having the time of their lives which means you should too. Your wedding day can be stressful, but that is why we are here! We will make sure on your wedding day you can relax and take in the exciting moments that come on your wedding day.

Averill’s Flathead Lake Lodge is a truly magical spot for your destination wedding. We offer a ton of helpful guidance and tips for your wedding day, so you are prepared and relaxed. The shores of Flathead Lake provide a picture perfect backdrop, and the rustic ranch atmosphere makes for a fun filled and unique experience for you and your guests at our Montana Dude Ranch. Now say “I Do” under the big sky on the stunning shores of Flathead Lake!

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Family Week at Averill’s Flathead Lake Lodge

Averill’s Flathead Lake Lodge is the ultimate location for a fun family vacation in Montana. Each day offers a ton of activities for every age at our Montana dude ranch. Spend the morning horseback riding and the afternoon on the water, whatever you chose to do there are more than enough activities for the whole family. Receive 20% off when you stay June 11th -18th 2017 for family week. Experience the ultimate family destination and Montana adventure at a great price.

Day Activities
Start your day with an experience you will not forget. Explore the Montana wilderness on horseback. We have horseback riding activities for all ages and skill levels. Spend as much or as little with the horses during your week at the Lodge. Our riding programs are focused on you.

The ranch is located directly on the shores of Flathead Lake, the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi. The pristine waters provide endless opportunities for summer fun. Jump in and go sailing on one of the varieties of sailboats our lodge offers. Every afternoon you can enjoy water skiing and wakeboarding. A great activity for the whole family and we provide everything you will need. Also available are paddleboards, canoes, and kayaks. Cool off after a long day of fun and enjoy the fresh water and the fantastic views.

After you have explored our trails on horseback and enjoyed, all that Flathead Lake has to offer, explore the number of on-ranch, all-inclusive activities. Go for a bike ride or join a game of Basketball, Tennis, Beach Volleyball, and more. Your vacation will be filled with fun games and activities for everyone.

Night Activities
The fun does not end when the sun goes down. We provide fun all day long and for the whole family. Relax by a warm fire and enjoy live music. Put on those boots and bring the whole family to the barn for dancing and a live band. Enjoy a steak fry cookout and mingle with guests and enjoy time with the family. We love competition, so there will also be mouse races, a must see, staff versus guest sand volleyball game, and so much more. There is never be a dull moment at our Lodge.

Averill’s Flathead Lake Lodge wants to make sure that your family is taken care of when you stay at our Lodge. This June we want to make your next family vacation the best yet at our Montana dude ranch! We have been rated in the top 2% best family vacations spots in America. From horseback riding to water skiing you will never be bored. This next vacation will be a Western Montana Vacation to Remember.

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Spartan Race at Averill’s Flathead Lake Lodge

We’re excited to once again host this year’s, May 6th-7th, Montana Spartan Race at our Montana Dude Ranch! Spartans, prepare for the amazing views and rewarding climbs. Our Ranch is located on the shores of Flathead Lake. Breathe in fresh air and get ready for the pristine rugged trails. The terrain, covering 12+ miles, features punishing obstacles that will leave you breathless at the finish line. The views of Glacier National Park are not to be missed; and yes, you’ll just have to climb a hill, and crawl under barbed wire, then throw a spear, and so much more just to get there. But trust us, the reward for your hard work is more than worth it.

Get Ready
Spartan is a mission driven company committed to making the world a better place. They live to compete and compete to live, they believe you can’t have a strong body without a strong mind; they believe that obstacles make us stronger. Spartan provides racers of all levels a proving ground to test themselves. Spartan is the world’s best obstacle race.

Spartans know the importance of leaving no man or woman behind. This is as true off the course as it is on it. With that in mind, they are uniting with fundraising partner everyday hero to bring Spartans across the country a new platform to raise both money and awareness for those in need. Start raising money for one of our 40 official charity partners, or raise money for a personal cause!

Get Set
Callout your friends, co-workers and loved ones to get off the couch and into the mud. Whether they’re helping you over the wall or running up a mountain, make sure they’re with you at the starting line. Teams can be any size but must have at least 4 members to be included in the team rankings.
Bring your friends and family to the race to watch you conquer obstacles, dominate the finish line and receive your medal!Fans will enjoy music, raffles, entertainment, and festival challenges. Most importantly, fans will receive a front row seat to watch racers from the Spartan Race festival ground area.

Here the sky goes for miles, and the views from the course give you a taste of natural beauty at its finest.If you’ve ever wanted to see some real wildlife, you’ll likely get a healthy dose while you visit and maybe even while you’re racing. There are plenty of outdoor activities to partake in after the race. Check out Swan Lake, Echo Lake, or the Jewel Basin hiking area just to name a few. Take comfort in resting at one of our nearby lodges that offer a peaceful retreat to top off your Spartan vacation at our Montana Dude Ranch. Join the race and get ready to feel invisible.

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Spring into Nature with Horseback Riding

The snow is melting which means a new world is appearing from under the snow. In spring there is so much to see from fresh flowers to animals exploring the land. The best way to experience what Mother Nature has to offer is on horseback. At Averill’s Flathead Lake Lodge we provide horseback riding throughout your stay. It is a chance for you to see what a Montana Dude Ranch has to offer.

On our 2,000 acre private ranch, we have a ton of sites to explore on horseback. From mountain wilderness, spectacular lake views, our private elk preserve, and some of Montana’s most beautiful landscape. Our riding program is focused on you, the guest. What this means is that our guests can ride as much or as little as they would like during their week at the Lodge. Our riding program offers a variety of riding options daily, for all ability levels, and various ride lengths and ages so that guests can pick and chose what riding experience they would like from day to day.

At our ranch, we want to make sure everyone has a chance to ride a horse. That is why our wranglers offer private riding lessons for beginner riders in our arena so that everyone feels comfortable out on the trails. For the experienced equestrians, our wranglers will take out smaller groups, ride faster, and cover some serious distance while venturing into some of the most untouched wilderness in the country.

With so much to see in Montana and on our ranch, we want to make sure you can see it all. Our Montana Dude Ranch provides the most fun and exciting way to view everything and that is on horseback. We pride ourselves on making the experience enjoyable for you as well as the horses. So spring into action and grab your cowboy hat and book your stay at Averill’s Flathead Lake Lodge.

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What To Expect On A Montana Dude Ranch Vacation

Averill’s Flathead Lake Lodge is a Montana Dude Ranch that is unlike any other. With an upscale rustic atmosphere, this ranch has a lot to offer. You’ll experience endless recreational activities and amazing hospitality from the Averill Family and staff. You might think what is there to do in Montana? And the answer is too much!

Life On The Ranch
Along with so much to see around the ranch, you’ll find that there is also a lot to do on the ranch. We offer an endless amount of fun with horseback riding activities for all ages and experience levels. This is a great way to explore the Montana wilderness. We are located on a private bay on the largest natural freshwater lake in the west. So you can imagine how much fun water activities can be at our beautiful lakeside ranch. You can enjoy lake cruise to experience the spectacular views, as well as sailing, paddle boarding, kayaks, canoes, and of course fishing. If you aren’t sure if your kids will want to do everything listed above. We do have children and teen activities to keep the littlest cowboys and cowgirls busy. Our friendly and trusted staff will help to guide your children through arts and crafts, scavenger hunts, laser tag, wrangler program, and a kid’s rodeo.

What To Bring
So with all these amazing and different activities you must be thinking what should we bring? Expect a wide range of weather conditions. With sunny summer days and cooler nights, layers are key. Blue jeans or comfortable pants are good if you are planning on horseback riding and of course, don’t forget those cowboy hats and boots! Sweatshirts, light jackets, and rain gear are perfect for bundling up by the campfire or layering up for Glacier National Park. For days by the lake a bathing suit, sunglasses, sunscreen, and sandals. On athletic days, think of spending your day biking or hiking, which means you’ll want to bring athletic shoes or hiking shoes. Then of course whatever else you want to bring to enjoy your amazing vacation at Averill’s Flathead Lake Lodge.

The Great Outdoors
When planning your vacation to the Ranch there is a lot to take note of. It is only 35 miles from Glacier National Park. Located in the Rocky Mountains, this national park has glaciers carved in peaks and valleys running to the Canadian border. The mountainous Going-to-the-Sun Road crosses Glacier National Park. If you love to hike plan to spend some time pre or post ranch life with the opportunity to hike over 700 miles of trails, backpacking, and cycling. Plus, there is a possibility to see diverse wildlife from mountain goats to grizzly bears. If hiking isn’t your thing, we are walking distance to Bigfork, Montana. A Charming western artesian village on the bay with a wide assortment of fine art galleries, restaurants, and unique shops.

We want to make sure you have an amazing time on your Montana Dude RanchEnjoy 2,000 Acres of Private Ranch Riding.

Bordered by National Forest overlooking Flathead, explore the beauty of the ranch and Montana on horseback. Our ranch has been around since 1945, and we pride ourselves on giving guests the experience of western Montana hospitality combined with unparalleled recreation opportunities. We’ll make sure you and your family have the best vacation with us. Continue a legacy for generations when you experience Averill’s Flathead Lake Lodge. Grab your boots and head down to Montana for a rodeo of a good time.

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Closer by the dozen in Bigfork, Montana – By: Linda Dove and Family

Who: Robert and Linda Dove of Kiawah Island, S.C.; Stephen Dove and a son, Jackson, of Arlington, Va.; Nicholas and Carrie Storer and two sons, Tommy and Ned, all of Kensington, Md.; Dan Solomon and Laura Dove and their children, Abigail and Jacob, all of Alexandria, Va.

Where, when, why: The challenge was to plan a family trip for 12 that would be fun for everyone, from 77-year-old Bobby to 12-year-old Tommy, and all those in between. Our requirements: no cooking (an absolute must); interesting and varied activities with lots of opportunities for outdoor ad­ven­ture; a wide selection of other guests for the 12-, 13- and 14-year-olds; and something that would equal or surpass our trip to Alaska last year.

Kudos to daughter Laura who, after much research, found Averill’s Flathead Lake Lodge, in Bigfork, Mont., just outside of Kalispell and 30 miles from Glacier National Park. The working dude ranch with more than 100 horses and an outstanding farm program is located on Flathead Lake and has many water activities, including water skiing, kayaking and sailing. It promised something for everyone, even those creaky grandparents who weren’t sure they would be doing the morning trail rides. We combined time at the lodge with a side trip to Glacier National Park.

Highlights and high points: We all made it a point to visit the lakeshore at some point every morning and every afternoon. Although only some of us made it for sunrise each day, we all came together each afternoon for sunset. Yes, there is life outside of Washington traffic, work deadlines and busy sports schedules. The scenery was lovely, but it was the relaxed conversation that seemed the most spectacular.

Cultural connection or disconnect: We were in Montana at the height of the drought and forest fire season, a record-breaker in 2015. It was eye-opening. On several mornings we rose to discover the ranch shrouded in gray smog, caused by the fires in Glacier Park. It was a stark reminder of how different life is in the West and the power and fickleness of Mother Nature.

Biggest laugh or cry: One of our 12-year-olds seemed to discover girls for the first time during our stay at the ranch. Much teasing among the cousins, but also some special moments when we could begin to see who he would be as he grows into manhood. Grandparent tears.

How unexpected: None of us expected to spend so much time on the water in Western Montana. The lakes are amazing — warm, calm and incredibly beautiful. We also loved the small town of Bigfork, which looks like something out of a Western movie. We were warmly greeted by the residents of this town of 4,000.

Fondest memento or memory: It is not easy to plan a trip for 12 people who have little time for vacations and thus have very strong ideas about what they should be. We spent a lot of time before the trip talking about what we each wanted from our experience. Everyone’s ideas were given equal weight — from the kids to the grandparents. How successful was our adventure? Our time in Montana met everyone’s expectations, above and beyond. This was certainly due in part to the activities and experiences at our lodge, which were amazing. But we all agreed that we had each brought something to the trip that was what made it so meaningful. Now we have to begin working something even better for next year!

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Drink Beer | Race | Conquer in The Last Best Place.

This 5k-ish 4 person relay will challenge your will and palate on the shores of Flathead Lake.

It’s like nothing you have done before with 10 Challenges (Giant Beer Pong, Keg Climbing Wall, Hops Hop, Keg Pull, Grain Pit to name a few) | Race Beer Sampling Stations | Festival | Live Music all located at the top guest ranch in Montana Flathead Lake Lodge. Sign your team up today as space is limited or sign up as an individual and we’ll pick your team.

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Team Building at The Ranch

“A few years ago we founded Elicit with the mindset of creating a company that everyone would want to work for. That led to the institution of what we call Mind Meld—a bi-annual corporate retreat that highlights collaboration, expanding our capabilities, and probably most importantly, having an awesome time with each other. In May of 2015 we spent Mind Meld 7 at the beautiful Averill’s Flathead Lake Lodge and the team has subsequently dubbed it the “best Mind Meld ever.”

What made our experience so special is hard to pinpoint, because everything was great. The Lodge simply ended up being the perfect setting for our team. The main conference room easily accommodated our nearly 30-person company and we had access to other breakout rooms so splitting up into smaller teams was a breeze. The activities in and around the camp were perfect. I saw groups taking advantage of everything the Lodge had to offer—from kayaking and horseback riding to pickup basketball and volleyball. We even had a huge group head out to play laser tag in the woods. It was a blast.

While the activities were great, the food and staff may have been even better. As a company, we have quite an epicurean culture, but breakfast, lunch, and dinner, coupled with service from ‘friends’, continued to impress. The highlight was definitely the steak fry in the woods. Delicious food and an awesome experience—we rode in a vintage fire truck to the dinner site!

And all the while you are sitting in some of the most beautiful surroundings in the country. The lake, trees, and mountain ranges were breathtaking all day, but especially at sunset. We gathered each evening at the campfire by the lake to make s’mores, play a little guitar, and just take in the beautiful scenery.

Averill’s Flathead Lake Lodge is an incredible place and provided us with an incredible experience. I highly recommend creating your own great memories there.”

Mason Thelen
CEO and Co-Founder, Elicit

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