The West Shore of Flathead Lake takes you on a scenic drive from Somers to Polson.
Somers sits at the north end of Flathead Lake about 8 miles south of Kalispell. Somers began as a “company town” of the Great Northern Railway. Railroad ties were needed to extend the company’s tracks throughout the west, and the timber surrounding Flathead Lake made the north end of the lake an ideal mill site. The Somers Lumber Company produced thousands of ties from 1900 to 1949.
The first general store, built in 1900, and other historic buildings are still in use by Sliters' Hardware. Today, visitors can enjoy excellent restaurants, studios and galleries, and historic sites in this town of 556 residents. The town has beautiful lake views and ospreys can be sighted nearby along the north shore of the lake during the summer months. A swimming beach, a boat launch and a yacht club surround Somers Bay and offer access to water sports and lake adventures.
South of Somers is Lakeside, which sits along the northwest shore of Flathead Lake at the base of downhill ski area, which provides great downhill skiing as well as cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the surrounding forest land. The town of Lakeside has several small shops, bakeries, cafes and restaurants.
Before the 1900s, the town of Lakeside was called “Stoner” after John Stoner, the first postmaster, who built and operated a hotel where the creek that still bears his name flows into Flathead Lake. The name was later changed to “Chautauqua,” then “Lacon,” and finally, to “Lakeside” in 1920. In early years, Flathead Lake was an important part of the trade route from Missoula to Canada, and steamers made regular stops in Lakeside with passengers and freight. Today, the town’s population is 1,679.
Continuing south on the west shore of the lake, visitors will reach Dayton, where consistent winds make a perfect location for sailing for both new and experienced sailors.
Dayton is also a perfect spot to embark for a trip to Wild Horse Island, a 2,200-acre primitive state park that is home to bald eagles, osprey, big horn sheep, deer and wild horses. Six miles to the west of Dayton is Lake Mary Ronan, a small, picturesque lake known for its great fishing year-round.
Member businesses close to or around West Shore