With a population of about 14,000 people, Kalispell is one of the largest, most vibrant cities in Northwest Montana. Like many other Montana cities, Kalispell emerged as the Great Northern Railroad moved west, becoming a city in 1891. Today, Kalispell is the commercial center of Flathead County, one of the most rapidly growing areas in Montana. But with Glacier National Park just down the road, many newcomers are drawn by the ready access to fishing, hiking, camping and skiing in some of the most beautiful stretches of country in the West.
ECONOMY AND INDUSTRIES
Kalispell Regional Hospital offers a wide range of medical and health services. Its ALERT program, which is among the oldest medical helicopter services in the country, has helped the hospital earn a reputation as one of the finest in the United States.
Aside from the hospital, several other companies employ large portions of the Kalispell population, including Semitool, Kalispell School District, Plum Creek Timber and Flathead Valley Community College.
NEIGHBORHOODS AND DISTRICTS
The city of Kalispell accommodates a mostly urban population of more than 20,000. Neighborhoods and districts of Kalispell accommodate around 6,500 houses, out of which more than 6,100 are occupied. Of the occupied houses, more than half are owner-occupied, while renters occupy the rest. The neighborhoods of Kalispell have a housing density of around 1,200 houses or condos per square mile.
Kalispell is excellent to walk around in, as grocery stores, restaurants and schools are within a half a mile from the center of the city.
- Flathead Lake: About seven miles away from Kalispell, this lake is the largest in the state, as well as one of the largest and cleanest freshwater lakes in the country.
- Flathead National Forest: Camping is a favorite activity in this vast, serene expanse of flora and fauna, which encompasses more than 2 million acres.
- The Jewel Basin: Roughly 35 miles of trails make this spot in the Swan Mountains perfect for hikers. Horseback riding and vehicles are prohibited.
- Glacier National Park: Near the Canadian border, this park boasts two mountain ranges, more than 700 lakes, 200 waterfalls, more than 1,000 plant species and hundreds of animal species. Hiking, camping, fishing, skiing and tours are popular activities here.
- Golf: Eagle Bend Golf Club is a championship course with 27 holes and breathtaking views of Flathead Lake and Glacier National Park. Nearby Big Mountain Golf Club is Kalispell's newest public course, and features acres of lush pines along its perimeter. Village Greens, Crossroads and Buffalo Hill Golf Club are other courses in Kalispell.
- Kalispell Parks and Recreation: This city-run department organizes recreational events at parks and provides athletic instruction for youth and adults alike.
- Whitefish Mountain Resort: Located minutes away near the small city of Whitefish, this resort features more than 90 runs, along with numerous bowl and tree-skiing opportunities, on a property of roughly 3,000 acres. First formed in 1947, the resort enjoys roughly 300 inches of snow annually, while offering a range of runs and terrains for beginners, intermediate skiers and experts. Nearby restaurants and shops make this a great vacation spot for tourists and Kalispell residents alike. Summer visitors can hike, bike and shop in the charming, nearby Whitefish Mountain Resort Village.
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
- Arts in the Park: This July festival allows residents and visitors to celebrate the arts in an outdoor setting.
- Hockaday Museum of Art: Visitors can admire exhibits in this fine art museum.
- Abbrescia Fine Art: This gallery displays the unique oil paintings created by local artist Joe Abbrescia. Most of his works showcase aspects of the natural wonders, mountain life and animals of Montana.
- Glacier Orchestra and Chorale: This group's musical shows have been bringing elegance to Kalispell year-round for more than 25 years.
- Highways: The city can be found where U.S. Route 93 and U.S. Route 2, the northernmost east-west highway in the country, meet.
- Air Travel: Glacier Park International Airport serves Kalispell and uses Allegiant Air, United, Northwest, Delta and Alaska Airlines. Kalispell City Airport is the area's general aviation airport.
- Public Transportation: Eagle Transit transports residents within Kalispell and surrounding cities on weekdays. Amtrak has a station in nearby Whitefish.
Kalispell has several radio stations, television channels and newspapers. Just a few are listed below:
- Daily Inter Lake
- Flathead Beacon
- K29AA (PBS), channel 29
- KCFW (NBC), channel 9
- KTMF-LP (ABC), channel 42
- KMMF-LP (FOX), channel 22
- KLKM FM 88.7 (contemporary Christian)
- KBBZ FM 98.5 (classic rock)
- KWOL FM 105.1 (oldies)
- KGEZ 600 (talk radio)
- KJJR 880 (country)
- KSAM 1240 (sports radio)
DID YOU KNOW?
- Kalispell is the closest city to Glacier National Park.
- Former and current notable residents include actor Robert Bray, actress Michelle Williams and Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.
- Kalispell is the seventh largest city in Montana.
- Due to the city's fairly low population and large amount of land, commuting to work is considered a breeze, with a 15-minute drive to work as the average.