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Big Arm

Camp, hike and swim in this beautiful setting on Flathead Lake among mature ponderosa pines, juniper trees and spectacular views of the Mission Mountains.

Alerts & Closures

Stage II Fire Restrictions for Lake County in the Kalispell Fire Restriction Area.

The following acts are prohibited until further notice:

  1.  Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire or campfire.
  2. Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.

The following acts are prohibited from 1:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.:

  1. Operating any internal combustion engine.
  2. Welding, or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame.
  3. Using an explosive. (A patrol is required for two hours following cessation of all activities as identified in #3 above.)
  4. Operating motorized vehicles off designated roads and trails.

Exemptions to the fire restrictions:

  1. Persons with a written permit that specifically authorizes the otherwise prohibited act.
  2. Persons using a device fueled solely by liquid petroleum or LPG fuels that can be turned on and off.
  3. Operating motorized vehicles on designated roads and trails.
  4. Emergency repair of public utilities and railroads as per attached conditions.
  5. Persons conducting activities in those designated areas where the activity is specifically authorized by written posted notice.
  6. Any Federal, State, or local officer, or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance of an official duty.
  7. All land within a city boundary is exempted.

     

Food Storage Rules: Store all attractants, day or night, in a closed, hard sided container or vehicle when not in immediate use. Tent campers without a vehicle may use available food lockers. Do not burn waste in fire ring or leave litter around camp-site. Dispose of garbage in bear-resistant dumpsters provided.

About the Park

Big Arm is located on Flathead Lake, the largest natural freshwater lake in the western United States. Twenty-eight miles long and 15 miles wide, Flathead Lake is renowned for its fishing. 

Located on the lake's Big Arm Bay, its long pebble beach is popular with sunbathers and swimmers. Camping under a stand of mature ponderosa pine and juniper is a major attraction. The hiking trail provides excellent vistas of surrounding mountain ranges and high peaks with abundant watchable wildlife opportunities. Other opportunities include: fishing for lake trout, board sailing, boating, swimming, camping, picnicking, bicycling, hiking the 2.5 mile trail, wildlife viewing, scuba diving, and water-skiing.

This site is 2,953 feet in elevation and covers 240 acres. The campground has 41 campsites, including one wheelchair accessible site; one group campsite; and three yurts. Maximum RV/trailer length is 40 feet. Bear resistant storage lockers are available.

Yurts offer the latest in circular camping comfort! The Mission yurt is 20’ in diameter, Salish and Swan are 16’ in diameter, and the Swan yurt is ADA accessible. All yurts have furniture, electrical outlets, lights, and electric heat. Yurt sites includes a picnic table and a fire pit for cooking.

A tribal fishing license is needed for fishing at this park and campers may stay only 14 days during a 30 day period. Pets are required to be on leashes.

Big Arm is a popular jumping-off point to Wild Horse Island, a 2,163-acre island in Flathead Lake State Park, located off the west shore of the lake. The island is home to bald eagles, bighorn sheep, yellow-pine chipmunks, and wild horses. Wild Horse Island is accessible only by boat.

Activities

  • Bird Watching
  • Boating
  • Camping
  • Canoeing
  • Fishing
  • Group Camping
  • Hiking
  • Kayaking
  • Lake Fishing
  • Motor Boating
  • Photography
  • Picnicking
  • RV Camping
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Tent Camping
  • Water Skiing
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Wind Surfing

Amenities

Some amenities are seasonal. Check with the park for availability.

  • ADA Accessible
  • Bear Resistant Storage Lockers
  • Boat Launch
  • Campsite
  • Established Fire Pits
  • Firewood for Sale
  • Grills/Fire Rings
  • Parking
  • Pets Allowed
  • Picnic Shelter
  • Public Restroom
  • Shower
  • Toilets (Flush)
  • Toilets (Vault)
  • Trails
  • Trash Removal
  • Water
  • Yurt

Seasons & Hours

Hours listed below are normal operating hours and may not apply when there is a special restriction or closure. Check Alerts and Closures in the tab below.

Park
Day use area open year-round

Campground
Open April thru October.

Water
Available mid-May thru mid-September.
 
Shower House & Flush Toilets
Open mid-May thru mid-Sept

Dock
Normally, available mid-March through November, weather permitting. For status updates please visit our Facebook page or call Flathead Lake State Park Ranger Station, 406-837-3041
For Waves & Wind Forecast, check NOAA Graphical Flathead Lake Forecast

Park Rules

Volunteer

Contact the park manager for open volunteer positions at Flathead Lake State Park.

For complete position descriptions, application forms, and details about Montana State Parks volunteer programs, visit the Volunteers page.

Fees

Montana Residents

  • Day use entrance is free*

 

Nonresidents

  • Day use entrance fee with a vehicle: $8
  • Day use entrance fee as a walk-in, bicycle or bus passenger: $4
  • With a Nonresident Entrance Pass: Free

 

Campsites

  • Campsite fees range from $4-$34 per night, depending on season and available amenities.

Montana State Parks offers hike/bike, rustic, tent, rv, and boatslip campsites.

 

Yurts

Regular Yurts

Residents and Nonresidents with a Park Pass:

  • $54 per night 
  • $50 between third Monday in September—third Thursday in May

Nonresidents:

  • $66 Per night. 
  • $60 between third Monday in September—third Thursday in May

Large Yurts

Residents and Nonresidents with a Park Pass:

  • $60 per night 
  • $56 between third Monday in September—third Thursday in May

Nonresidents:

  • $72 Per night. 
  • $68 between third Monday in September—third Thursday in May

 

Click here to check fees or reserve a campsite or yurt at Big Arm State Park.

 

* Montana residents who pay the $9 state parks fee with their annual vehicle registration have no daily entrance fees to state parks. For residents who don't include this in their vehicle registration, non-resident day use fees apply.

Contact Information

Mailing Address:
Big Arm / Flathead Lake State Park
Flathead Lake Ranger Station
8600 MT Hwy 35
Bigfork, MT 59911

Phone: May - September:
Direct Park Line 406-849-5256
Year-round Phone:
Flathead Lake Ranger Station 406-837-3041
Email: bigarm@mt.gov

 

Reservation Phone Number:

1-855-922-6768

Take a Look Around

Enjoy this aerial tour of the Big Arm Unit of Flathead Lake State Park

Located on the lake's Big Arm Bay, its long pebble beach is popular with sunbathers and swimmers. Camping under a stand of mature ponderosa pine and juniper is a major attraction. The hiking trail provides excellent vistas of surrounding mountain ranges and high peaks with abundant watchable wildlife opportunities.

Flathead Lake State Park - Big Arm

Address

28031 Big Arm State Park Rd.
Big Arm, MT 59910
Latitude/Longitude:
(47.80534 / -114.31339)

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Park map

View the park map to learn more about amenities, parking and camping details

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Park fees

Learn about fees and regulations for all Montana State Parks

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Meet The Park Manager

Amy Grout

Amy Grout began her career in Montana State Parks in 2004 as an intern at Lone Pine State Park, later becoming the Northwest District Park Ranger. Amy manages Flathead Lake State Park - Finley Point, Big Arm, Yellow Bay, Wayfarers and Wild Horse Island. She has a B.A. in Parks and Protected Area Management from Colorado State University at Fort Collins. Speaking about her love of the outdoors, Amy said, “Most of my childhood was spent outside of Anchorage, Alaska and so that is the one place I consider my hometown and where my love for the outdoors really began. “

CONTACT INFO
Mailing Address:
Flathead Lake State Park
Ranger Station
8600 MT Hwy 35
Bigfork, MT 59911

Phone: 
Flathead Lake State Park Ranger Station 406-837-3041
Email: agrout@mt.gov

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