OUTBACK & BEYOND

Outback is proud to support our travelers from abroad, and introduce them to all of the colorful events and festivities that make Bigfork such a wonderful destination! From the Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park, boating on Flathead Lake, to running the Spartan Race, or braving the rapids in our Annual Category 4 Whitewater Festival!

Outback is your base camp for mission MONTANA!

Flathead Lake is the largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi in the lower 48 states, with over 200 square miles of water and 185 miles of shoreline.

 

Recreation on and around the lake includes: sailing, power boating, waterskiing, swimming, fishing, picnicking, and camping. In the summer, roadside stands along the east shore offer a variety of locally grown cherries, apples, plums, and other fruits.

 

Experience Glacier's pristine forests, alpine meadows, rugged mountains, and spectacular lakes. With over 700 miles of trails, Glacier is a hiker's paradise for adventurous visitors seeking wilderness and solitude. Relive the days of old through historic chalets, lodges, and the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road. Explore Glacier National Park and discover what awaits you.

The Flathead River system of northwestern Montana offers memorable fishing opportunities. From sites of easy access to those of remote wilderness, the Flathead waters can provide diverse fishing experiences.  Three main branches, the North Fork, Middle Fork and South Fork, eventually come together to form the main stem of the Flathead River that flows into 28-mile-long Flathead lake.  Access to the three forks and the main Flathead is readily available in places, but to effectively fish the best of the Flathead, floating is suggested.  The hardest thing about fly fishing this part of northwestern Montana is keeping your eye on your fly and not the spectacular scenery.

 

The Bigfork Summer Playhouse was founded in 1960 by Dr. Firman ‘Bo’ Brown and his wife Margery Hunter Brown as a place for University of Montana theatre students to perform in the summer. 

 

In the early days of the Bigfork Summer Playhouse, the company ate group meals, rehearsed, and lived in the same place.  There were no facilities to build scenery, nor extra storage of any kind. As a matter of fact, the building didn’t even belong to the Bigfork Summer Playhouse — it was a Community Hall owned by the Masons and the Eastern Star and seated approximately 200 people.  The summer group would rent the facility and bring in the stage, risers, and seats for the audience.

 

We’re pleased to say that now the playhouse is a 435 seat air-conditioned theater with great fly space, a spacious lobby that contains a concession area, and wonderfully comfortable continental style seating for hundreds of guests. Numerous spaces off-site to accommodate production needs including a dormitory facility for the actors; living quarters for the directors, technicians, and musicians; costume shop; scene shop; and rehearsal space.

Spartan Race is a series of obstacle races of varying distance and difficulty ranging from 3 miles to marathon distances. They are held in the US and have been franchised to 30 countries including Canada, South Korea, Australia and several European countries. The series includes the Spartan Sprint, the Spartan Super, the Spartan Beast, and the Spartan Ultra.

The Bigfork Whitewater Festival is celebrating 46 years of extreme whitewater action and community-oriented fun!  This is the longest running event in Bigfork and is one that the entire Flathead Valley looks forward to each year. Participants come from around the world to race. Spectators are also a huge part of this festival and come to enjoy the races and other events held in town.

It was May of 1978 when the idea of a Bigfork Festival of the Arts was first proposed. As so often happens in Bigfork, it started with a conversation on Electric Ave. between members of the community. The first festival was held on the first weekend in August of 1978. It was a resounding success despite the committee’s inexperience. The feedback from the community was very positive and the group agreed that it should become an annual event. 

 

Over the years, the festival has grown steadily to its current size. In 2019, there were more than 140 booths representing a wide variety of arts and crafts by nationally and internationally recognized artists and craftsmen. Festival attendance is estimated to be more than 6,000.

Bigfork knows how to throw a party.  And when it’s our country’s birthday, Bigfork really knows how to celebrate.  Centerpiece of the celebration is the annual parade through Bigfork which begins at noon.  Bring your whole family to view our great parade to celebrate the birth of our country.  The 4th of July Parade in Bigfork has been voted “Best Parade in the Flathead” year after year.