Relax at Spotted Bear Beach

Hungry Horse, Montana


Added by Christina Adele Warburg-Hon

White sand beach in the middle of Montana with excellent swimming and fishing opportunities.

Spotted Bear Beach is a secluded white sand beach in the middle of Montana. To get here from the town of Hungry Horse, drive east on Highway 2 for ½ mile to the East Side Reservoir Road #38. Turn right (south) onto Road #38 and drive on through the town of Martin City. After two miles the pavement ends and the gravel East Side Reservoir Road continues on 55 miles to Spotted Bear Ranger Station, which is located on the right (west) side of the road. Park here and follow the signs to the footbridge, which is actually a swinging bridge worthy of a visit in and of itself. After crossing the swinging bridge, turn right and follow the signs to the beach, less than a hundred yards away

Where the South Fork of the Flathead River and the Spotted Bear River meet they create a perfect place for river recreation in the summer The water is deep enough and a comfortable temperature to make an excellent swimming hole. There are rocks in the middle of the river to swim out to and lay out on. The easy current makes it a popular spot to inner tube as well.  Of course, use your best judgment as the spring and early summer the water might still be too swift to make for a safe swimming hole. Most of the beach here is white sand, which is pretty difficult to find in Montana.  When I have been here with children, they have enjoyed building sand castles and just generally playing in the sand. The other part of the beach is covered in almost perfectly round river rocks, just right for skipping.

The South Fork of the Flathead is one of three places in Montana where you can legally fish for Bull Trout, which are a protected species. Bull Trout are unusually large, which make them desirable to fisherman. You will need to apply for and obtain a catch card from the Department of Fish and Wildlife before intentionally fishing for Bull Trout here (if you catch one accidentally here without a catch card or elsewhere where fishing for them is illegal, you must release it immediately). Once you have your license and catch card, this beach is an excellent place to fish.

Once you are done with your day at the beach, take some time and explore more of the Spotted Bear Ranger District which contains the Spotted Bear River, Great Bear and Bob Marshall Wildernesses, and the South Fork of the Flathead River. It is a popular destination for water recreation, fishing and hunting. Northern access to the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex is gained near the Spotted Bear Ranger Station.


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Stand Up Paddle
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area
Swimming Hole

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