Missoula to Kalispell is a popular tourist and local travel route. This is the way many folks will travel when going to visit Glacier National Park. Actually while there is an airport in Kalispell, it might even be prudent to check flights to Missoula and consider driving if prices for (flights and cars) are low enough. In particular since Missoula is a bigger city with more flight options.
The routes between are also very scenic with some of the best views Montana has to offer. The mountains here are even worth the wander through if you have the time.
Driving from Missoula to Kalispell
There are two main ways to drive from Missoula to Kalispell. One takes you up through the Flathead Reservation and is the more direct route and the other is more scenic and slightly longer through the Mission Mountains
Route 1: Direct
This is the more direct route. For this route.
Take I-90W to US-93N. After about 60 miles you’ll come to a fork. You can go either way. You can continue on US-93N through the main area of the Flathead reservation or turn right on Highway 35. Highway 35 will take you along the eastern side of Flathead Lake. It’s a bit more scenic and less populated. If you take this this way after passing the lake, turn left onto MT-82W and then merge back onto US-93N.
It’s about another 10 miles to Kalispell after you pass by Flathead lake. If you need services I would recommend staying on 93N. There’s a lot more options in the main area of the Flathead Reservation.
Route 2: Scenic
This route is not significantly longer but it is definitely more scenic but also due to that far fewer services as well.
This route is about an additional 10 miles and 20-30 minutes.
For this route, leave Missoula heading East on MT-200E to Clearwater Montana. From here take US 83-N.
This route takes you through the heart of Flathead National Forest with gorgeous views of the mountains. In particular this view of the Mission Mountains is one of my favorites.
You’ll actually be on US-83N for about 90 miles until it merges with MT-82W and then turn right onto US-93N for about 8-10 miles until you reach Kalispell.
There are far less services but if you forget to fill up or need anything there are gas stations in Seely Lake and Condon.
Car Rentals in Missoula
Given that Missoula is a large city, there are quite a few rental options. There’s many options from the airport such as Budget, Avis, Alamo, and Hertz. I would recommend checking rentalcars.com or Priceline for the best prices. (I often find it better than checking the company sites directly)
There are also several in-city options with Enterprise, Dollar, Avis having locations although outside of the downtown area. You’ll likely need to Uber/taxi to these options first to rent.
Taxi / Uber from Missoula to Kalispell Montana
Taxis and Ubers are expensive ways to travel between Missoula and Kalispell Montana. Expect to pay over $300 dollars to travel between the two cities. $350+ is not unexpected.
A few options in Missoula to check for taxis include:
- Huckleberry Taxi Company: (406) 369-3520
- Yellow Cab Taxi Company: (406) 543-6644
- Missoula Green Taxi: (406) 728-8294
Traveling by Bus from Missoula to Kalispell MT
There is one option for buses between Missoula and Kalispell daily. The bus takes about 3 hours to make the route and has 7 stops in between Missoula and Kalispell. If you book another site it generally still books you on the greyhound bus.
Greyhound has a bus daily from 11:30 am – 2:30 pm
Price: $28 – 60
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Driving from Kalispell MT to Missoula MT
There’s two main ways to go from Kalispell to Missoula Montana. Basically the exact opposite of the directions described above from Missoula to Kalispell. If you have the time and daylight the scenic way is definitely beautiful, however for other the direct route may be best as well. There’s also some lovely places to stop along the way or in each destination.
Route 1: Direct
This is the fastest option for the drive a bit over 2 hours between Kalispell and Missoula without stopping.
Take US-93S from Kalispell. After about 8-10 miles you’ll come to Flathead Lake. From here you can either continue south on US-93S or turn left MT-82 and then right onto Highway 35S. If you go this route, you’ll continue along the eastern side of Flathead Lake for about 40 miles. (It’s a really big lake).
Highway 35 will connect back with US-93S and continue south for about another 68miles until it meets with I-90E where it will run into Missoula.
If you need or want more services I recommend staying on US-93S instead of turning onto Highway 35S.
Route 2: Scenic
I love the drive along the route if you have the extra time and daylight to enjoy it. It’s not significantly longer but expect to spend an additional 20-30 minutes if you take this route.
From Kalispell take US-93S until you reach the top of flathead lake. Take a left on MT-82 and then continue onto MT-83S. You’ll stay on MT-83S for about 90 miles until you reach MT-200.
Turn right onto MT-200 and follow for an additional 32 miles until you you merge with I-90W that will run into Missoula.
There are more limited services this way, however there are still several gas stations etc. along the path. The gas stations along 83S are infrequent so consider that if you find you need gas.
Car Rentals in Kalispell
There are actually quite a few options in Kalispell. For those arriving by air or even for those who don’t mind traveling a bit out of the city, the Glacier Park International Airport has quite a few rental car companies at the airport. You can definitely find options via Priceline or RentalCars.com.
Taxi / Uber from Kalispell to Missoula Montana
Taxis and Ubers are expensive ways to travel between Kalispell and Missoula. Expect to pay over $300 dollars to travel between the two cities. $350+ is not unexpected.
Some Taxi’s in Kalispell to check with:
Don’t be shocked if no one is willing to go. Prices and distances are far so sometimes it may not even be prudent for them to do the trip if they don’t know they’ll find a return fare.
Traveling by Bus from Kalispell to Missoula MT
There is one option for buses between Kalispell and Missoula daily. The bus takes about 3 hours to make the route and has 7 stops in between Missoula and Kalispell. If you book another site it generally still books you on the greyhound bus. This bus is the same as the one from Missoula that returns to that city in the evening.
Greyhound has a bus daily from 4:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Price: $28 – 60
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Side Trips To Explore
- National Bison Range: The Native owned and operated range takes you through a beautiful section of land where the bison roam. You can explore and get to understand this part of culture as well as the preservation of the species and heritage.
- Whitefish Mountain: One of the largest mountains in North America that is also surprisingly affordable. It was one of my favorite places to ski out west and shockingly didn’t break the bank either. A rarity.
- Wild Horse Island: An interesting but difficult island to reach within Flathead lake. The island is famous for the wild animals on the lake. However, due to the size of island you may not actually even see any of the animals during your visit.
- Glacier National Park: This is located northeast of Kalispell, but if you are coming to Kalispell it’s worth the visit if you have time. Some of the best hiking in the US including some of my favorites such as the Highline Trail and Ptarmigan Tunnel.
Other Posts you May Like
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