Open to the public, Creston National Fish Hatchery is in the beautiful Flathead Valley approximately 15 miles east of Kalispell and 36 miles south of Glacier National Park. The hatchery sits at the base of the Swan Mountain Range and is surrounded by prime agricultural farmland which provides a picturesque setting for raising fish and providing educational opportunities on the forested grounds.
Creston is open year-round, seven days a week, from 7:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Visitors are welcome to the hatchery for a close-up view of the fish production process. With over 5,000 visitors annually, the staff at the hatchery will gladly be availableto answer your questions. Self-guided tours of the hatchery are welcomed and encouraged. Visitors are invited to walk around the raceways where most of the larger trout are held, and visit the hatchery building where eggs and small fish are hatched and reared.
A beautiful multi-use pavilion is available for educational and family events. The pavilion is adjacent to an Arbor Day Foundation sponsored “Nature Explore!” outdoor classroom. Also, a wildlife viewing blind built with help from Ducks Unlimited, is available for your viewing pleasure.
The hatchery invites you to hike the nature trail which was built with the help of two Eagle Scouts. Interpretive signs along the trail will guide you. There is a handicap accessible trail to an overlook of Mill Creek and the Hatchery below. An amphitheater by the creek is used as an outdoor classroom by local schools. Pick up a trail brochure and learn about the many wonders of nature here at the Creston hatchery.