Plan Your Visit

Sandhill Cranes 512x219

Sandhill Cranes use Northwest Montana Wetland Management District Flathead County lands during migration and nesting. They need and use both the open upland grasslands and the freshwater wetlands associated with WPAs.


The Northwest Montana Wetland Management District Flathead County is located in the Flathead Valley of Montana just west of the Rocky Mountain Continental Divide. The Flathead Valley is part of a 6 million acre watershed which begins in Canada and flows into Flathead Lake and the Flathead River to its confluence with the Clark Fork River. The District Office is located at the Lost Trail National Wildlife Refuge headquarters and is situated along Pleasant Valley within the Salish Mountains in north-west Montana. Northwest Montana Wetland Management District Flathead County is managed as part of the National Bison Range Complex.
 

Please note that Northwest Montana Waterfowl Production Areas are closed to all public access from March 1st to July 15th each year to limit disturbance to nesting birds.  


Waterfowl Production Areas
WPAs are typically wetland and grassland areas purchased by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with proceeds from the sale of Federal Duck Stamps and are managed primarily for the benefit of waterfowl and other migratory, water-dependent birds. Hunting and trapping are permitted within State seasons, under applicable Federal and Montana State laws.

Please note that Northwest Montana Waterfowl Production Areas are closed to all public access from March 1st to July 15th each year to limit disturbance to nesting birds.

There are five WPAs located in Flathead County for a total of approximately 5,220 acres. They are open to the public from sunrise to sunset except during the closed nesting period of March 1 – July 15.

No camping is allowed at any time of the year on the WPAs.

Hiking is allowed in all areas open to the public.

Wildlife observation and photography are encouraged.

Parking is allowed in designated parking areas only.

There are no facilities available on these WPAs.

Other prohibitions on WPAs:
• No dogs off leash
• No off-road vehicles including ATVs
• No collecting of plants, animals, minerals, antlers and artifacts

Blasdel WPA
This 537 acre WPA is located 5 miles southeast of Kalispell. To get there, take Highway 93 south of Kalispell, then take Highway 82 east for 1 mile. Turn north on North Somers Road, and continue ¾ of a mile north. Parking areas are found on North Somers Road and Wiley Dike Rd.
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Flathead WPA
This 2,362 acre WPA is located at the north end of Flathead Lake, 7 miles southeast of Kalispell. To get there, take Highway 93 south of Kalispell, then take Highway 82 east. There are several access points to the WPA along Highway 82. Watch for access signs on the south side of Highway 82 east.
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Batavia WPA
This 510 acre WPA is located 5 miles west of Kalispell adjacent to Highway 2 west. There is a parking lot adjacent to the WPA.
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Smith Lake WPA
This 923 acre WPA is located 10 miles west of Kalispell. Smith Lake WPA is considered an excellent area to view waterfowl and shorebirds. To get there, take Highway 2 west, and then turn left on Kila Road. Parking areas are found on Kila Road and Smith Lake Road.
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McGregor Meadows WPA
This 799 acre WPA is located 28 miles west of Kalispell along Highway 2 West (approximately 8 miles west of the town of Marion).
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Directions, Address and Contact Information
Northwest Montana Wetland Management District Flathead County
Lost Trail NWR
6295 Pleasant Valley Road
Marion Montana 59925
Phone: 406-858-2216
Email: kevin_shinn@fws.gov 


Lost Trail NWR Office Hours: Monday – Friday 7:30 am to 4:00 pm excluding federal holidays
Northwest Montana Wetland Management District Flathead County Hours: Open to the public from 1 hour before sunrise to 1 hour after sunset. All WPAs are seasonally closed from March 1st to July 15th each year to limit disturbance to nesting birds.