Lake County/Mission Valley

Flathead flake looking north – 28 miles long

Hello ,

Kathy and I have been asked many times why we moved to Lake County and the Mission Valley.  This is a series of articles letting you know why you should visit or come fly with us in this spectacular area.  I hope you enjoy each of these topics.


Can you bear living here!

I want that bird feeder!
Anybody home
Fences are nothing to get over

One of the main reasons we decided to live here is the bountiful wildlife in the area.  Kathy’s favorite wildlife to look for are bears.   So, if you come out to fly with us or are just vacationing in the valley take some time to see the great wildlife including bears; however, be very careful when viewing these magnificent creatures.   In the valley and the Mission Mountains there are both black bears, and brown bears.  Now if you are not use to bears or know much about them the names  of bears are not the color of the bear.  black bears can be cinnamon, brown, red, or black in color; however, these are the bears seen across most of the United States and of course in our home area of Minnesota.  brown bears (grizzly bear) may also be cinnamon, brown, red, black, and my favorite silver tipped.  (why am I now considered gray, but a brown bear is silver tipped?)  You must be very careful when out and about in the area for bears.  On or near our property we have seen both types of bears and anytime we go more than 30 yards from the house we carry bear spray with us.  The National Bison Range at the

This is a big boy, probably 500 LBS.

south end of the valley, as well as hiking into the Mission Mountains are good places to view black bears.  We hope you like

the pictures of some of the bears we have seen in the valley.  If you stop by the house or the hangar, you will also find a third type of bear, which is my favorite, The Gummy Bear.  Just grin and bear it, you know that was funny.


Looking East from Elmo, Wild Hose Island, the snow covered peaks are the Jewel Mountains in July.

Flathead Lake
Flathead Lake is the largest natural fresh water lake west of the Mississippi River with a length of 28 miles, and width of 15 miles there is plenty of water, bays, and activities on the lake.  There are numerous species of fish in the lake including cut throat trout, Bull trout, and mountain whitefish which are native to the lake.  These fish if caught must be returned to the lake immediately.   Lake Superior whitefish and lake trout may be the most popular fish to catch in the lake.  In the past a sturgeon was caught in Flathead Lake and some people believe there may still be sturgeon in the lake.

In the bay near Polson MT, the max depth is 28 feet but once you go north of the islands into the main body of the lake the depth drops to 150 feet with the main channel being 250 feet deep.  The deepest place in the lake is near Bird Island and is 375 feet to the bottom.   There are to inlets to the lake, the Flathead River and the Swan River.  Both are located near the most northern part of the lake.  The outflow is near Polson on the Flathead River.  Water that enters Flathead Lake exists the lake in 2 1/3 years.  This keeps the water pristine clear and since a good part of the water is from glacier run off or snow melt the water temperature is still quite cool in August.

If you like to camp or RV there are four state parks located on the lake and numerous RV resorts located around the lake giving you great views of the lake and nearby mountains.  There are also numerous places to rent boats, kayaks, paddle boards, jet skis, and even a fly board for some great time on the water.  One of the best places to visit by water is Wild Horse Island which is a state park and has many hiking trails on the island where you can search for the 5 wild horses or numerous big horn sheep.

Flying over the lake and near by mountains will give you views you will remember for a lifetime.  When you visit the area make sure you leave some time to spend on or in the water.


Joe Kuberka
Blue Goose Aviation, Inc.