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Hungry Horse Reservoir Scenic Loop | Hungry Horse, Montana

Scenic Drive
Hungry Horse Reservoir – Sheena Pate

Driving Directions

West Side Reservoir Road #895: From Hungry Horse head east on Hwy 2 E toward Alpha Rd and turn right onto NF-895/West Side Rd. *Follow the signs just past the Hungry Horse/Glacier View Forest Service building to the visitor center. From HWY 2 travel about 4.5 miles to the visitor center at the north end of the dam.

East Side Reservoir Road #38: From Martin City head southwest on Old U.S. 2 toward Central Ave, take sharp left onto Central Ave., continue onto S Fork Rd E, continue onto East Side Rd/NF-38, take slight left to stay on East Side Rd/NF-38 and turn right to stay on East Side Rd/NF-38.

Points of Interest and Highlights along the Drive

  • Hungry Horse Dam is 564-feet and is Montana's highest controlling flooding on Flathead and Columbia Rivers. *Visitor Center and tours are available in the summer months.

  • 33 Designated Campgrounds

  • Scenic Overlooks

  • Exceptional fall foliage scenic drive! The contrast of the reservoir, larch and snow dusted mountains provides phenomenal photography opportunities.

  • Wildlife Viewing: deer, elk, bald eagles, black bear, grizzly, & so much more

Route Description

Hungry Horse Reservoir is 34 miles long with approximately 170 miles of shoreline and is quite the hidden gem located on Flathead National Forest high in the Rocky Mountains. Minutes from Glacier National Park and the communities of Hungry Horse and Columbia Falls, it has remained a local favorite. Surrounded by picturesque mountains this driving loop ushers you along the shores of Hungry Horse Reservoir and across the South Fork of the Flathead River. The area offers access to a multitude of hiking, fishing, water recreational activities and camping. The loop can be accessed year round from the east and west side, but in the winter vehicles can only access road on west side over the dam.

The entire loop is approximately 112 miles mostly on gravel road with no services other than Forest Service campgrounds and boat launches. If you choose to travel the loop in its entirety make sure you have a full tank of gas and lunch packed. Visitors often access from the west side, which is paved for the first 11 miles to Lid Creek. There are a few off the grid guide and outfitter operations located near the Spotted Bear Ranger District Station on the south end of the reservoir on the upper South Fork of the Flathead River.

Starting Milemarker or Town

East Access- Martin City West Access- Hungry Horse