The early September weather in Montana has been on the chilly side with several snowy nights on the mountains. However, we were lucky to find a break in the weather and sneak away for a few days to Holland Lake in the Swan Valley of northwest Montana. We were rewarded with sunny days and gorgeous scenery. Including a few snow-capped mountains.
The national forest campground at Holland Lake is very popular, so we took a risk by showing up on a Friday afternoon with no reservation. However, we found a wonderful campsite with plenty of rooms for the kids to explore the forest and a sheltered spot to set up the tent.
We were excited to find that the campground offers kayak rentals and spent our first day kayaking across the crystal clear lake. The kids are becoming proficient paddlers and it was so peaceful to be on the silent lake spotting turtles basking in the sun. The absence of motor boats was a huge treat as the kids worked on their paddling skills without extra waves.
As soon as the sun set the temperatures quickly started to plummet into the 40’s, but thanks to the kids wonderful fire making abilities we had a blazing fire to sit around while stargazing.
We spent our second day at Holland Lake hiking along the lake and up to a waterfall. We weren’t sure that this late in the season the waterfall would have an impressive flow. However, when we got to the end of the trail we were rewarded with a lovely spray of water. A few minutes sitting near the spay and we were cooled right down from the steep uphill climb.
The rest of our time at Holland Lake was spent at the beach where the kids embraced the chilly water for what might have been their last swim of the season. Tearing ourselves away from this wonderful gem of Montana was extremely hard. If we could freeze time and make summer last just a bit longer Holland Lake is definitely where we would spend our time.