Sommers Beach State Park is Montana’s newest state park. It sits on the northwest shore of Flathead Lake and offers public access to the lake. The park is 106 acres in size with about 1/2 mile of shoreline. At high lake levels, shallow water extends out from the lakeshore. However, when the lake level drops in the summer, sandy beaches are exposed providing great swimming and sunbathing.
|Somers Beach State Park|
|Season||Open year round|
|Camping||No camping in 2022|
|Firewood||No – no fires allowed!|
|Attractions||Swimming, Hiking, Birdwatching|
|Nearest City||Somers, MT, 1/2 mile|
Montana’s Newest State Park
Somers Beach State Park is brand-new so there are none of the amenities you usually expect to find at a state park. For many years the Sliter family owned the property and welcomed the public but they had no obligation to allow access. In October 2021, with the full support of the Sliter family, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (MFWP) acquired the 106-acre property. The creation of the state park will ensure public access and enjoyment in perpetuity.
Having just acquired the property, MFWP is implementing an interim development plan while they implement a planning process to determine the long-term plan for the park. This permanent plan will address all possibilities for development including camping, boat launch facilities, hiking and biking trails, sanitary stations, potable water, etc. MFWP is providing information and updates about the Somers Beach State Park Planning Project.
Interim Developments at Somers Beach State Park
MFWP has approved the interim plan for Somers Beach State Park. The plan addresses these areas:
- Parking and Access Road: Develop an access road and parking area and a parking lot that can accommodate between 50 and 75 cars.
- Sanitation: Portable toilets will be placed close to the parking area. Pet waste “Mutt Mitt” dispensers will be installed, as will a bear-resistant trash receptacle.
- Trails: Pedestrian trails will be established from the parking lot to other areas within the state park.
- Signage: Regulatory and informational signs will be installed. Most of the signs will be located in and near the parking area.
- Boundary Marking: Signs will be placed along the property boundary to clearly mark state park property.
Directions to Somers Beach State Park
Since the new access road is not completed yet it’s difficult to give exact directions for finding the park. However, the access road will head south from Somers Road on the eastern edge of Somers, MT, roughly 1/2 mile east of US 93. There should be signs indicating the turn.
What is there to do at Somers Beach?
Flathead Lake is the largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi measuring about 27 mi. long and 15.5 mi. wide. It’s known for its clean pure water and it’s easy to spend hours just sitting by the lake. However, Somers Beach State Park offers a lot more than sitting.
The clean pure waters of Flathead Lake are perfect for swimming. Everything from wading in the shallows to open water swims is available here. It’s probably best to avoid swimming early in the year when the water is cold and the lake level is high. However, as the summer warms the water and the beaches begin to appear swimming is the top activity.
Hiking & Walking
MFWP will develop just a couple of trails in 2022 from the parking lot to outlying areas. However, as part of the permanent plan for the park, it’s likely that new hiking and walking trails will be developed.
The north shore of Flathead Lake is known for its diverse population of birds. The federally designated Flathead Lake Waterfowl Production Area is nearby and Somers Beach is a great place to view both resident and migratory birds.
Somers Beach is on the edge of Flathead Bay and the shoreline at the park is gently sloping and shallow. At this time there is no way to launch a trailered boat. However, you should be able to launch hand-carried watercraft into the lake.
Flathead Lake offers great fishing but probably not at Somers Beach. The shallow and gently sloping lake bottom is not the best habitat for the fish that most anglers seek.