Flathead Lake

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Emily von Jentzen doing a charity swim in Flathead Lake, Montana
Flathead Lake is the largest natural freshwater lake in the western part of the contiguous United States. With a surface area of about 191.5 sq mi (496 km2), it is slightly larger than Lake Tahoe. The lake is a remnant of the ancient inland sea, Lake Missoula of the era of the last interglacial.

Flathead Lake is 27.3 miles (43.9 km) long and up to 15.5 miles (24.9 km) wide with a maximum depth of 370.7 ft (113.0 meters), making it deeper than the average depths of the Yellow Sea or the Persian Gulf and about half the area of San Francisco Bay (main bay). The lake was raised 10 feet (3.0 meters) by Kerr Dam and is one of the cleanest in the populated world for its size and type.

Location

Located in the northwest corner of the state of Montana, 7 miles (11 km) south of Kalispell, it is approximately 30 miles (50 km) long and 16 miles (25 km) wide, covering 191.5 square miles (495.9 kmĀ²). On the west side, the lake is flanked by U.S. Route 93, and on the east, by Route 35. The lake is bordered on its eastern shore by the Mission Mountains and on the west by the Salish Mountains.

Open Water Swimming

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