Logistics & Questions


Summer Students Hike Above Grinnell Lake, Glacier National Park

Location & Driving Directions

FLBS is located on the east shore of Flathead Lake about half way between the towns of Polson to the south and Bigfork to the north. Our major "city" is Kalispell which is about 35 miles to the north and is where the nearest airport is located.

Other Points of Interest include: 

  • Glacier National Park’s west entrance is about 55 miles to the north. 
  • Missoula, Montana (where the University of Montana is located) is about 85 miles to the south.
  • Spokane, Washington is about 230 miles to the west.
  • Bozeman, Montana is about 285 miles to the southeast.
  • Yellowstone National Park is about 350 miles to the southeast.

Montana is a big state. There are lots of places to explore on your way to/from FLBS.

Note that FLBS is in a remote area. There are no on-demand taxi or public transit options. Prior planning and reservations are essential to reach FLBS on time. Many visitors to FLBS rent a car for the duration of their stay.


Location & Driving Directions

Travel Methods


Most visitors drive to the Bio Station. Visitors either rent a vehicle on arrival in Montana or drive their own vehicle.


A ride share board will be provided for meeting participants. 


We advise Kalispell/Glacier International Airport (FCA) as your destination. The Kalispell/Glacier airport is ~42 miles north of FLBS.

You may find it cheaper to fly into the Missoula airport (MSO) (~85 miles south of FLBS) or Spokane, Washington (GEG) (~230 miles west of FLBS) as they have more flights, connection options and airlines, including Southwest and Frontier Airlines in Spokane. Note that while flights may be cheaper into Missoula and Spokane, there are additional time and cost expenses in renting a vehicle and driving to FLBS. Also note that Spokane, WA is in the Pacific Time Zone, whereas Montana is in the Mountain Time Zone. So plan accordingly. 

In addition to your flight, you must prearrange ground transportation (rental/taxi/shuttle) to the Biological Station. (see transfer options below)


Amtrak makes a daily stop in Whitefish (~47 miles north of FLBS). The westbound train arrives late pm, while the eastbound arrives early am. In addition to your train, you must prearrange ground transportation from Whitefish to FLBS. (see transfer options below)

Ground Transfer Options by Arrival/Departure Location

From Kalispell/Glacier Airport (FCA) and Whitefish Amtrak (WFH)

  1. Find a driver on the Ride Share list.
  2. FCA Airport Car Rental
  3. Shuttle/taxi
    • You must prearrange pickup with advance notice.
    • Fare depends upon number of passengers.
    • Due to the popularity of Montana as a travel destination, transportation services are being significantly strained. It is essential to book ground transportation well in advance of your arrival.
    • Identify yourself as a Bio Station OBFS participant, so they can bundle as many OBFSers as possible into the same trip to decrease cost.

From Missoula Airport (MSO)

  1. Find a driver (or riders) on the Ride Share list.
  2. MSO Airport Car Rental
  3. Shuttles (prearrange pickups with 48-hours or more advance notice)

Climate and Dress

September weather in Montana is highly variable. We may get summer-like weather with chilly evenings, it could be cool and rainy, and snow is not out of the question, especially at higher elevations. We suggest you bring a cool-weather jacket and warm clothes (layers image indicating link to external site content are recommended). Average temperatures for Kalispell are included below. Note that mountain temperatures are generally lower than those in the valleys.


Average Temperatures
  High Low
September 70°F / 21°C 41°F / 5°C