Montana Living - Moving to Montana - Lakeside, Somers, and Lower Valley City Guides

Flathead Valley boasts an airport, Amtrak station, 2 ski resorts, 8 golf courses, mountain bike trails, cross country skiing and snowshoeing trails, over 269 lakes and reservoirs, campgrounds, diverse wildlife, fishing, hunting, and more. It’s easy to see why this county draws new residents every year. But, is it the right location for you and your family? 

It’s easy to see why this county draws new residents every year. But, is it the right location for you and your family?

In this series of blog posts and videos I hope to answer those questions and help you determine not only if Flathead Valley is the best place for your family, but which city or area within the county best fits your needs. Be sure to subscribe and reach out with any questions you may have about Montana living.

Montana Living - Somers, MT Shop

This week’s blog post is dedicated to Lakeside, Somers, and Lower Valley (Kalispell) Montana. If you prefer to watch a video with this information click here.

Lakeside and Somers sit along the Western shore of Flathead Lake and have, in my humble opinion, some of the best valley views over the lake and onto the Swan Mountain range. Their combined population is just over 3,000 residents bringing a small town feel to these lake town communities. 

The lower valley of Kalispell Montana provides a similar country feel to Creston with great soil, farming, and beautiful mountain views although situated a bit further from the base of the Swan Mountain range. Lower valley boasts a greater number of deciduous trees providing a unique feel and beauty all its own in Spring, Summer, and Fall.

I’ve tried to give accurate information in these city guides but please consult a professional real estate agent before purchasing a home or moving to the area as information is subject to change.

Montana Living - Lakeside, MT

Home Prices in Lakeside

According to Zillow, the median price for a home in Lakeside is currently $468,169. This simply means that half of the homes listed for sale are above this price and half of them are below it. If you’ve been following along with the other city guides for Flathead County you will notice that this is one of the highest median home prices in Flathead County second only to Whitefish Montana.

Montana Living - Median Home Price according to Zillow for Lakeside, MT

Commute Time

According to the average one-way commute time for Lakeside and Somers is currently 19.1 minutes. The national average is 26.4 minutes.

Public Transportation

Lakeside, Somers, and Lower Valley currently do not have any public transportation options. Residents here will need a vehicle.


According to the school boundary maps below, resident students of Lakeside, Somers, and Lower Valley will attend Somers Middle School before moving on to Flathead High School in Kalispell. Please verify accuracy with a local real estate agent before purchasing or renting a home in the area.

Montana Living - Somers Middle School Boundary Map according to

Montana Living - Flathead High School Boundary Map

Somers Middle School

Somers Middle School is a 6th-8th grade establishment with a great schools rating of 7 out of 10. The school currently has just over 200 students between Lakeside, Somers, and Lower Valley. Here students can enjoy band, woodshop, speech, art, technology, photography, and fitness along with various sports.

Montana Living - Somers Middle School

Flathead High School

Flathead High School is located in downtown Kalispell. According to the current school boundaries map students from Lower Valley, Somers, and Lakeside will attend here. Flathead High School is a 9th-12th grade establishment with a 5 out of 10 rating. Flathead offers various activities from band, orchestra, national honors society, speech and debate, theatre, and business professionals of America. Flathead high school offers a variety of athletic opportunities and enjoys a cross town football rivalry with Glacier High School.

Montana Living - Flathead High School


Lakeside, Somers, and Lower Valley Montana do not currently have sales tax.

Property taxes in Lakeside, Somers, and Lower Valley are similar to other Flathead County cities where according to, the average for Flathead County is currently .811% which is lower than the current national average of 1.19%. Discuss this with your real estate agent for specifics.


Residents will enjoy biking, fishing, kayaking, paddle boarding, boating, and swimming in Flathead Lake throughout the Summer months before pulling out Winter gear to hit the slopes for downhill skiing, cross country skiing, and snow shoeing the Blacktail Ski Area.

Volunteer Park

Throughout the Summer months, Volunteer Park is the place to be for residents and visitors alike seeking to enjoy the lake and mountain views. This “it spot” in downtown Lakeside provides picnic shelters, public restrooms, green space, and dock access to Flathead Lake. The park is within walking distance to nearby coffee shops and restaurants.

Montana Living - Volunteer Park - Lakeside, MT

Somers Park

Found along HWY 93, Somers Park offers residents an opportunity to swim, picnic, enjoy a sunrise over Flathead Lake or launch personal watercraft. 

Montana Living - Somers Park

North Shore Beach

Somers and Lakeside are located along Flathead Lake affording residents the opportunity to enjoy swimming, boating, paddle boarding, kayaking and fishing throughout the Summer months. Flathead Lake water levels are controlled by a dam which is usually released in late May so residents are also able to walk along North Shore Beach and swim there during the Spring months.

Montana Living - North Shore Beach Access - Somers, MT

Rails to Trails

Residents of Somers can ride the Great Northern Historical paved bike trail for 22 miles from downtown Somers to Kila, MT. The trail follows HWY 93 and HWY 2 to the West of Kalispell, however riders can easily veer off the trail and access downtown Kalispell along their journey if desired. 

Montana Living - Somers, MT - Rails to Trails Bike Path

Blacktail Ski Area

From downtown Lakeside residents can drive 14 miles up Blacktail Road to access this family friendly ski area. Here at Blacktail everyone starts at the top so even those that don’t plan on skiing or snowboarding can enjoy the mountaintop views. Blacktail ski area sits on over 1,000 acres of national forest with a top elevation of 6,780’ and vertical drop of 1,440’. This ski area is much smaller than Whitefish Mountain Ski Resort, providing that down home laid back atmosphere that many Montanans love. 

Montana Living - Blacktail Ski Area - Lakeside, MT

Blacktail Mountain Cross Country Ski Trails

A bit closer to town, just 8 miles up Blacktail Road residents can enjoy the cross country ski trails maintained by the North Shore Nordic Club. These trails are groomed for classic and skate skiing and are open daily December 1 - March 31. Residents can also snow shoe here, however please remember that walking on the groomed trails without snowshoes or skis is not permitted.

Shopping and Dining

Montana Living - Harbor Grille - Lakeside, MT


In Somers, residents can enjoy a meal at Somers Bay Cafe or Del’s downtown along Somers Road. 

Tamarack Brewing company is a great stop after a long day on the mountain. Harbor Grille offers fantastic lake and mountain views to enhance your dining experience.

In Lakeside Tamarack Brewing company is a great stop after a long day on the mountain. Harbor Grille offers fantastic lake and mountain views to enhance your dining experience and The Farmhouse Restaurant will hit the spot with down home cooking. Lakeside also offers several pizzerias and coffee shops.

Montana Living - Tamarack Brewing Company - Lakeside, MT


For shopping, residents of Somers have access to a hardware supply store and post office while Lakeside offers residents a pharmacy, gas station, post office, and grocery store. Lower Valley Processing is where the locals take their wild game to be processed and is easily spotted by the giant pig out front. Residents can purchase a small selection of meat here as well.

Montana Living - Blacktail Grocery - Lakeside, MT

Pros and Cons of Choosing Lakeside, Somers, or Lower Valley 

(over other cities in Flathead County)

Montana Living - Flathead Lake and Swan Mountain Views - Lakeside, MT

Lakeside Pros

Lakeside has in my opinion some of the best lake and mountain views in the valley and offers residents Flathead Lake access to enjoy swimming and boating throughout the Summer months before heading up Blacktail to enjoy skiing and snowshoeing all Winter. 

Somers Pros

Somers offers residents the opportunity to live along Flathead Lake midpoint between Bigfork, Kalispell, and Lakeside.

Lower Valley Pros

Lower Valley offers the opportunity for country living with beautiful mountain views midway between the convenience of Kalispell box stores and the fun and adventure of Flathead Lake and Blacktail Ski Area.

Montana Living - Somers, MT - Views over the valley and Swan Mountain Range

Lakeside Cons

Housing costs in Lakeside are near the top for Flathead County second only to Whitefish. Lakeside is one of the furthest cities in the valley from Glacier National Park and residents here have a longer commute to the airport and train station if needed. High schoolers will also have a 20 minute commute each way to get to Flathead High School.

Somers Cons

Somers is an incredibly small community so it doesn’t offer residents much in the way of a downtown. Real estate here is also very limited due to its smaller size.

Lower Valley Cons

Students here have a 15 minute commute to high school and real estate here is limited as well due to its smaller size.

Lakeside Commute Times

Montana Living - Commute Times from Lakeside, MT

Hopefully, this answers some of your questions about the area. If you feel I’ve missed something please leave a comment below. If you have a question, feel free to message me or leave that below as well. 

If you have a question, feel free to message me or leave that below as well.

If you contact me through the website be sure to check your spam folder for my reply. Some readers have unfortunately found my reply in spam.

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Montana Living - Somers, MT