Making Montana Memories Since 1945
Les Averill - or grandpa as we call him - created a concept and philosophy at Flathead Lake Lodge that has successfully survived more than 75 years of dramatic changes in travel and vacation trends. And while transportation options, technology and life has changed since 1945, the Averill family’s idea of an authentic and memorable family vacation - filled with welcome and genuine hospitality - has remained the same.
A Timeless Destination
In 1932, a boys’ camp called Flathead Recreation Ranch, was built on the shores of Flathead Lake in Bigfork, Montana. The Main Lodge and the South Lodge were both built in the 1930s.
Les Averill acquired the camp after returning home from WWII in 1945.
Les and his family operated outfitting camps in the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex.
The famous boot-shaped pool is constructed.
1968: The Averill’s expand into cattle ranching at the Hubbard’s Ranch.
In 1971, the second generation of the family – Doug Averill – takes the reigns at Flathead Lake Lodge.
The Questa sailing sloop is added to the ranch’s water fleet in 1984.
The Main Lodge kitchen is expanded, as well as the addition of a new staff dormitory and barn.
1995: Flathead Lake Lodge celebrates its 50th anniversary.
2007: Grandpa Les’ ashes are spread over the ranch via a ride in a vintage B-17 bomber.
2017: Kevin Barrows, the ranch’s general manager (and folk hero) of 33 years retires.
2017: Chase Averill, Doug and Maureen’s oldest son, takes the reigns as the third generation to manage the ranch.
2020: Flathead Lake Lodge celebrates its 75 years of tradition and making memories.
2020: To celebrate our 75th anniversary, Flathead Lake Lodge hosted the first-ever Week of Hope, where we welcomed critically ill children and their families to experience the magic of the ranch.
2021: The kitchen gets a massive remodel and expansion, which includes a new outdoor kitchen and new upper level dining.
2023: Flathead Lake Lodge welcomed two new lodging accommodations to the ranch, including the Homestead Lodge and cabin 17.