Hungry Horse Dam is on the South Fork of the Flathead River, 15 miles south of the west entrance to Glacier National Park and 20 miles northeast of Kalispell, Montana. The dam was built as part of the Hungry Horse Project to provide hydroelectric power and flood control. At 564 feet, the dam is the 10th highest in the U.S. In addition to static and interactive exhibits that cover local area history and the construction of Hungry Horse Dam, the Visitor Center offers free tours of the dam's crest.
The dam site is in a deep, narrow canyon. Hungry Horse Reservoir is located high in the Rocky Mountains, less than 30 miles from the Continental Divide and is surrounded by more than 25 mountain peaks. The reservoir is about 34 miles long and 23,800 acres and offers excellent opportunities for fishing, boating, water skiing, and swimming. Available fish species are cutthroat trout, bull trout, and whitefish. The surrounding mountains are popular big game hunting areas and several of the small tributaries have their headwaters in nearby alpine lakes. The area is managed by the Flathead National Forest.
The Hungry Horse Project received its name from two husky freight horses working in the rugged wilderness of the Flathead River's South Fork area. They wandered away from their sleigh during the severe winter of 1900-01. After struggling for a month in belly-deep snow, they were found so starved and weak that considerable care and feeding was needed to nurse them back to health. The name Hungry Horse stuck and was given to a mountain, a lake, a creek, and the dam.
The Hungry Horse visitor center is open daily from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day, although these dates are subject to change. Please contact Hungry Horse Dam for specific opening and closing dates of the visitor center. Free interpretative talks are available upon request, inquire at the Visitor Center between 8:00am and 3:00pm.