Destination Pickleball: Two Rivers Pickleball Club Big Fork, Montana
By Mati Bishop
Mention Northwest Montana and average folks are likely to envision big skies, big mountains, and picturesque landscapes. Mention it to one of the over 1000 members of Two Rivers Pickleball Club and they will envision big matches, big fun and picture perfect shots played in a world class 10 court pickleball facility.
Located near the banks of Flathead Lake less than an hour South Glacier National Park, the Jewel Basin Center combines four indoor courts, six outdoor courts, a conference center and a bar. Players from all over the world converge on the facility to enjoy the game, make friends and experience the Montana pickleball vibe.
In addition to tournaments, drop in play, camps and clinics, Two Rivers also supports a juniors pickleball program and hosts concerts. The club has even hosted players visiting the nearby Flathead Lake Lodge dude ranch who needed to get some dinks in after a day of cowboy life.
The Crown of the Continent tournament traditionally takes place in August and features men’s, women’s and mixed divisions. Named after the nickname of Glacier National Park, the event attracts players from all over the country and has quickly become one of the most coveted trophies available in the Treasure State.
A Variety of Accommodations
If dude ranches aren’t your thing, you’ll find a wide variety of hotels, campgrounds and vacation rentals in the Flathead Valley and nearby Kalispell and Whitefish. No matter your taste or budget, you will find something to your liking. Plan ahead and make reservations early, especially in the Summer months.
The Bridge Street Cottages are an award winning spot that offers luxury cottages in a pine forest setting. The Bigfork Mountain Lake Lodge features fireplace suites and a swimming pool.
Outback Montana RV Park offers 30 & 50 amp sites in a dog friendly wooded setting. Access can be tricky for larger vehicles, but the reward is the forested lots.
Places to Eat
If you’re in Big Fork on the weekend, starting your day at Lake Bake will put a smile on your face. Don’t forget to take some goodies with you for your post match snack. Nearby Vessel offers smoothie bowls and breakfast burritos if baked goods aren’t your thing. The Echo Lake Café is the top ranked restaurant in Bigfork on Tripadvisor.com. Their huevos ranchero get rave reviews.
Flathead Lake Brewing Company and the Salty Raven are both renowned for their casual Lake side atmosphere and moderately priced bistro style pub fair.
Montana isn’t known for their sushi, but if you have a craving Saketome goes above and beyond to satisfy it. Schafer’s is a pretty good bet for surf and turf and Rosa’s Pizza has got you covered when you want to carb load in your room.
Nearby Must See Attractions
Glacier National Park is a bucket list worthy adventure. Lake McDonald and Going to the Sun Highway are iconic. Reservations are now required for parts of the park so planning ahead is a bonus. If you don’t get reservations, a day trip to the famous Polebridge Mercantile for their legendary baked goods and a unique adventure into the Northwest corner of the park is a great use of a day.
Outside of Glacier you will find all sorts of water sports on Flathead Lake, fishing on the Flathead and Swan rivers, which are the two rivers responsible for the pickleball club’s name, and hiking all over the nearby national forests. Kalispell has a wide variety of eating and shopping. Downtown Whitefish is a wonderful spot to walk, eat, shop and enjoy a bit of night life.
Worth While Day Trips
The quirky college town of Missoula, MT is about two hours South of Big Fork. While you’re there you can get some more pickleball with the 406 Pickleball Club. The Kettlehouse Brewery is a great lunch stop and the town attracts top musical talent to the Kettlehouse Ampatheater and Wilma Theater.
Quinn’s Hot Springs resort is also about two hours away and is famous for its natural mineral pools and unique accommodations.
The Kootenai Falls and Swinging Bridge over the Kootenai River outside of Troy Montana is about two hours West on Highway 2. This trip will take you through some of the most remote and beautiful forest in the lower 48. It’s been the backdrop for a variety of Hollywood adventures including The River Wild, Always and The Revenant.
Dream Big Sky, Dream Big Pickleball
If your idea of adventure includes postcard worthy scenery, a wide variety of adventure and world class pickleball, a trip to Two River’s Pickleball Club will not disappoint. Learn more and start planning your trip at tworiverspickleball com.