Off the Beaten Path: Glacier National Park
When researching your trip to Glacier National Park, there’s no doubt you will come across countless articles and blogs about driving the Going-To-The-Sun Road or hiking one of the many popular trails such as Avalanche Lake or Iceberg Lake. There’s no question these are worthy activities and popular for a reason but while the Going-To-The-Sun Road is the iconic “thing to do” in the Park and shouldn’t be ignored, Glacier National Park is over 1,500 square miles and full of hidden gems for those who wander just slightly off the beaten path.
So, don’t be afraid to stray from the pavement in search of an adventure around Glacier National Park. I promise you’ll be rewarded with incredible views of Glacier National Park, authentic Montana food and history and best yet, you’ll escape the crowds.
One option to escape the crowd is to travel up the North Fork Road along the western boundary of Glacier National Park towards Polebridge. The North Fork is a partially dirt road and provides great opportunities to see wildlife and incredible views of the Livingston Range inside the Park. Polebridge is a small, off-the-grid Montana town consisting of the famous Mercantile and Northern Lights Saloon. The Mercantile is known for its tasty baked goods and world famous huckleberry bear claws. This is a great place to get dinner and desert at the end of your day.
Just past Polebridge is a Park entrance and road up to Bowman and Kintla Lake. Both Bowman and Kintla Lakes offer beautiful scenery, hiking opportunities and quiet, peaceful campsites on a first come first serve basis. If you own or are renting kayaks or stand up paddle boards, this is also a great opportunity to get your feet wet.
Depending on if you want to travel to both Bowman and Kintla Lake, this adventure can easily take up your whole day. If you want to spend just half a day, I’d recommending seeing the closer of the two, Bowman Lake. Either way, you’ll have a quiet, peaceful adventure filled with beautiful scenery and some good old fashion Montana history.