West Glacier and Polebridge

On July 3rd it was a beautiful sunny day to drive 35 miles northwest of Columbia Falls to Polebridge, MT, in the remote northwest corner of Glacier National Park. The community is named for the log bridge that formerly connected the “inner” North Fork Road in Glacier National Park to the “outer” North Fork Road, and is very close to the Canada-United States border. The Polebridge Mercantile Store is on the National Register of Historic Places and has been in operation since 1914. The “Merc”, originally established by William and Jessie Adair, is one of the anchors of the North Fork experiences, known as “The North Fork’s Last Best Outpost”. The Mercantile Bakery is worth the drive, huckleberry bear claws, cinnamon rolls, macaroons, coffee, fresh baked bread/hot pocket sandwiches, and signature pizzas are all delicious. We each had a huckleberry bear claw and the hot pocket sandwiches were amazing and great to take on your hike. After spending time at Bowman Lake taking photographs we drove back to Polebridge and stopped at the Northern Lights Saloon for a beer. It’s a one-of-a-kind rustic bar and restaurant, surrounded by good vibes, idyllic mountain views, incredible food and cold brews. Click on thumbnail to view images. Click on thumbnail to view image

Polebridge Loop

Riding the Inside North Fork Road

On July 5th we rode our e-bikes along the scenic Inside North Fork Road in Glacier National Park. The road is a 28-mile narrow, bumpy, gravel road between Fish Creek and Polebridge, providing access to some of the Park’s most pristine wilderness areas. The road was built in 1901 and is the oldest road in the Park. The wild flowers filled the meadows along the side of the road and we had to stop several times to take photos and marvel at their beauty. We rode to the bridge over Logging Creek where we stopped for lunch, then rode back to our Jeep parked at the parking lot near Fish Creek Campground. If you want to get away from the crowds in Glacier National Park this is the area to visit. It is well worth the scenic beauty. Click on thumbnail to view images

Howe Lake Hike

On July 6th we drove the Jeep on the Inside North Fork Road to the Howe Lake Trailhead that we had passed on our e-bikes the day before. The hike begins along the Inside North Fork Road across from a small parking area. The trail meanders up a slight incline most of the way through areas of recent fire, as well as some areas with spectacular wild flowers. Once we crested the steep ridge we got our first view of Howe Lake and the peaks at the back end of the Lake around the Going-to-the-Sun Road. We hiked down to the Lake and stopped for lunch taking in the beauty of this marshy Lake. Then we continued on to the Howe Ridge Trail and hiked up to the top of the ridge to get a view overlooking Lake McDonald in the distance. The trail did not go close to Upper Howe Lake so we took a photo of it from the top of the ridge. The hike to Howe Lake does not have the spectacular mountain and glacier views of the more well-known trails; but what it does offer is the solitude of a lightly-travelled trail that leads to a lovely lake with views of high peaks in the distance and very few people. Click on thumbnail to view images