Places: Northwest Entrance to Glacier National Park

By Beacon Staff

Fall may be fast approaching, but there is still plenty of time to use your camping gear and visit the Northwest section of Glacier National Park and Polebridge.

Plan an adventure this weekend and brave a few miles of jarring dirt road to explore Glacier’s northwest lakes, Kintla and Bowman, from the Poleridge Entrance Station. Bowman is easier to access, stretching six miles through a narrow valley. Explore easy hikes along the lake or more moderate hikes from the western side to Quartz lakes.

Kintla Lake is a more laborious trip along the western edge of the park, but it is a superb place to experience the remoteness of Glacier. If you’re hunting for a place where the cell phone can’t ring, this is it. The trailhead offers backcountry camping as well.

In between exploring the extraordinary sites, stop at the Polebridge Mercantile near the entrance to the park. Enjoy gourmet pastries, sandwiches and a cup of coffee before taking a float down the North Fork of the Flathead River. This weekend is also the Aurora Festival at Polebridge.

How to get there:
Take North Fork Road north from Columbia Falls (right off Nucleus, Ave.) for about 35 miles to Polebridge. Portions of the highway are unpaved. As you enter downtown Polebridge, veer left and head toward the river. Cross the North Fork of the Flathead River and check in at the Polebridge Entrance Station.