Stanton Creek Trail is located about 15 miles past the entrance to West Glacier on U.S. Highway 2 in Essex. The trail cuts through the Flathead National Forest, which means you won’t have to fork out any money for a park pass. The trail is great for bird watching, hiking, picnicking and sightseeing.
You’ll start at the trailhead, directly off Highway 2, and hike along Stanton Lake. As a rule of thumb, stay right if the trail splits, because there are several smaller trails that may steer you off course.
Unique views of Glacier National Park can be found around the three-mile marker along Stanton Lake, or on its far end. There is also a campsite that is pack-in, pack-out, located about 2.5 miles into the hike, near the center of the lake. The site is great for early season camping when there aren’t as many visitors, but plan on hikers passing regularly on a sunny Montana day.
If camping is not your thing, you can lay your head down at Stanton Creek Lodge. The lodge is located a stone’s throw away from the trailhead, and offers lodging and a cozy restaurant and bar.
For more information contact the Stanton Creek Lodge at (406) 888-5040.
How to get there: Take U.S. Highway 2 past the entrance to West Glacier. You’ll see a gas station and convenience store to your right. Stay on Highway 2 until you get to mile Marker 170. You’ll see Stanton Creek Lodge to your right, and the trailhead is about 50 yards up the road.
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