Traditionally, as Northwest Montana enters March, Polebridge and the valley that surrounds the North Fork of the Flathead River are still firmly within winter’s icy grip. But that’s not the case this year, meaning that with a little bit of effort you can still explore everything this scenic area has to offer.
Of course, while snow is not an issue right now, the massive potholes of the North Fork Road are. If you decided to take the 35-mile drive from Columbia Falls to Polebridge be prepared for a bumpy ride. But those who do withstand the bumps will be rewarded with the opportunity to explore Glacier National Park’s quiet northwest corner. The road from Polebridge to the north gate is still open (although it’s in worse shape than the previous 35 miles) and once at the gate you can go for a walk or strap on some cross-country skis or snowshoes to explore some of the nearby roads and trails.
And no journey to the North Fork is complete without a stop at the legendary Polebridge Mercantile. Be sure to buy one of the huckleberry bear claws from the bakery, you’ll be in a berry-filled pastry heaven.