On an average day in July, more than 13,000 cars drive the stretch of U.S. Highway 2 between Columbia Falls and West Glacier, an area affectionately known to locals as “The Canyon.” Most of those cars are filled with tourists on their way to and from Glacier National Park, which attracts more than 2 million visitors every year.
Drivers negotiating the dozen or so winding miles that separate the two towns are distracted by distant peaks and an adjacent river. They often overlook what’s right in front of them. Places like Bad Rock, Hungry Horse, Martin City and Coram. But if those visitors were to pull off the road, perhaps pull up a stool at Packers Roost, they would meet a fascinating, and often bypassed, community.
Mountain Man Reggie on Friday, May 30, 2014. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon
Fort Hungry Horse in the Canyon. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon
Spectators line Sugar Hill to watch the Barstool Ski Races at Cabin Fever Days on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon
Brian Olsen works on a chainsaw carving on Thursday, June 19, 2014, which he sells at the Dam Canyon Store in Hungry Horse. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon
The Canyon on Tuesday, May 20, 2014. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon
Joe Hauser, owner of the House of Mystery outside Columbia Falls, walks around a Vortex during a tour on June 10. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon