Day 5 – Glacier National Park
We were up bright and early to make our way to Polebridge, Bowman Lake and Kintla Lake. The drive to the back door of the park is mostly on gravel roads. By the end of the day the car was covered in dirt so much we had to stop and wash the windows, headlights and tail lights. Polebridge is something else, consists of a small Mercantile with their own baked goods – really good!, The Northern Lights Saloon and a cute little outhouse with a window and air conditioning.
On the way to our destination we stopped at the “Home Ranch Bottoms”, complete with internet and bar.
From there we took a detour to "Red Meadow Lake" - supposedly moose were there - NOT. It was a ride through the forest to the lake. Once there the lake was calm and serene. Quiet and peaceful.
Now on to Polebridge, Bowman Lake and Kintla Lake. I wasn't sure what to expect at Polebridge but I was a bit surprised there were only a couple of buildings on the site. The Northern Lights Saloon was recommended to us by locals for dinner. It was quaint and layed back. Turned out food there is excellent, but Friday night is Pizza and beer night with live entertainment. After Bowman and Kinta Lakes we came back for pizza and beer. I will say, the pizza was really good!
Polebridge is nestled between the Continental Divide and the Whitefish Range residing in the North Fork Valley.
Did I mention you do not want to run out of gas on this trek? There was not one gas station once we left Columbia Falls until we returned. Except, you could purchase gas in Polebridge for $6.50 a gallon.
Here's Brian having a beer and chatting with one of the locals while I perused the Mercantile and snapped photos.
Off to Bowman Lake (6 miles = 50 minutes). The drive to Bowman Lake is a very slow, dusty, and bumpy ride on dirt roads, and passes through the tiny community of Polebridge and sections of the park that notably burned in 1988. Gravel, narrow, winding, pot holes and rocks road not wide enough for 2 cars to pass at the same time. To say it was interesting when a truck pulling a camper was coming at you is an under statement. Here is Bowman Lake. The pictures do not do justice to the area. The lake is surrounded by mountains, calm and a beautiful blue/green. I failed to mention all of the lakes we have been to are crystal clear. There are many strenuous trailheads one can take from this point. We choose not to. We still needed to get to Kintla Lake and back to Polebridge for pizza and beer.
Kintla Lake: The clouds were rolling in, we heard thunder in the distance, rain was near - so we did not stay long. Kintla Lake is a lake in the northwestern portion of Glacier National Park in Montana. The lake is located in a rather remote portion of the park, close to the Canadian border (like 16 miles).
One way back to Columbia Falls we stopped to read the historic description on a log cabin. Turns out there was a deer family grazing in the meadow and we didn't notice until we got out of the car. They saw us but did not seem to care - at least the buck didn't. I failed to snap the pic of the doe and fawn together.
Next..... Many Glacier