Sunday, July 27, 2014

Polebridge at Glacier National Park, MT…

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Making sure we visited all of the sections of Glacier National Park meant we still had one section we had yet to see, Polebridge. As we left our  RV park and headed into the National Park we drove northwest on paved road which eventually turned into a gravel road. We could see that this side of the park suffered from past wildfires but it is on the road to recovery since it is greening up. nicely However, there are still the telltale dead timbers scattered throughout this young forest. Of course it is easier to see wildlife in burned areas and we spotted a few mule deer foraging in a meadow.

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After a short way up the road we came to the little town of Polebridge. It is in the northwestern edge of the park and it is to this day electricity free which is surprising as there is a small community there. Our first stop was at the Polebridge Mercantile Store where we stopped in to buy some goodies from the bakery there. I had read they make some killer huckleberry macaroons and as it is huckleberry season so I had to get some. They were exquisite and Sharon’s huckleberry bar was pretty dang good as well.

After enjoying our treats we continued  our quest to Bowman Lake where we intended to hike around part of the lake. A long and very narrow at times rough pot holed dirt road led to the Lake’s trailhead and after 30 minutes of driving, bouncing and pulling over to allow other motorists traveling in the other direction to go by we made it  there. Spotting more deer as we parked and walked through the campground.

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Bowman lake is yet another Glacier NP beauty surrounded by majestic mountains. The trail we took was mostly flat with little elevational change. Lush in vegetation the biggest disappointment in hiking this trail  was lack of turnouts to take us to the water’s edge. Nonetheless we enjoyed hiking around Bowman Lake and only saw a few other hikers out on the trail which was quite the contrast to the Trail of the Cedars which was very crowded.

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After finishing our hike we drove back to the Mercantile Store. Next door to the store is the Northern Lights Saloon and Restaurant where they not only serve some frosty beverages but they also serve some homemade huckleberry pie. Not being hungry we decided to forgo the pie and I had a very tasty, and appropriately named, Going to the Sun IPA… Yep, life is pretty good for us here in Montana…


  1. Polebridge, the Merc, Bowman and Kintla...that part of the park is a gem (IMHO!) that few see because of the road...Congrats again for taking the time!

    And it looks like you had beautiful weather to boot!!

    Yes, the remnants of "The Robert" fire is a bit unsettling, but the new growth to come from that will be gorgeous. I think it is good to see it all.

  2. We discovered both Polebridge and Bowman Lake many years ago and have enjoyed and bumped our way back for several visits! Did you notice the cement cat on porch of the mercantile? I've tried unsuccessfully twice to buy it! Maybe third times a charm!!! Thanks for including this part of your trip! And I wonder... were the poppies blooming?

    1. Poppies??? in GNP and/or NW Montana?

      I've lived here 20 years and have never seen poppiesl

  3. We've seen poppies blooming by the old brown buildings in Polebridge every year!

    1. I found a photo online of the Polebridge poppies - beautiful by the old buildings! Also found a photo of some in Missoula - around old buildings and in a semi-formal garden.

      A new thing learned!

  4. If living in Bend does not turn out to "flick our switch," Polson, Montana stands as our next alternative. Glad to see you enjoying this magical part of the country so much.

  5. just one word....Fabulous!

    Isn't this an awesome way to live?