Here's the thing about national parks: there are some very popular places and sights and then there are those places that see a little less traffic.

In Glacier National Park, it seems that the Going-to-the-Sun Road and areas directly surrounding park entrances, visitor centers and lodges see the most traffic. Upon arrival at the Glacier General Store and Cabins, however, Chuck recommended the lesser known trek to Bowman Lake.

You can see why, yes?

Bowman Lake  // Glacier National Park // Montana

Bowman Lake  // Glacier National Park // Montana

The catch, my friends, is that much of the trip takes you down roads that look like this: 

Outside North Fork Road to Polebridge, Montana

Outside North Fork Road to Polebridge, Montana

And this: 

The road to Bowman Lake  // Glacier National Park // Montana

The road to Bowman Lake  // Glacier National Park // Montana

Chuck gave us fair warning about the roads leading to Bowman Lake. He mentioned that we would have to exit the park, take the Outside North Fork Road (the inside road was closed) and head through the small town of Polebridge before re-entering the park at the Polebridge Ranger Station (see a map here).

On our first full day in the park, we decided to give it a shot...right after our morning hike to Avalanche Lake and quick lunch. Gravel roads full of potholes on a rainy day? What could go wrong, right?

Lucky for us, nothing went wrong. It was absolutely worth the bumpy ride!

Our first order of business was to stop at Polebridge Mercantile for their famous huckleberry bear claws. They were huge and lived up to their reputation.

Polebridge Mercantile // Best huckleberry bear claws around! // Near Glacier National Park // Montana 

Polebridge Mercantile // Best huckleberry bear claws around! // Near Glacier National Park // Montana 

Then we just followed the signs to the park entrance: 

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When we finally arrived at the parking area for Bowman Lake, we were greeted with a nearly empty campground and beautiful surroundings.

Bowman Lake Campground  // Glacier National Park // Montana

Bowman Lake Campground  // Glacier National Park // Montana

Bowman Lake Campground  // Glacier National Park // Montana

Bowman Lake Campground  // Glacier National Park // Montana

Walking down to the lake, we could easily see why Chuck considers it one of his favorites. 

Bowman Lake // Glacier National Park // Montana

Bowman Lake // Glacier National Park // Montana

Bowman Lake  // Glacier National Park // Montana

Bowman Lake  // Glacier National Park // Montana

Wildflowers around Bowman Lake  // Glacier National Park // Montana

Wildflowers around Bowman Lake  // Glacier National Park // Montana

We hiked part of the trail around the lake and couldn't stop marveling at the color of the water... such a wonderful turquoise color. The day was still overcast and rainy, but we were thrilled to spend time in such a beautiful (and almost empty!) area of the park. I wouldn't mind spending a little more time there next time we visit!

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Anyone out there been to Bowman Lake? There were only a few other people there when we visited, so it seems like a great place to get away from the more touristy areas of the park. We'd love to get recommendations on hikes in the area, so feel free to share your stories in the comment section!

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Tag: Glacier National Park


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