A gravel beach on the lakeshore is also nearby (good place to dry gear). The two southernmost sites have the best views and a cooking area fire pit, but the others are very secluded. Brown Pass Campground, a pleasant area set among windblown firs. The sun drops down early behind Goat Mountain, creating a long twilight at the campground. The Brown Pass Campground is another option for nights one or two. A few have prime waterfront. The trail splits less than half a mile from the route's end. Though low and easy to cross in late summer, spring runoff can make this (and the crossings of Pocket Creek, 3 miles ahead) much more difficult. The mosquitoes atop Brown Pass are Alaska caliber, from remnant snow still buried in nearby avalanche debris from two winters ago. Midsummer, Kintla and Bowman can fill up by 11am Friday-Saturday and midafternoon Sunday-Thursday. So we don’t put our maps on sale but once a year. The old Kintla patrol cabin precedes the middle Kintla Campground. Between rugged roads and smaller sites, these campgrounds don’t accommodate huge RVs or large trailer combinations. Apgar Campground (Apgar Loop Rd., 0.4 mile from Going-to-the-Sun Rd., 406/888-7800, Apr.-Nov., $20) is within a short walking distance of Apgar Village, Lake McDonald, and the shuttles. Danni’s friend, Dave the Glacier National Park Encyclopedia, joins us the first couple of days. The inside-park campgrounds run by the National Park Service (406/888-7800) have flush toilets, dump stations, picnic tables, fire rings with grills, and running water. Midsummer, Sprague often fills by 8am. © Charlie Williams, With occasional live music and afternoon hours, this Polebridge destination is also worth a stop. The ultra-quiet campsites can only fit very small RVs, and trailers are not recommended. Dutch Lake Trail North Fork Road to Dutch Lake / 12.3 mi. The road dead-ends and one of Glacier’s few “bike-able” trails continues on to the Fish Creek Campground Road. In the 50 miles of Going-to-the-Sun Road, five campgrounds stretch along the corridor, but none sit in the high alpine Logan Pass section. Early September-October, Bowman and Kintla Campgrounds permit primitive camping ($10). As the trail swings north it cuts into the side of the cliffs of the Helena Formation. It has running water, and a five-minute walk leads to the lakeshore and the boat ramp. They have pit toilets, fire rings, and picnic tables. The trailhead for Boulder Pass is located at the Kintla Lake Campground at the foot of Kintla Lake. Two National Park Service-operated campgrounds flank Lake McDonald with sites under a forest canopy. At mile 21.2 is the junction with the trail into Hole in the Wall Campground … On the gravel beach and in the lake are remnants of the early 20th-century Butte Well. Brown Pass CG is not a good campsite, limited water and views. From the Upper Kintla Campground to Kintla Lake is a 5-mile, mostly-flat trek through predominately Douglas fir and Engelmann spruce. St. Mary Campground (milepost 0.9, Going-to-the-Sun Rd., mid-May-mid-Sept., $20-23) has 183 sites sitting in open meadows or tucked among aspens. We cAmped there after getting turned around by 3 grizzlies a mile into the hole in the wall trail. Although wide and safe, this short stretch of trail may challenge hikers fearful of heights. They are best for tent campers who can drive the rugged road. A very small goat trail provides access to the ridge past Thunderbird Peak, to Thunderbird Glacier, and back to the trail on Brown Pass. Rustic and without hookups, they have flush toilets, fire rings with grills, disposal stations, shared hiker-biker sites ($5-8), amphitheaters for evening naturalist talks, and sites that accommodate large RVs. The tiny 13-site campground is tucked under large trees, with hand-pumped water and small sites. Bear right to bypass the drive-in camping area and continue to the parking lot. But I can tell you Al_in_Al's suggestions above are spot on. Bring your own firewood; collecting it is illegal. This gravely creek crossing leads to a clearing, then a recovering burn zone, and a hilly moraine. Apgar Campground. Illecillewaet has level campsites, flush toilets, a log kitchen shelter and food lockers for cyclists. Score wildlife sightings daily and choice views hourly on this weeklong circuit in Glacier National Park. Browns Pass near Buena Vista, CO - The ascent of the Denny Creek valley to Brown’s pass features terrific view of the 14er’s in the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness. © Charlie Williams, This rusty hunk was an oil precipitator used to separate water from oil at wells. Happy camping! Camp in the boulder-strewn valley there, or descend a headwall on a scenic, switchbacking trail—look for the Agassiz Glacier—toward Upper Kintla Lake. The campground surrounds the calmer waters of small Pray Lake, a good place for paddling, fishing, or chilly swimming. RVs are limited to 26 feet. At the foot of Kintla Lake, Kintla Lake Campground (June-mid-Sept., $15) is 15 miles north of Polebridge. RVs can only be 25 feet. While Many Glacier has only one campground with no hookups, St. Mary has commercial campgrounds with hookups for RVs. This fee-based hiker’s shuttle between the St. Mary Visitor Center and Many Glacier Hotel/Swiftcurrent Motor Inn (operates from June 8 through September 18), connects to the National Park Service (NPS) free Going-to-the-Sun Road shuttle system, and like that shuttle service is first come, first served—no advance reservations. Shuttle logistics can be difficult, but consider leaving a car or bicycle here, or hiring a ride in Polebridge or another nearby town before your trip. Set along a glacier-fed river, Illecillewaet Campground is an ideal spot to explore the Columbia Mountains. Located only 12 miles east of Logan Pass and 6 miles west of St. Mary, Rising Sun Campground (Rising Sun on Going-to-the-Sun Rd., 406/888-7800, late May-mid-Sept., $20) tucks on the lower hillside of Otokomi Mountain by St. Mary Lake. Bowman Lake Campground - Brown Pass/ 6.7 mi. From here, it's a thimbleweed-flanked, switchbacking, 3,250-foot descent toward Upper Kintla Lake. The Polebridge Mercantile is the only nearby store, so stock up on your camping supplies there. The north-shore trail departs right from the campground, leading in both directions around Rising Wolf Mountain. The first and last are less significant than the middle one where there is a bridge under construction. Beach access is across Going-to-the-Sun Road, with a picnic area, boat ramp, and boat tours. The rainforest, with its dark, overgrown forest canopy, allows little sunlight to hit picnic tables. The campground has 194 sites, making it the park’s largest, with group campsites too. Location: Columbia Falls, MT. For the best views, the C loop sites stare at Divide and Red Eagle Mountains, but in August heat, they can be hot. The four campgrounds are buggy in June, serene in August, and closed in winter when the roads are buried in snow. Primitive trail. If we park and start at Bowman Lake, and end up 3-4 days later at Kintla Lake, how do we get back to the car?From the map, it looks like hiking back again or walking 20ish … As with everywhere in Glacier National Park, you’ll be sharing territory with grizzlies, so always carry bear spray and make plenty of noise when hiking – especially when coming around a bend — to scare them away. © Charlie Williams, Helena limestone in the ravine near where Hole in the Wall Falls begins, has some excellent exposures of 1.1 billion year old stromatolites. A pit toilet is there. Lake McDonald Trail departs from the campground. GBK008 Location: 48.950708, -114.035605 Though Brown Pass is 6,255 feet above sea level and on the Continental Divide, the climbing continues on the Boulder Pass Trail as the route turns west. Use limited to one party and maximum of 6 persons/night ^ Pit toilet not serviceable in winter conditions. At the foot of Bowman Lake, Bowman Lake Campground (late May-early Sept., $15) is seven miles from Polebridge. Staying for the summer or year round Glacier Pines has the rate to fit your needs! The Butte Well was drilled in 1901 but never produced any oil. Trail curves to the north around Hole-in-the-Wall, a cirque formed by glaciers. Primitive camping (late Sept.-Oct., $10) has pit toilets and no water. Trail winds to the east above Boulder Glacier. The Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest is home to these 5,000 year Brown’s Millpond Campground tel: 760-873-5342 More info. Located at the end of Many Glacier Road, Many Glacier Campground (406/888-7800, late May-mid-Sept., $20-23) packs 110 shaded sites into a treed setting at the base of Grinnell Point. Trail bends to the east, then southeast toward Brown Pass. To find Fish Creek, drive 1.25 miles north from Apgar on Camas Road and turn right, dropping one mile down to the campground. Trails connect to Quartz Lakes, Numa Lookout, Akokala Lake, and up Bowman Lake to Brown Pass. This campground has shoulder-season primitive camping (late Apr.-mid-May and late Sept.-Nov., $10) and winter camping (free) with pit toilets and no water. It is one of the first larger peaks seen by visitors entering the Park from West Glacier. Location: 48.9574012756348, -114.052909851074. Two Medicine Campground (406/888-7800, late May-late Sept., $20) yields views of bears foraging on Rising Wolf Mountain, especially from the A and C loops. The mountain is named for William Brown, the Solicitor General for … Near mile 3.2 the trail comes within a few feet of the lakeshore and there's a small gravel beach perfect for a quick break and a view. It is near … In winter, you can camp free at the plowed Apgar Picnic Area. Sprague Creek Campground (0.9 mile southwest of Lake McDonald Lodge on Going-to-the-Sun Rd., 406/888-7800, mid-May-mid-Sept., $20) is right on Lake McDonald’s shore in a timbered setting with shaded sites. Riverfront sites are 95, 99, and 100. In midsummer, the coveted Avalanche, Sprague Creek, and Rising Sun Campgrounds can fill up by early morning; all sites are first-come, first-served. While the park prohibits firewood collecting in most places, including the campgrounds, you can collect dry, downed firewood on the Bowman Lake Road and the Inside Road to Kintla Lake. KIN010. Follow the trail through lodgepole pines toward the lake, turn left on the road, and then bear right onto the trail. On the east side, aim for commercial campgrounds in St. Mary. At 22 miles from Logan Pass, it has quick access to the high country, and it’s five minutes from Lake McDonald Lodge and the camp store. St. Mary is convenient for exploring Going-to-the-Sun Road, and it works as a home base for day trips to Waterton, Many Glacier, and Two Medicine. A few sites can fit RVs up to 35 feet, but most fit RVs only up to 21 feet. All campsites are first-come, first-served. © Charlie Williams, Looking to the southeast over Brown Pass toward the Hawksbill. Hike through old-growth forests and climb 600 feet alongside a glacier-fed stream on this 4.7-mile out-and-back that ends on the shores of Avalanche Lake. The first day follows Bowman Lake's flat shoreline and day two climbs 2,200 feet, touching the Continental Divide before settling into a hanging valley. It perches on a point with huge views up and down the lake, plus outstanding night sky watching. With only 14 sites set in deep shade under large firs, it’s a great place to escape the crowds. The campground has some permanent residents, though a sign states a 14 day maximum limit. At mile 17.2 you will reach Boulder Pass Campground, then .5 mile more is Boulder Pass. This section of Glacier National Park is known as the Polebridge- North Fork Area. © 2020 Pocket Outdoor Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Midsummer, the campground can fill by 9:30am. We use cookies to enhance your visit to us. Two tiny campgrounds flank the Inside Road in the woods south of Polebridge. Check online for historic fill times and status to know when to arrive for first-come, first-served campsites. You'll find rugged landscapes and plenty of solitude on this 33.6-mile backpacking trip that visits a secluded lake at the foot of three rugged peaks. This kiosk displays trail info and campground regulations. In early summer, ruby-crowned kinglets call out “teacher, teacher” from the trees. Brown’s Owens River Campground tel: 760-920-0975 More info. Dawson-Pitamakan Loop down in Two Medicine is the best dayhike in the park. Cross Kintla Creek on a bridge; ribbons and cairns mark the main trail. I must say if you really want an all day epic adventure (assuming your kids are physically capable of it and up for it), the 18.8 mi. It has a communal cooking site, a fire pit, a pebble beach, and two large tent sites that can sleep four people each. Arrive by midafternoon to allow plenty of time to go elsewhere if either campground is full. However, if you envision parking the car, setting up a tent for a couple of days, and hiking straight from the campground, then Many Glacier is where you need to be. But that’s precisely their attraction: Fewer people equals solitude and quiet. Can't afford a full week in Glacier? For RVs, 25 sites fit up rigs to 40 feet. Cross a stream. Camping in Glacier National Park Currently only loop B of the Apgar Campground is open for primitive camping. Small, private campgrounds are minus hookups. Its 48 sites, the largest of the North Fork’s campgrounds, spread out under a mixed conifer forest. Link wooded ridges and a glacier-scraped valley on this 11-miler in Glacier National Park that visits a quiet lake rimmed by rugged peaks. The Brown Pass Campground is another option for nights one or two. Bring your own firewood; gathering wood in the park is prohibited. Located 19 miles north of East Glacier off U.S. 89, Cut Bank Campground (406/888-7800, early June-early Sept., $10) is at the end of a five-mile potholed dirt road. Apgar Campground ($20/night) is the largest campground in Glacier. Haven't backpacked myself in Glacier or visited Brown Pass. Stay to the right at this junction with the Numa Ridge Trail. From Lincoln Pass, you’ll be heading down to the Sperry Campground at mile 13.2. Cell service is available at St. Mary campgrounds, but not in Many Glacier. Choose from any of the following campsites inside the park for the full Glacier experience. Bear left @ Y-junction for a 1-mile round-trip to Hole-in-the-Wall's popular campground. You'll hike along the upper rim of the cirque, along the wall of a hanging valley, across a cairn-marked talus slope, and over several ledges en route to Boulder Pass. From the picnic area, a five-minute walk down the road, trails depart to Lake Josephine and Grinnell Lake, Grinnell Glacier, and Piegan Pass. This is a popular site for anglers heading to Logging Lake. Four token-operated showers with lukewarm water are available. On the west side, Apgar, Sprague Creek, and Avalanche offer more sites than Rising Sun and St. Mary on the east side. Back-to-back boat rides jump-start this dayhike to a glacier-fed lake in Glacier National Park. From this point, the trail is closer to the water; the open understory allows for more regular views of the water. There is no water available in the campground. The short side-trip to the base of the glacial cirque is a worthwhile detour for lunch or camping. For the summer, make reservations (877/444-6777, $9 reservation fee) starting six months in advance. If you are reading this on December 1st or 2nd, 2019, then lucky you! This campground has shoulder-season primitive camping (late Apr.-mid-May and late Sept.-Nov., $10) and winter camping (free) with pit toilets and no water. Pick up required overnight permits in person at the Apgar Backcountry Permit Office (406/888-7859 May-Oct., 406/888-7800 Nov.-Apr., adults $7 pp/night) 24 hours in advance. A seven-minute walk or a few-minute drive connects with the boat tour and rental dock. Highway 168 is the magical twisty road that lures you up to the oldest living organisms on earth. Glacier National Park Lodges Hiker's Shuttle. By Becky Lomax, author of Moon Glacier National Park, Recommendations from the African Diaspora. Glacier Pines is a pet friendly RV Park in Northwest Montana. Located in the remote northern wilderness of Glacier Park, this amazing hike begins at the Bowman Lake Campground in the Polebridge - North Fork Area of Glacier … Glacier’s seasonal North Fork campgrounds (406/888-7800) are only accessible via rough dirt roads. From the campground, a 6.8-mile rough trail with infrequent maintenance follows the creek up to Lower Quartz Lake. We offer an off leash dog park for our furry travelers and a BBQ deck area for guest use. I wouldn’t[…] 2019 Cyber Monday Sale! Cutting live timber is not permitted. and mid-Oct.-Nov., $10) has pit toilets available but no running water. First 5-6 miles trail mostly clear of trees and brush. Glacier View Campground The Glacier View Campground is located on the east side of Highways 395 and 168 at the north end of Big Pine. 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