Day Hikes North Fork ~ a slow hiker's guide™


North Fork Road is open all year

Even when Glacier Park is closed!

North Fork Trails Map

During the late spring of 2013 I was prevented from getting to the North Fork area of Glacier Park by spring flooding on the North Fork River. Made it as far as Polebridge, but forgot to bring my canoe. So I made plans for going there in the fall of 2013, well thanks to Congress, Glacier Park closed for the first time in 101 years. Hopefully it will be another one hundred years before this folly hits Washington D.C. again. My great-grandchildren will need to check on that for me.

Hoping to get to Numa Lookout sometime this summer. When I'm in the North Fork for Numa I plan on finally hiking the meadow hikes along the Inner North Fork Road. In the past most of my time in the North Fork has either been XC skiing or Canoeing on Kintla Lake. Still haven't decided if I'm going to to Quartz Lake since it is a up down in up down out hike which is my least favorite style of hiking. Will most likely check out Trout Creek first in the Lake McDonald area since from Google Earth there appears to be a huge waterfall. The North Fork camping season due to budget cuts is much shorter then usual this year.

Polebridge Merch re-opened on May 1, 2013 for the 2013 season. Northern Light opens on May 24, 2013

Hoped to get up to North Fork area in early May of 2013 but sequestration cut backs have severely curtailed campground and road opening dates. Road between FS cabin and the Polebridge Park entrance was underwater on May 14, 2013.
Minor flooding in Polebridge mid May 2013 from the 2013 spring heatwave in NW Montana. North Fork Road, well the dirt part from the Camus intersection to just before Polebridge is in the best shape I have ever seen. Flathead County out patching the short paved section which still remains bumpier then the dirt road.
Plan to tackle about half of them this summer that are not currently covered once the road and campgrounds finally open.
Kintla Lake is just a few miles from the Canadian Border but there aren't any trails going across the border from Kintla.
Even Wikipedia, see text below talks about the Canoeing and kayaking. I've never kayaked but before my shoulders gave out I did more camping and Canoeing at Kintla Lake then any where else in Glacier Park. The campground is very small and some of the sites are along Kintla Creek. When it isn't crowded it is a very peaceful campground just a short stroll from the Lakeshore. Sunrise with a light morning mist rising from the lake at Kintla Lake is one of the most relaxing things I've done anywhere.
If your Canoeing you need to be aware that solo doesn't work on this lake due to high winds.

text below from Wikipedia
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. The lake is a 40 mi (64 km) drive from the west entrance along bumpy dirt roads, but the scenery on the way is spectacular. At 1,698 acres (687 ha), Kintla Lake is only slightly smaller than Bowman Lake, and is the fourth largest lake in the park.
Canoeing and kayaking are ideal on the lake, as no motorized watercraft are allowed. There is a quiet campground on the lake, and it is rarely filled because of its remote location. Fishing is also popular on the lake, because of the trout found in it. There are also options for day hikes and extended hikes into the backcountry in the area.

When the Inner North Fork Road opens is always a guessing game

A slow hikers guide™ to Glacier National Park Wildflowers
Available on iBooks wildflower book cover

A slow hiker's guide™ to Glacier National Park Wildflowers

Whitefish Pilot article on my Wildflower Guide.

All of the North Fork Trails are only accessible by gravel road

Lake McDonald Area Trail Map

Logan Pass, St. Mary and Many Glacier Area Trail Map

Two Medicine Area Trail Map

North Fork Area Trail Map