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St. Mary's Area

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McDonald Area

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Bowman Lake Trail – 14 miles round trip.
Glacier National Park

Bowman Lake Trail Sign

Bowman Lake Trailhead is located on the north shore of Bowman lake, north of the boat launch.

Bowman Lake campground is located in the North Fork area of Glacier National Park approximately 32.5 miles from the west entrance, and 30 miles from the Canadian border. The drive to Bowman Lake is a very slow, dusty, and bumpy ride on dirt roads, and passes through the tiny community of Polebridge. The campground is located close to the shore of Bowman Lake and camp sites are within the trees for shade and privacy. Tent campers looking for peace and quiet will enjoy Bowman Lake for it's serenity and remote location.

Near the trailhead we stopped on the beach to examine the flat green and red stones on the lakeshore. Skipping some of them across the lake water setting the mood for a great day. Next is the Bowman Lake ranger station located in an old well-kept log building that was built in the 1920’s and was once used as a lodge. It is worth a stop to look around.

The morning air is fresh and some squirrels are chattering in the thick forest as we begin our hike. Underneath the forest canopy are ferns, a variety of wildflowers in white, yellow and purple and mosses in different shades of green. There is an abundance of wildlife and birds and a doe and her fawn cross the trail ahead of us. Bears are known to inhabit the area but we didn’t see any this day. We take advantage of the frequent access points to the lake and enjoy the view of the towering mountains surrounding us. We encounter many hikers on this popular trail, some are strolling leisurely and others seriously heading out at a fast pace. Some stop to talk and we ask them where they are from and are they hiking the whole trail or a part of it. One couple asked us to take their picture with the lake as a background. Stopping for lunch at one of the lake access points we photograph the mountain reflections in the lake and also the nice scene of the lake, mountains, blue sky, fluffy white clouds and lush forest around it. As we eat our sandwiches we sit quietly taking in the serene silence of the moment. Continuing on the lakeshore we enjoy a pleasant sighting of on osprey, not uncommon for this area. We finally make it to the campsite near the head of the lake. Pleasant surroundings for a camp, here you can view Square Peak, Rainbow Peak, and Mount Carter across the lake. You can camp for the night or continue on with the Browns Pass Option. Deciding we are getting tired we head back, taking the time to examine and photograph some of the wildflowers along the way. Although we didn’t continue on with the hike to Brown Pass, we did have a wonderful day.

Hiking Bowman Lake

Bowman lake, the beginning for many hikes in Glacier National Park. Numa Ridge Lookout Trail junctions .07 miles from beginning of the trail. Bowman Lake Head Campground is located at 7.1 miles from the trail head. And Brown Pass Campground is located 13.6 miles, at the far end of the lake. Junction with the Boulder Pass Trail is located at the 13.8 mile point.

Gearing Up For Hiking Bowman Lake

Meeting up with Alex Florea, Cameron Stone, and Bogdan Pefre on the 4th of July, as they were gearing up for a 9 day trip across the northern section of Glacier National Park. The three traveling from their home in Minnesota, start their adventure at the Bowman Lake Trail and ending on the eastern side of the park at Many Glacier Campgrounds. As we watched them pack and repack their bags, check and double check their supplies, you couldn't help but notice the amount of planning and careful attention to what was included in those 40 to 45 lb. packs they were carrying.  Water, food and shelter, three essentials for traveling the back country.  With plenty of water packed and clothing suitable for the trek, each also carried what looked to be a 2 lb jar of peanut butter (yummy energy packed food, loaded with protein).

Bowman Lake Trail Head

Have a fun safe trip boys!!!

Sending in a few photos of their adventure and a short note to let us know that they have indeed arrived home safely.

Bowman Lake Video

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Glacier National Park is located in the northwest corner of Montana, just north of Columbia Falls. The park encompasses more than one million acres and is home to grizzly bear, moose, elk, along with 63 varieties of wild mammals. While most of the roads in Glacier National Park are closed off during the winter, this provides miles and miles of tracks for snowshoeing and cross country skiing. Visitors are seldom around in the dead of winter, so the muffled hush of the snow covered woods is especially enticing and serene.

A ski or snowshoe trip along the Going-to-the-Sun Road, which is one of the most scenic roads in North America, is a great option, according to park rangers. The road is closed to cars from September or October until snowmelt, usually in June. Several short hiking trails branch off from the road, which would be excellent for snowshoeing or skiing in the winter season.

 Once you have your gear, head up to Glacier National Park for an exciting adventure. Guided snowshoe trips are available, led by a park naturalist, and are highly recommended. If you are looking for an informative tour, snowshoeing is an easy way to explore the winter wonderland of this unique park. Snowshoeing will provide even the novice an effortless activity so your senses are more in tune with your environment and your guide's knowledge on the history, wildlife, geology, and biology of this precious ecosystem.

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