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Howe Lake Trail

Howe Lake Trail Sign

5 miles north of Fish Creek Campground on the Inside North Fork Road. Elevation climb is 240 feet. There is parking spaces enough for about 4 vehicles.

Howe Lake at Trail End

The last day of August was a cool one in Glacier park. We started our hike early in the day, the clouds were looming and just a hint of fall in the air. The Inside North Fork rd is rock and not well traveled. Making this hike a little less traveled then most in the park. We were in Grizzly country and with this in mind we started our hike with plenty of conversation and noise to keep the bear away. The trail is a slight uphill grade and easy hiking for most anyone. Along the trail you pass through patches were you can definitely see the path of recent fires. You are also walking through green and lush areas. You can see that during the flower season this would be a spectacular place to come and enjoy. The fireweed was everywhere.

The Howe Lake Trail winds 2 miles into Lower Howe Lake. Just as you come around the last ridge and the lake is in site, it is time to quiet the talking and watch silently for wildlife at the lake as you approach. The sounds of wildlife emerge as you listen. It was so quiet that you could hear the sounds of the wings as the loons flew overhead. The distant calls and the site of watching them fly in and land at the waters edge, was an experience to behold. The sound of the woodpeckers on surrounding trees echoing through the woods, birds chirping and ducks sunning themselves on the water, making this hike worth the effort.

The clouds are broken now and a hint of blue sky is peaking through. The lake is still and the reflections are amazing. Surrounding the lake is a marshland that connects it with Upper Howe Lake. Upper Howe Lake is closed to anglers until August 1st to protect the nesting loons. To get to the upper lake you will need to hike through the marsh or climb around the edges of the surrounding hills.

For more of a hardy hike you may continue on from the lower lake 1.8 miles to connect with the Howe Ridge Trail. The Howe Ridge Trail is a secondary fire access trail that an eastward ridgeline from the Howe Creek bridge to its junction with the Trout Lake Trail, above Kelly Camp Trailhead.


Amazing hike with spectacular views of Glacier Park, with all the chances of encountering wildlife.
Bear, whitetail deer, moose, elk and fox among the many creatures of the park.

Howe Lakes, two of many wonderful fishing lakes located in the park.

Howe Lake in Glacier Park

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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