If you’re looking for a rewarding hike in Glacier National Park that is away from the crowds, then check out the Numa Ridge Lookout Trail in the northwest corner of the park. Be prepared to spend at least seven hours on this 10.5 mile round trip hike to Numa Ridge Lookout.
The Numa Ridge Fire Lookout in Glacier National Park is significant as one of a chain of manned fire lookout posts within the park. The low two-story structure with a pyramidal roof was built in 1933. The lookout was built to a standard plan originated by the U.S. Forest Service as part of a program to provide overlapping fire lookout coverage within the park.
The trailhead is The Bowman Lake Trail. You hike
North from the Bowman Lake Boat Launch. After hiking about 7/10 of
a mile you will find the Numa Ridge Lookout Trail.
Be prepared for a hike that will take you along some very steep climbs and bring plenty of drinking water. There is none available at the lookout.
The hike starts out along Bowman Lake through some lovely quiet forests. Watch for the different birds and animals who are also enjoying these trees. You will soon leave the lake views behind as you continue on through the forest, enjoying the company of busy squirrels and the startling sounds of a ruffed grouse taking to the air. You will come to Moose Pond on your right. But, you will not find a cleared path to get you to it’s shores. This is a small pond but beautifully lined with water lilies and other water plants.
Traveling on you soon begin to climb following switchbacks as they take you on to the top. Here you will be walking on limestone near the lookout. You can enjoy watching as the Falcons and Pikas enjoy the higher altitude,
Now you will have reached 6,960 feet, at Numa Ridge Lookout. Note that the lookout is a private residence that is staffed by the National Park Service. Looking down you can once again see Moose Pond. You will also see Akokala Lake. Having a great view of the mountains around you. You will see Mount Carter, Rainbow Peak, and Reuter Peak, as well as Numa Peak, which is over 9,000 feet.
Keeping an ever so watchful eye on the timberline, you may be able to see bear and deer as well as an elk.
Now that you have rested from this long climb, the thought of going down on your return is refreshing.
Enjoy hiking the Numa Ridge Lookout Trail and share your experiences with others.