Polebridge Montana

Glacier National Park’s Paradise Within Paradise

It was near midnight when I first traveled to Polebridge Montana and was snuggling in a pickup truck’s bed with my girlfriend. Suddenly, our friends hollered from the front, “Hold-on!”

Then the joggling change from pavement to potholes began. It jolted us into action: unless we wished to knock a tooth out or, worse-yet, go sailing from the truck, we had no choice but to grasp the bed’s side for dear life.

The landscape changed from dense, foreboding forests to expansive plains and valleys before the ninety-minute roller coaster finally mellowed.

With no more potholes to snag the car and eject us, we laid down as our ride rumbled along the dirt road and observed the world.

The stars—I never knew the universe held so many. Wind rustled the grass as wolves howled at the nearly full-moon that illuminated the world more invitingly than the hot, afternoon sun.

Another twenty minutes and we set up camp on Bowman Lake, just a little ways past Polebridge MT, our bodies desperate for sleep ahead of a three day backcountry trip through Glacier National Park’s remote, northwest corner.

On my second trip to Polebridge Montana, Preston—my roommate and whose life-long friendship was formed chatting about woman over cups of soup cooked by a backcountry stove in the bathroom of a dingy, Glacier Park Inc employee bunk—soaked in the serenity of a Montana sunset.

As slivers of light leaked through the distant, craggy mountain range, my bushy, red-haired buddy sighed, “This here’s where I’d like to come and die. Just give me a rocking chair and some cigarettes, and I’d be just fine.”

Polebridge Montana Road

Photo by
Brooke Zumas

Polebridge MT is Glacier National Park’s Paradise within Paradise.

And it begins with the trek out.

Those who read about it in a Moon or Lonely Planet Guide often bypass this section of the park: ‘it’s too remote, too much time’s consumed on an uncomfortable trip,’ their guidebooks lament.

Yet the few journeymen and woman who adventure the portal-road out to Polebridge Montana can find a slice of heaven laced with gold and silver to bask in, away from the crowds and troubles of the other world.

No stop to Polebridge is complete without a beer or cup of coffee at the Polebridge Mercantile

Learn about Bowman Lake, a pristine, mountain lake seven miles from Polebridge, with front country and back country camping options.

Return from Polebridge Montana to Glacier National Park Travel Guide

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