The North Fork

PolebridgeMontana

Photo Courtesy of Visitmt.com

The North Fork is a fabled remote place with just a few mid-century luxuries, like two saloons, BBQ, gourmet pizza and world-famous huckleberry bear claws. Here, the North Fork of the Flathead River flows from Canada through a protected watershed 84 miles to its confluence with the Middle Fork of the Flathead. The broad U shaped valley offers stunning views into the distance of the peaks in the Northwest corner of Glacier National Park.

The North Fork Road is referred to as the “back door” to Glacier, offering ample access to multiple remote experiences like river running, hiking, swimming, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and more both on Flathead National Forest and in Glacier National Park. There are two entrances to Glacier National Park on the North Fork Road. The Camas Road entrance will bring you to Apgar Village and Going-to-the-Sun Road, while a 25 mile drive on a gravel road to Polebridge will reward you with access to Bowman Lake, Kintla Lake and the Inside North Fork Road (note – the Inside North Fork Road is extremely remote – check at the ranger station for road conditions before you commit to the drive).

Several US Forest Service cabins are available for rent “up the North Fork” and there are also multiple river access points along the road to the Canadian border (note – you cannot cross the border once you reach it, and you should have spare tires on hand should you decide to make the drive beyond Polebridge). While exploring the North Fork area, you will notice both summer and year round residences along the way, perched to take in incredible views. The entire North Fork is off the grid – this is real remote living at its finest.

Head north out of Columbia Falls on hwy 486 to access the North Fork.