Numa Ridge Lookout – Glacier National Park – Hiking Montana

 

Numa Ridge Lookout provides sweeping vistas over West Glacier in Glacier National Park, Montana, USA.

 

 

After breakfast at the Glacier Highland Restaurant, the hiking day proceeds with the drive to Bowman Lake for the hike to Numa Ridge Lookout in the north-west corner of Glacier National Park in Montana, USA not far from the Canadian border.

 

Numa Ridge Lookout – Glacier National Park – Montana, USA Glacier Highland Restaurant at Glacier National Park, Montana

 

The drive west enters the park and travels north to the picturesque Community of Polebridge.  The Community of Polebridge is one of the original settlements in what was to become Glacier National Park.

There is no electricity in Polebridge.  Everything is achieved with wood stoves or with propane and generators.  Solar panels could do well here.

 

Numa Ridge Lookout – Glacier National Park – Montana, USA One of many Polebridge, Montana historic sites

 

Numa Ridge Lookout – Glacier National Park – Montana, USA The infamous Polebridge Mercantile in the heart of historic Polebridge, Montana

 

The last six miles of the drive into the trail-head at the south tip of Bowman Lake is on rugged, dirt, roller-coaster road.  Wildlife is abundant.

The hike begins mid-morning from Bowman Lake with a kilometer (⅝ mile) hike along the lake shore to the Numa Ridge Lookout Trail for the 11 mile (19 KM) round trip to the top of the ridge.  Gross elevation is about 3,000 ft. (914 M).

 

Numa Ridge Lookout – Glacier National Park – Montana, USA Bowman Lake - Montana, USA

 

Numa Ridge Lookout – Glacier National Park – Montana, USA Bowman Lake - Montana, USA

 

Numa Ridge is sandwiched between very large Bowman Lake and tiny, pristine Akokala Lake.  Good quality trail is predominantly through dense forest.  

The hiking trail passes close to Moose Pond but the elusive pond remains unseen until the trail ascends high above it.

 

Numa Ridge Lookout – Glacier National Park – Montana, USA A view of Moose Pond and Bowman Lake from high up on Numa Ridge in Glacier National Park, Montana, USA

 

Near the top, forest thins to provide commanding views of surrounding mountains, Moose Pond, and Bowman Lake.

 

Numa Ridge Lookout – Glacier National Park – Montana, USA Mountains on the opposite side of Bowman Lake in Glacier National Park, Montana

 

 

A glimpse of Numa Ridge Lookout appears through thinning forest.

 

Arrival at the lookout in early afternoon determines Numa Ridge Lookout is fully operational and set up for habitation but locked and currently vacant.  

The tower is an ideal location to enjoy a leisurely and very scenic lunch on the deck before returning the way we came.

 

Numa Ridge Lookout – Glacier National Park – Montana, USA Final approach to the Numa Ridge Lookout in Glacier National Park, Montana

 

Numa Ridge Lookout – Glacier National Park – Montana, USA Peering through the window at the inside of the Numa Ridge Lookout

 

Numa Ridge Lookout – Glacier National Park – Montana, USA Looking down over the roof of the outhouse at Akokala Lake from the Numa Ridge Lookout

 

Numa Ridge Lookout – Glacier National Park – Montana, USA Spectacular views from Numa Ridge Lookout above Bowman Lake in Glacier National Park, Montana

 

Numa Ridge Lookout – Glacier National Park – Montana, USA Back at the Bowman Lake shoreline in late afternoon light

 

On the return trip to accommodation, a stop in Polebridge for refreshment discovers the area was originally settled in 1904.  The false-fronted Polebridge Mercantile was completed in 1914.  By 1922 more than 150 homesteads dotted the 50 miles of valley floor. 

The entire community was nearly destroyed in 1988 by the infamous Red Bench Fire which lasted 11 days.  Many dwellings and several historic structures were lost to the fire.  Nineteen fire-fighters were injured and one lost his life.

 

Numa Ridge Lookout – Glacier National Park – Montana, USA An abandoned old structure on the road home from Bowman Lake.

 

Following an outstanding supper in Belmont at the Glacier Highland Restaurant, the drive back to Glacier Haven Inn sets up reluctantly getting organized for the return trip to Calgary, Alberta, Canada the next day.

 

Categories: 

Tags: