Lake Isabel Professional Reviews and Guides
"An extended backpacking trip over magnificent Two Medicine Pass to one of the most remote lakes in Glacier National Park.The thought of Glacier National Park often conjures up images of bumper-to-bumper traffic on the Going-to-the-Sun Road or people on every trail; Hidden Lake (on Logan Pass) doesn’t seem so hidden and wildlife not so wild. Much of the park is truly wild, however, and you only have to get off the beaten path to experience it. There are three ways to get away from the crowds. First, go somewhere no one wants to go. Second, go somewhere few people know about. Third, go somewhere that is too hard for most people to go.The third philosophy works for this hike."
--Bill Schneider & Russ Schneider, Hiking Montana (Falcon Guides).
"This is a backpack from Walton Ranger Station to Lake Isabel, 16.9 miles (27 km) one way.Lake Isabel is a subalpine cirque lake that sits at the base of Vigil Peak. Because the trail to the lake is long and somewhat tedious, the lake receives few visitors and thus is a prime destination for hikers seeking solitude. A trail connects the Park Creek Trail with the Two Medicine country via Two Medicine Pass, providing interesting options for backpackers with extended itineraries. Lake Isabel can also be accessed by a shorter route from Two Medicine via Cobalt Lake.The trail begins at the Walton Ranger Station and follows the South Boundary Trail for 3.2 miles as it climbs the hillsides above the Middle Fork of the Flathead. The snowy Flathead Range can be seen to the south through openings in the forest. The trail descends gently to the flat top of a high bluff overlooking the river and passes among the huge boles of old-growth larches and Douglas firs before turning east up the Park Creek Valley."
--Erik Molvar, Hiking Glacier and Waterton Lakes National Parks (Falcon Guides).
First trip to Glacier and we couldn''t have picked a better spot. After the first mile the next three were a little more challenging than the moderate rating it gets. We hiked the 7.4 miles to the lower park creek campground the first day. Most of trail is enclosed by a thick canopy of Douglas Firs and Aspens. There a few openings once you get higher up on the ridge. From there you can see the Flathead River and Mountains across the valley. Day two for us was 9.7 miles to the Lake Isabel campground, stopping at the upper park creek campground about 7.4 miles in. Stopping there is a must because the last 2.3 miles are straight uphill. Pretty darn challenging for a moderate hiker with a 65lb. pack. The first glimpse of Lake Isabel is subdoed by trees, but once you drop your pack, walk down to the shore, and take in Vigil Peak and Battlemont Mountain rising straight up from the lake over 2000'', you''ll never want to leave. We planned a day to rest and hopefully some fishing. Unfortunately, the weather made it impossible to fly fish and even resting seemed like work. Winds exceeding 40 MPH, hail, rain, snow and then hail again. All in one day. We were wet, cold and still exhausted. Yet not a single one of us wanted to leave. I''ve been home for over a week and all I can think about is going back!
I have seen many a lake in Glacier, none can come close to rivaling isabel in beauty, challenge of nearby trails, and of course it's famed fishing. One of the top five places on Earth bar none.
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