Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park

Howe Lake Trail

5 miles north of Fish Creek Campground on the Inside North Fork Road. Elevation climb is 240 feet. There is parking spaces enough for about 4 vehicles.

The last day of August 2006 was a cool one in Glacier park. We started our hike early in the day, the clouds were looming and just a hint of fall in the air. The Inside North Fork rd is rock and not well traveled. Making this hike a little less traveled then most in the park. We were in Grizzly country and with this in mind we started our hike with plenty of conversation and noise to keep the bear away. The trail is a slight uphill grade and easy hiking for most anyone. Along the trail you pass through patches were you can definitely see the path of recent fires. You are also walking through green and lush areas. You can see that during the flower season this would be a spectacular place to come and enjoy. The fireweed was everywhere.

The Howe Lake Trail winds 2 miles into Lower Howe Lake. Just as you come around the last ridge and the lake is in site, it is time to quiet the talking and watch silently for wildlife at the lake as you approach. The sounds of wildlife emerge as you listen. It was so quiet that you could hear the sounds of the wings as the loons flew overhead. The distant calls and the site of watching them fly in and land at the waters edge, was an experience to behold. The sound of the woodpeckers on surrounding trees echoing through the woods, birds chirping and ducks sunning themselves on the water, making this hike worth the effort.

The clouds are broken now and a hint of blue sky is peaking through. The lake is still and the reflections are amazing. Surrounding the lake is a marshland that connects it with Upper Howe Lake. Upper Howe Lake is closed to anglers until August 1st to protect the nesting loons. To get to the upper lake you will need to hike through the marsh or climb around the edges of the surrounding hills.

For more of a hardy hike you may continue on from the lower lake 1.8 miles to connect with the Howe Ridge Trail. The Howe Ridge Trail is a secondary fire access trail that an eastward ridgeline from the Howe Creek bridge to its junction with the Trout Lake Trail, above Kelly Camp Trailhead.

Glacier National Park
PO Box 128
West Glacier,MT,59936
Phone: (406) 888 7800
Email: glac_questions@nps.gov