Glacier National Park’s Kintla Lake is far from the maddening crowd.
The two-lane primitive road winding its way north, along the park’s western edge to the community of Polebridge, can be a slow drive. The scenery will distract drivers and passengers alike. Curves and potholes in the road are more reasons for a slow drive.
Once inside the park, the gravel road that winds through prairie and deep forest calls for caution too, but this all adds to the sense of excitement of what awaits at road’s end.
Beneath a last hill in the road is the campground with its 13 sites. Don’t plan to tow a trailer here or bring a large recreational vehicle as the dirt and gravel road is narrow and campsites aren’t large. At the end of this cozy loop of campsites is Kintla Lake.
Mountains rise to the north of the lake and forested hills flank the south. Five miles distant, around a bend in the lake, is its end and from there a vast expanse of wilderness. Canada is but a few miles to the north.
The lake’s water is as clear as the mountain air and just as refreshing. At sunset, the peaks capture the fading sunlight, and the lake will be dimpled with rising trout that will often take a small dry fly.
Kintla Creek that flows from the lake and past the campground will be serenaded those lucky enough to get one of the sites along its banks. Wind hisses through the pines and firs that tower overhead. Bring a lawn chair or a hammock. This is a place to relax.