Hike Numa Ridge Lookout

Rate this Adventure Montana Numa Ridge Lookout Trailhead, Bowman Lake Campground

Added by Noah Couser

Visit the manned Numa Ridge Lookout (only manned in summer months). This well-built trail offers excellent exercise and incredible views of the remote North Fork region of Glacier Park.

Begin the hike at Bowman Lake Campground. The trail wanders along the West side of the lake for the first mile or so, and then begins a gradual climb to the lookout. The total distance is 5.6 miles each way, and the trail climbs roughly 2,900 vertical. Don't worry, your sore legs and lungs will find respite in the sweeping panoramic views of the entire North Fork region. Pop into the lookout to speak with the ranger (as long as they aren't busy), they always have great stories and are usually eager to talk to people.

For the overzealous, continue along the ridge toward Numa Peak for even more spectacular views and a little more vertical gain. Climb to the next false summit with only moderate bushwhacking and minimal extra effort, and look down upon the lookout and the entire lake.

After descending from the lookout, hustle down to Bowman Lake for a refreshingly chilly dive into the crystal clear water. Drive back down through the tiny town of Polebridge...STOP...be sure to go into The Mercantile for some unbelievable baked goodies. Huckleberry Bear Claws will change your life, just prepare yourself.

Pack List

  • Trail snacks
  • Water (2L on a hot day)
  • Camera
  • Bear spray
  • Extra layers
  • Swim trunks to dive in afterwards!
  • Money for some tasty baked goods at the Polebridge Mercantile
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Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:



Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:



11.2 Miles

Elev. Gain:

2900 Feet


Picnic Area

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Added by Noah Couser

I'm a professional photographer living and working in Whitefish, Montana. I travel as much as I can with my beautiful wife Megan, and am always scheming a new adventure, or a new way to do an old trip. My passion is the outdoors, and getting people excited about recreating outside. By day, I teach PE and health at the local middle school, by night, I fight crime in a spandex jumpsuit... not really, but I do enjoy taking lots of pictures and working for cool outdoor companies when not at school throwing dodge balls at 8th graders.

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