Cross Country Ski at Izaak Walton Inn

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Added by Derek Vander Ark

A timeless adventure spent cross country skiing on beautifully groomed trail the legendary Izaak Walton Inn. Snow-capped mountains, cross-country skis, and a crackling fire are three reasons which make this trip worth it. 

The Izaak Walton Inn was established in 1939 to accommodate workers and visitors from the rapid expansion of the Great Northern Railway. Conveniently built near Highway two, it is a short drive from both the West Glacier and East Glacier Entrances. If driving from West Glacier, continue on Highway 2 for about 25 miles and look for the Izaak Walton Inn sign (it will be easy to spot). Take a right off of Highway 2 onto Izaak Walton Inn Rd, and continue straight for less than a mile. The road will then curve right, and lead directly to the Inn.

Enter the Izaak Walton Inn and locate the front desk to acquire a pass for the trail. If you are in need of any gear, Izaak Walton Inn provides ski rentals. Rates can be found on the following link:

Make sure that you also grab a map for the different trails that you can explore at the Izaak Walton Inn. Grab your gear and your pass, and head southwest of the Inn towards a bridge the stretches over the rail tracks and to the trails. There are 33km of crosscountry trails to choose from, and it will take a little under an hour to complete the longest loop.

Trails go uphill, downhill, as they follow the twisting Essex Creek. There is also a bridge that goes over Essex Creek and offers great views. Return to Izaak Walton Inn and enjoy time by the fire in the lobby, or play shuffleboard and pool in the basement. If hungry, Izaak Walton Inn has a tremendous restaurant with a menu that can be found on their website:

After drying off by fire, and with a full stomach from Huckleberry pie from the restaurant, hit the trails once more and cross country ski a new loop.

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