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Bowman Lake Trail [CLOSED]

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Glacier National Park

Bowman Lake Trail is a 26.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Polebridge, Montana that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from March until October.

Distance: 26.2 miles Elevation Gain: 3,090 feet Route Type: Out & Back

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

beach

cave

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

closed

no dogs

This trail is experiencing full or partial closure due to COVID-19. Please see the open trails nearby for alternate hiking options.

hiking
bugs
over grown
7 days ago

For the record, we only hiked 3.0 miles out and back on Bowman Lake. It was not a very memorable hike. While the path is adjacent to the lake, there are surprisingly few views from the path. The trail was overgrown. If you are planning to do the 26 mile hike, I would rely on other reviews. I do agree that you need to stop by the General Store in Polebridge and try a Huckleberry Bear Claw.

hiking
5 months ago

This is a nice section of the park. I camped at the Bowman Lake Campsite for a backpacking trip. We took Bowman to Brown Pass, Boulder Pass, Lake Francis and back out at Bowman. I wouldn't hike this trail just for Bowman Lake. I would recommend it for a larger backpacking itinerary. You won't regret going to Lake Francis and/or Boulder Pass. Thats some of the best hiking I've done in any National Park. If you do make it to Bowman Lake, stop at the Polebridge General Store and get a Bear Claw. It's basically a huckleberry filled pastry, but its fantastic.

hiking
muddy
9 months ago

hiking
muddy
9 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

Great easy hike. You can go as far as you want since it’s an out and back - we did 5 miles each way. There are paths down to the lake in some areas to swim or have a nice lunch. Trail was a bit overgrown in spots. For the drive, there were rough gravel roads most of the way to get there.

10 months ago

Bowman lake trail to Hole in the Wall. Great views toward the end

10 months ago

Hike from paved campground trailhead to Bowman Lake campground. Very level & runs along lake edge

hiking
11 months ago

Really nice view. Little muddy in spots and there’s some bugs if you stop.

hiking
11 months ago

One of the best trails I've hiked! It just gets better & better from the end of Bowman, to brown pass then lake Francis! Outstanding views once getting up the pass all the way to Watertown & my last stop before starting back in kootenai lakes further ahead! One of the best six days I've spent & an excellent sample of glaciers Backcountry! any make for great destinations

hiking
bugs
Wed Jun 19 2019

We did the first 3ish miles of the trail. It was hard to see the lake near the end, so this was more of a nature walk than a lake hike.

hiking
bugs
Wed May 29 2019

We had no intention of hiking this entire trail but wanted to see if there was a good viewing point of the distant peaks from a closer spot along the shoreline. We found the perfect spot hidden about 1.25 miles in and nestled behind a fallen log along the water. There is a flat boulder big enough for two people to stand on that has fallen into the water. Spectacular views and such a peaceful silence of the water lapping the shore. The trail is easy to follow, well marked, and surrounded by beautiful forest. It was not muddy or overgrown.

hiking
muddy
over grown
Mon May 20 2019

Tue Oct 02 2018

It was cold. Wind was blowing hard. Not an ideal hike for this time of year. Still was beautiful though.

backpacking
Sat Aug 11 2018

A beautiful, quiet lake but the bugs are extremely bad. Huge flies and mosquitos infest this part of glacier and more than any other place I’ve stayed at. I’m a camper and normally not bothered by bugs, but these guys won’t leave you alone from morning to night. If that doesn’t deter you, it’s definitely worth the trip out to this remote spot of the park. You can drive long, rocky road to get here or take a great backpacking trip.

backpacking
Mon Aug 06 2018

Day 1 we backpacked from Polebridge to Bowman Lake Campground. Very easy and flat 6 mile trek along Bowman Lake. Beautiful creek flowing through parts of the campsite and into the lake. Campground had plenty of spots for a refreshing swim, fishing and / or filtering water. There was a pit toilet in the campground. Day 2 we backpacked from Bowman Lake to Brown Pass. Overall this was a difficult 7 mile hike. There were spots of thick overgrowth but the difficult part was the last 2 miles ---- 2000+ ft of elevation gain. We ate raspberries along the lower parts of the trail and there are incredible views as you get close to the top of the pass --- Be sure to stop and take it in! No water at the campsite but there were a few spots near the top / Brown Pass Campsite. Only a 2 mile trek to Hole in Wall from camp. Pit toilet located in the campground. Lot's of insects! Day 3 we backpacked 13 miles from Brown Pass to Polebridge … We stopped for lunch at Bownman Lake campground.

Wed Jun 06 2018

Very buggy but well worth the views!!!

backpacking
Sat Sep 09 2017

My buddy and I hiked out to the Bowman Lake campground. This is an enjoyable 7 miles out w/ minimal elevation, great for getting your hiking legs under you prior to tackling some of glaciers more intense trails. It's almost all green tunnel, with a few nice views over Bowman Lake looking up at the Continental Divide. Excellent beginner trail but pales in comparison to the rest of what Glacier has to offer.

backpacking
Mon Aug 21 2017

Hiked from Bowman Lake front-country campgrounds to Bowman Lake backcountry campgrounds on the first day. The trail was flat but nice along the water and took a little under three hours. The campground was just along the lake and great for relaxing. On the second day of our trip, we hiked from Bowman Lake campground to Brown Pass -- about another three hours but the last 2/3 of a mile was difficult. That said, that part offered incredible wildfires and great views as it was more exposed. There is a water source about 1/4 mile in either direction of the Brown Pass campground. Our third day, we hiked all the way from Brown Pass back to the front country. It was a bit of a slog but it was all downhill/flat so made for fast hiking. We did see lots of frogs on the way back.

Thu Jun 23 2016

The must! Absolutely beautiful views and not very hard hike.

hiking
Sat Jan 17 2015

My buddies and I did the Bowman - Kintla Lake loop. A 38 mile loop that takes you up to Brown's Pass and Hole-in-the Wall. It is an amazing place to hike, and the back country campgrounds are pretty nice. I can't wait to make it back to Glacier National Park and do another back country hiking trip.

hiking
Sat Nov 13 2010

Hiked to Upper Bowman Lake campground 11/2010. Nice stroll along the side of lake with not many hills, took about 5.5 hours there and back with a lunch. Beautiful views of glacier and snow capped peaks surrounding east side of the lake. Got to backpacking/horse campground and the view further into the divide was beckoning for further exploration but time was critical. The drive to the trail head was one lane dirt road through Glacier's foothills . Awesome hike and not difficult.

hiking
3 days ago

hiking
6 days ago

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

recorded Bowman Lake Trail

hiking
9 months ago

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