Izaak Walton Inn, Montana

This page was created in Dec. 2021 for our club's general membership meeting, but we are leaving it up for general information. You are invited to join our meeting: (Zoom) meeting on Tuesday, December 14, 2021. Hope to see you then!

Izaak Walton

Picture from Crown of the Continent, which has additional information on Izaak Walton

Izaak Walton Inn
290 Izaak Walton Road
Essex, Montana 59916

Izaak Walton Inn is a historic establishment that was built in the 1930s for railroad workers. It is located at the southern tip of Glacier National Park, an equal distance between East Glacier and West Glacier on Highway 2.  [It would be cool to do a road trip, following US Highway 2 all the way from Everett to Izaak Walton - only 585 miles!]

Essex is about 15 miles west of Marias Pass, 5300 feet, and is the location where engines are added to trains going east over the pass or removed from trains that just came from the pass and are going west. All this activity can be watched from the Inn. Hence, there are multiple parallel railroad (RR) tracks that have to be crossed to reach the ski trails.

The Inn sits parallel to the tracks and has rooms on train side as well as on the nontrain side. Also, there are cabooses and family cabins across the tracks to stay in.  The main building has the restaurant and bar in the basement which is full of RR memorabilia, relics, and history. Hot tub and sauna are in a separate building.

Izaak Walton Inn grooms about 20 km of trails, rents skis and snowshoes. Skiing in this mountainous, forested area is a true paradise. Snow reports are posted frequently. Information on trail pass rates, lessons, rentals, etc. is listed on the Inn's Activities Page.

Essex, Mt can be reached by driving either from the east or west on highway 2 because it is plowed all winter. Or, flying into Glacier Park International Airport, Kalispell, Mt, renting a car and driving the approximate 50 miles. Or, riding the Amtrak Empire Builder train.

The season is usually mid-December through late March.