Montana Business Listing
Sat, Aug 21, 2010 04:34 PM MDT
Wed, Oct 13, 2010 03:41 PM MDT
Izaak Walton Inn, Essex Montana
The Izaak Walton Inn in Essex is the perfect place to kick back, recharge, or immerse yourself in the hub of activities for unforgettable adventures.
Part of the charm of the Izaak Walton, located on the southern border of Glacier National Park along U.S. Highway 2, is its simplicity. Built in 1939 to house railroad workers, it has undergone a few updates to make it more appealing to a less rough and tumble crowd. The rooms are homey and comfortable with personal touches, welcoming you to snuggle in for a good rest at the end of the day. The helper locomotives that are used to assist the long trains over Marias Pass, idle outside of the Izaak Walton lulling you to sleep. The Inn is a stop on the Amtrak Empire Builder, so getting there can be fun. You can take the short jaunt from Belton Station in West Glacier, or hop the train at Whitefish for a morning ride. Instead of the standard “mint on the pillow,” I dove into the sampling of their delicious home-made fudge that is left in your room your first night. Also keep in mind that there are no televisions or phones in the room and no cell phone signal to ensure peace and quiet. There are pay phones available in the lobby if you absolutely have to check in with reality. Activities in and around the Izaak Walton are almost endless. If the weather is less than desirable there are books to read by the fireplace, a game room with a pool table, ping pong table, or plenty of decks of cards and games. When the weather is nice, you have the playgrounds of Glacier National Park to the north and the Great Bear Wilderness to the south.
May and June are the times to watch the mountain goat kids at the “Goat Lick,” a natural mineral deposit three miles east of the Izaak Walton. There is a viewing area where folks can view the young goats scampering along the cliffs.
It’s also common to see mule deer in the area, and the bird watching is fabulous. The hummingbirds are a particular delight. Sit on the porch swing in the summer for your own aerobatic show as they come into the feeders, or stroll by the gardens and be bombarded as they flit from flower to flower. During the summer, guests can catch a ride on the historic red busses and take an all day tour through Glacier National Park. For more adventure, the Izaak Walton can set up horseback trips in or around the Park, whitewater rafting, fly fishing, photo excursions, hiking, and helicopter tours. Bike rentals are also available for you to explore the local area on a more intimate level.
Whether you’re ready to kick off a strenuous day outdoors, or need refueling after enjoying the spectacular scenery. The “Dining Car” restaurant at the Izaak Walton provides hearty meals with a style you wouldn’t expect in such a remote location. A continental breakfast offering hard-boiled eggs, cereal and pastries is included in your room rate, and is a speedy way to start the day.
For lunch you can try the “Burger of the Day,” which is always a tasty creation, or the “Mountain Meadow Salad,” sprinkled with berries that is a unique twist on your average salad plate. The dinner entrees are even more creative featuring trout almondine and grilled breast of chicken with a huckleberry-orange sauce. To top it off, splurge with a generous piece of “Mud Pie,” huckleberry cobbler, or bread pudding.
There’s a two night minimum stay, although whether you’re staying two nights or two weeks, you’ll never run out of things to do. Rates for the rooms range between $118 to $200 during the peak season of June 16- Sept. 15. Caboose Cottages, which are self-contained cabins with a kitchenette that sleep up to four people, are $595 for three nights. On the Web: www.izaakwaltoninn.com
Essex, MT 599xx
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