By Robert Lucke
For folks looking for outdoor and indoor activities in beautiful surroundings, don't miss a spring weekend at the Izaak Walton Inn. Located halfway between East and West Glacier on Highway 2, it is an easy journey from the Hi-Line area. Well, as easy as anything can be when dealing with winter and spring whims of Marias Pass.
There is plenty to do at the Walton this time of year if doing things is your thing. Don't forget that part of a get away is to just sit in front of the lobby fireplace and do nothing.
Accommodations are unique. The rooms in the hotel itself are comfortable but families often prefer to stay in caboose cottages which perch on a scenic hill overlooking the inn and rail yards. The cabooses offer cozy accommodations for four, including full cooking and bath facilities.
A word about the railroad itself. It goes right past the hotel and Amtrak stops at the hotel twice a day. If trains and train noises are your thing, this place is heaven.
The hotel itself was built in 1939 for the Great Northern Railroad. It was built to house railroad workers and to serve as a possible hotel when the southern entrance to Glacier Park opened.
The hotel was named after Sir Izaak Walton, a 16th century English author and sportsman. Sir Izaak wrote the book The Complete Angler. The hotel was probably named by James Willard Schultz who lived in the area in the early 1900s.
March at the Walton includes a live "ski" rodeo for adults and kids starting on March 18. It is a weekend of rodeo events on skis and snowshoes.
"Have fun riding wild broncs, roping goats, barrel racing, and chuck wagon racing," says hotel managers. Special room rates are given to rodeo participants.
On April 28 and 29, the Walton conducts its annual weekend filled with intrigue, suspense and murder. Folks enjoy solving a murder or two while enjoying the hotel and outdoor activities in the area. No, it is not a real murder solving but it is all great fun and guests find themselves more involved in the activities than they might think.
Food at the Walton is great. There are breakfast and lunch buffets daily. Dinner consists of the hotel chef doing something different with beef, trout, chicken and the like each evening. For the vegetarian, there are always things to eat as well.
If spring skiing into Glacier National Park is your thing, the Walton offers guided tours in the Lake McDonald area, the Autumn Creek area on the top of Marias Pass as well as park tours in the Walton area of Glacier.
For further information about the Walton and activities this time of year, contact Cindy Dills at 406-888-5700.