The train fanatic’s fantasy inn

June 3, 2016

By John Dodge, Globe correspondent, Boston Globe

One in an occasional series marking the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary.

ESSEX, Mont. — The drive along the southern border of Glacier National Park in northwest Montana on US Route 2 serves up some of the most majestic scenery in the nation. Few other stretches on this 2,751 mile byway can rival this region’s magnificent and rugged mountain vistas.Website Insert 5000 New Seats copy

This is the same US Route 2 that cuts across northern New Hampshire and Maine and should not be confused with state highway Route 2 in northern Massachusetts. In between the villages of East and West Glacier — the two main entrances to the park — lies one of the more interesting and unique hotels in the region.

The Izaak Walton Inn sits in the unincorporated township of Essex, 26 miles from West Glacier and 30 from East Glacier. The inn is a great jumping off spot for park visits, but the overriding theme is the railroad, which ignited the development of the Northwest 125 years ago.

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