- Essex and Pinnacle, Montana make a perfect side-trip when traveling around the Glacier region
- Less than a half hour to Glacier National Park
- Fish the Middle Fork of the Flathead River for trout
- Hike the Dickey Creek Trail
- Visit the Walton Goat Lick Overlook
There are a couple of tiny communities near the southwest corner of Glacier National Park that offer many opportunities for some fantastic outdoor recreation and make a wonderful home base for any vacation – Essex and Pinnacle, Montana.
Essex and the town of Pinnacle are located between West Glacier and East Glacier Park on US Highway 2. This is the only highway that runs through these towns.
Essex has a couple of great places to eat when you need to satiate your hunger. Stop for breakfast, lunch or dinner. You are sure to be pleased.
A wide choice of accommodations awaits you in Essex! Lodging consists of a Bed & Breakfast, cabins, cottages, motels and a couple of beautiful inns. You can even find a vacation rental.
The Middle Fork of the Flathead has been called Montana’s wildest river, no doubt because of the bordering wilderness areas, but perhaps also because of the wild game fish in abundance here. Catch some Westslope cutthroat, rainbow and more.
There are plenty of trails for fabulous hiking around Essex and Pinnacle. You can hike the Dickey Creek Trail. On this 4.8-mile trail, you need to be aware that the hike starts out as a moderate trek but becomes strenuous from the head of the valley to the lake. Another short hike is the Marion Lake Trail through the spruce forest. If you like longer trips, take the 18.8-mile trail from Walton Ranger Station to the Scalplock Lookout. This day hike takes you to the breathtaking vistas of the Flathead Range and snowy peaks of the Bob Marshall Wilderness.
- Winter Sports
The Essex Ski Trail system provides gentle grades and enough snow to make your adventure one of the best. Snowshoeing is a wonderful recreational activity, traveling over the white landscapes of this pristine wilderness. Try the route from the Fielding Picnic Area to Ole Creek.
Although Essex is small, it has some very interesting attractions.
- Walton Goat Lick Overlook
Here you can watch up to 75 mountain goats gather to lick the salt from the exposed rocks. These goats are drawn here mostly in June and July, as the rocks leach salts and minerals in the deep canyon of Sheep Creek.
- Izaak Walton Inn
Those who love the history of the railroad will love visiting Izaak Walton Inn. On the National List of Historic Places, this inn was named after the author of the book called “The Compleat Angler” – Sir Izaak Walton. The purpose of the original construction of the hotel was to house railroad workers in the late 30s.
To get from Essex or Pinnacle to Glacier National Park, simply take US Highway 2 E and in 26.7 miles, you’ll reach the Going to the Sun Highway, which runs right through the park. It’s 25 minutes from Essex and 19 minutes from Pinnacle.