Welcome to Smoky Bear Ranch
For many years we had fished, hiked, rafted and camped in and around Glacier National Park so when it came time to make a move we began looking for our own piece of paradise in the wilds of the North Fork valley. Because there is so much federal land, Park Service and Forest Service, there wasn’t much private land available and what was obtainable was remote and mostly inaccessible. When this particular property became available, we investigated its proximity to the river and Glacier Park. We made an offer without seeing much of the property and as they say “the rest is history”. Now nearly 25 years later we can say that we have never regretted it even for a day.
Named for a legendary grizzly bear that roamed the Smoky Range of the Flathead National Forest, lodging at the ranch was established nearly 25 years ago. Near the Glacier National Park entrance at West Glacier and the “Going to the Sun Road” (about 10-15 minutes), but far from the crowds, trains & traffic of the Highway 2 corridor, the ranch is not in any town but is closest to the town of West Glacier.
Nestled along the western edge of the rugged Rocky Mountains of Glacier National Park, the remote North Fork River Valley remains virtually unchanged and offers some of the purest, most vitalizing air and water in the United States. From its pristine lakes to its roaring tributaries, the North Fork River earns its “Wild & Scenic River” designation. In a short drive through the North Fork River Valley to the Polebridge entrance, one can explore the remote parts of Glacier National Park, Bowman Lake, Kintla Lake, Logging Lake, Quartz Lakes, and more.
On this website, you can find many of the activities available in our area. We can help you book white water rafting trips, guided fishing trips, horseback & pack trips, wilderness hiking trips, alpine skiing at Whitefish Mountain, Nordic skiing in Glacier National Park, and many other activities. In addition, we have river fishing, mountain biking, hiking, Nordic skiing, sledding, and other activities around the property.
Winters are special, too. Explore new fallen powder along the North Fork or the wilds of Glacier National Park. Rugged peaks, snow filled valleys, and signs of wildlife abound. It’s so quiet you can hear the snow fall. Or snowmobile the famed Canyon Creek complex of groomed trails and McGinnis Creek all of the way to the top of The Big Mountain. Rentals are nearby. Alpine skiing at Whitefish Mountain Resort with over 4,000 skiable acres, a 3000 foot vertical drop, and no crowds.
No matter what the season – bring your camera. You can snap wolves on a fresh kill or grizzlies on the prowl. Bighorn sheep and mountain goats are always good at posing. Panoramas of Glacier National Park or the Whitefish Range are unequaled. Bald eagles, falcons, and other raptors are a common sight on the North Fork River. You have certainly picked a spectacular and unspoiled area for your vacation. When we moved here nearly 25 years ago, we thought it was such a special place we were inspired to share it. Once you see it, you’ll be inspired too!
Why Choose Smoky Bear Ranch?
- We are uniquely situated away from the trains, traffic and crowds in a peaceful forested setting on the west side
- We are only fifteen minutes to the West Glacier park entrance
- There is access to the North Fork of the Flathead River following a short nature hike
- Our cabins, unlike many in the area, are deliberately spread apart to ensure your privacy
- The folks at Smoky Bear Ranch offer our guests over twenty-five years of experience and knowledge about Glacier National Park, local wildlife, and surrounding area
- We have a free loaner program for every guest (hiking book, park map, bear spray)
- Competitive rates (Save 20% Here)