I had for years dreamed of going to Glacier national Park with my son. My initial research indicated that we could camp at the base of Kintla Lake (accessible by car) then canoe to the backcountry site at the head of the lake. We wanted to then continue from there, backpacking to backcountry sites on upper Kintla Lake. Because the campgrounds and backcountry permits are a first-come basis we weren't able to camp at the foot of Kintla (full) so we made our base at Bowman. This proved to be beneficial because the (IMHO) the campground at Bowman is one of the nicest in the park. After making our Bowman base camp we hauled our canoe up to Kintla and launched for a 5 mile trip to the upper Kintla backcountry site. This proved to be the highlight of our trip to Glacier. Upon launching and heading into deeper water we both had a feeling of vertigo because the water is soooo clear that you see the bottom passing below you even when it's 60' deep. We felt like we were flying! Then as the water gets deeper it magically turns to a turquoise, then emerald, and finally a sapphire color. The whole time we were on the lake we felt like the only humans around - the silence ROARED! We made camp at the head of the lake and eventually several backpackers filtered in to fill up the site. Had a nice evening socializing, a good sleep and then took the canoe over to the headwaters for a try at fishing the trout that we'd seen jumping - no bites, but the view of the mist rising off the lake and the mountain peaks pink in the sunlight with elk bugles echoing...what more can you ask for? If you can get here - try to bring a canoe or kayak. It really is the best way to experience this place!
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