Train buffs and Nature lovers paradise A review of Izaak Walton Inn
[I found no reviews of this place before we went, so I wanted to be sure to inform people of this GREAT place!]
We stayed here June 12-14, 2005. We arrived via Amtrak's Empire Builder route. The Inn is just a few hundred feet from the tracks and the train stops here. Some one from the Inn is waiting w/ a van for arrivals to help carry your luggage, but it is w/in walking distance.
The setting for this Inn is at the boundaries of Glacier Nat'l Park. (You can rent a car thru the Inn so you can navigate the Park and elsewhere.) It is AWESOME scenery w/ towering fur trees that smell like a Christmas Tree farm. The Rocky Mtns are in the backdrop; some still w/ snow on top--in June. There is the Flathead River nearby, too; it's just a GORGEOUS natural setting. Remember to bring the right clothing, though. This is the mtns, and it got to 40 at night and only 65 at midday in the middle of June! You need to be tolerant of trains, also. This is a main line and about 30 trains can go by each day/night. My husband loves trains and this is why we chose this place.
We didn't stay in the actual Inn, but chose a Caboose Cabin across the tracks from the main lodge. There are only 4 of these cabins, and there is a 3 night minimum stay required. You have to want to "be away from it all" as the rooms have no phone, tv, or radio. [There is also no cell phone reception! But payphones are in the lodge.] They have 2 full size beds (the loft bed is better suited for children as there isn't much space in the top of the caboose to move), the bathroom, a kitchenette, a small sitting area, and a deck. You can even pre-arrange for some basic groceries to be brought to your caboose upon your arrival. We did this for some breakfasts and sodas and a few snacks. There is a wonderful restaurant in the lodge, but there is no grocery store w/in walking distance, so do plan to eat at the restaurant a lot, unless you've gotten a rental car.
The lodge has a gift shop, a huge fireplace w/ newspaper and magazines to read, and downstairs is the bar and gameroom. For being in a small town (population 30!) the prices weren't bad--you could get a beer for $3! There is a jukebox in the bar, but it only plays Big Band music. Just off the bar is the gameroom--a pool table and a ping pong table--and it also has a jukebox which has more current music and a good portion of country music.
The entire place was just SO RELAXING and the staff were very friendly and helpful--get a rental car, mail a postcard, tell the best hiking spots of their trails. There were deer, ground squirrels, and plenty of humming birds--a fun bird to watch at the feeders!
We had the Green Caboose--it has a great view from the deck. There is a Honeymoon Caboose (orange, I believe) and it is the only 1 w/ a fireplace and gets booked the quickest. I don't know anything about the actual Inn rooms, except that they have no phones, tv, etc, either. I heard no complaints from their patrons that we met while sitting on the porch or snapping train photos as they swept by.
All in all, this is a WONDERFUL place if you want to RELAX and enjoy nature!