Summer Activities


Railfans enjoy staying at the Izaak Walton Inn located in Essex, Montana because of the close proximity to the BNSF Railway and Great Northern Railway History. The Amtrak Empire Builder stops at our ‘flagstop’ platform twice a day. We will pick you up and drop you off at the patform with our courtesy shuttle.

The Inn is decorated throughout with railroad memorabilia. Come visit us and enjoy the history that surrounds this area. View old photos, art and lots of Great Northern Railway posters, schedules and calendars from the past.

Our gift shop features many railroad theme items, Choose from books, plaques, patched, hat pins, and apparel. We also stock a full line of reproduction china used on the Empire Builder lines during the 1940’s and 1950’s. These pieces are exclusive reproductions of the ‘Glory of the West’ and ‘Mountains & Flowers’ series manufactured by the Syracuse China Company.

On occasion a special train will pass by the Inn. Most recently the Southern Pacific 4449 passed by on July 5th. This train is the only surviving example of Southern Pacific Railroad’s GS-4 class of steam locomotives. We are located adjacent to Glacier National Park . Photo opportunities abound and most viewpoints are easy to access as the rail line follows the Flathead River and US Highway 2. There are many pull-offs along the route to stop your car and get fantastic pictures. There are two tunnels, great curves, the summit of Marias Pass and seven avalanche snowsheds to view.

After your day of touring and watching trains you may choose to discover enjoy a Montana-brewed beer in the Flag stop Bar or sip a glass of wine while relaxing by the stone fireplace in the lobby. So make your plans to Visit the Izaak Walton Inn. You will experience a railfan trip of a lifetime.



Take a ride back in time while you view the sites of Glacier National Park in style on one of the historic red buses. These vintage motor coaches, built by the White Motor Company, travel over the Going-to-the-Sun Road and link all of the hotels and inns within the park. These bright red coaches have a roll-back canvas tops which allow for spectacular views.  

The Big sky circle tour will enter at the West entrance of Glacier National Park where you can tour the grand cedar-hemlock forests along Lake McDonald on your way to an optional lunch in Lake McDonald Lodge’s Russell’s Fireside Dining Room or Jammer Joe’s Grill and Pizzeria (seasonal). After lunch, ascend to the top of Logan Pass, into high alpine and down to the St. Mary Valley. Stop at the Wild Goose Island overlook for another photo opportunity. The tour finishes with grand vistas of grassland prairie and mountains. Tours vary depending on the accessibility of the Going-To-The-Sun road and your pick up and drop off location. 


Wild River Adventures run the Middle and North Fork of the Flathead River, two of Montana’s pristine rivers. These rivers form the southern and western boundaries of Glacier National Park. They are protected as Wild and Scenic Rivers, thus insuring that they will remain free flowing and untamed. These glacial fed waters rank as some of the cleanest rivers in the world.

On the adventure trips one often sees deer, mountain goats, osprey, and eagles. The river rapids on the Middle Fork were featured in the hit movie ‘A River Wild’. These river trips offer something for the entire family. In order to help you pick the ideal trip, we have divided our river raft tours into three categories:

Slow ’N Easy
No experience necessary. Class I rapids, calm water with a few small waves. Great for families with young children, photographers, wildlife watchers, and fishing.

Family Friendly
No experience necessary. Great for first timers and family groups. Primarily Class II-III+ rapids, fun, exciting waves separated by calm sections.

Wet ’N Wild
Guaranteed to get you wet! Geared for those with previous rafting experience or those who want to go for the gusto. Class II-IV rapids often run in small rafts or inflatable kayaks.