This campground is at the end of a winding six-mile dirt road, which means that you'll be covered in dust by the time you get there, but which also means that there are no big RV rigs. It is so quiet and beautiful, but the mosquitos will about drive you nuts, and they're the reason I can't give this campground five stars. Bring bug spray (but not citronella; that attracts bears). The lake is simply stunning, especially in the early morning, when the sun comes up over the mountains. There are trailheads right next to the lake shore, with varying distances and difficulties to choose from. The campsites are clean and level, but watch out for stumps along the driveways, or you may lose a bumper. Restroom facilities are only pit toilets, but they're the cleanest and least-smelly pit toilets I've ever seen, and there is plenty of hand sanitizer inside. Potable water taps and food storage boxes are available near the toilets. We didn't see any bears, but deer frequent the campsites, sniffing around the fire pits, searching for food, and they're not scared of people. They'll come right up to your tent. It's crazy.
I consider myself pretty lucky to go to college in a state where there is great outdoor activities. Bowman Lake Campground, which is located within the Glacier National Park is pretty awesome. Everywhere you look, there is something beautiful. The scenery within this campground is to die for. The storage on my camera was full by the time my friends and I left because I took pictures of everything. The trees, flowers and plants were my favorite. All my friends (and myself) have hammocks, so we always like staying in a campsite that has good trees to hang our hammocks. We were able to get a spot where there were trees really close to our campsite, so we were able to hang our hammocks while keeping warm by the fire. We also really enjoyed the lake. It was gorgeous. One of my friends has a kayak, so we took turns taking it out on the water. I got up one morning earlier than everyone else, and took the kayak on the water. The sunset was beautiful, and the lake was so calm and relaxing. One FYI to everyone….The road leading to the campground is pretty ruff, but it is manageable if you go slow. The road is pretty narrow, so just be careful of on coming cars coming down from the campground. Just go SLOW. I would also suggest to get to the campground early in the morning. They don't take reservations, and the campground isn't very big…limited spots. So if you want a good spot, or a spot at all, I would suggest getting there early in the morning. My friends and I also really loved hiking along the trails that were near the lake. There was actually a trail (not sure if it had a name?) that took us along the lake shore which was one of my favorite walks we did. I honestly can't wait to come back and stay here. I definitely will do more research on other hikes nearby because I know the views would be awesome the higher you get!!
I absolutely love the Glacier National Park. I might be a little bias, because I am from Montana, but I think its one of the best National Parks in the states. Bowman Lake, which obviously is located in the Glacier National Park is no exception…because it is gorgeous. I have stayed here two times, and both experiences were great! I really enjoy the hiking trails in this campground, and kayaking in the lake nearby. The lake that is close to the campground is called Pristine Lake and of course Bowman Lake. The only downside is the road leading up to the campground. It is a pretty narrow road, so you just have to be careful and watch for cars coming the opposite direction of you. The road is gravel/dirt and does have a few switchbacks. Again, just drive slow and carefully. When I went, in June, the campground wasn't too busy but I do know during the weekends and summer months it does get pretty busy. I would just suggest getting there early enough to get a spot. I am an avid hiker, and they definitely have some pretty awesome hikes. Just make sure you talk to a ranger, or do your research ahead of time to find out how long/hard each hike is. I did Numa Ridge, which was gorgeous and 6 miles long. Saturday morning I got up really early and did Brown Pass which was 14 miles round trip, but well worth it. There is also Akola Lake (6miles) and Quartz Lake (6.5miles). I would recommend doing at least 1 hike, because the views and scenery are amazing. The campground itself is pretty basic…tent areas, trees and some amenities. If you are like me, I am hardly at my campsite because I am out exploring.
Bowman lake is beautiful, and the bumpy ride on the gravel road is a small price to pay for the serenity of reaching the finger lakes in the northwest of Glacier NP. The campground is noted as 'primitive' on the NP map -- this label along with the tale of the bumpy road to get there keeps the less serious campers, trailers and RV's away. And although it is "primitive" by name, it simply means that there may not be a campground host, and there is not potable water access.
All of the campsites are easy access to the crystal clear lake with the mountain backdrop. Lots of trees for hammocking. Plenty of people carry in their own kayaks and SUPs.
Another amazing nugget on the journey to Bowman lake is the outpost of Polebridge. This tiny outpost has a mercantile with the most amazing baked goods, and sells all kinds of craft beers, veggies, and whatever necessities you may need for your camping adventure. There is also a small saloon. It's about 6 miles on gravel road from Polebridge to Bowman, but you'll fall in love with the little place, and you'll be glad you don't have to go all the way to Kalispel if you run out of beer.
When I say off the beaten path I should really be saying unpaved path. Make sure you have good shock absorbers on your vehicle, as it is miles and miles of dirt roads to get here.
Once you arrive the lake itself is spectacular. The campground is right next to it, and some of the campsites have an amazing view. We had plenty of shade (there are a lot of trees).
Warning: I experienced more mosquito bites here than at any other spot in Montana. Bring your repellant!
I usually do back country camping and wasn't sure how I'd feel about staying at a campground. I thought it would be noisy and too close to other campers. The sites were very nice. It was a very quiet campground. The trails were beautiful around the lake and we rarely ran into other hikers.
The road up to Bowman lake is bumpy and rocky but once you are there it is all worth it. The lake is absolutely beautiful, the hosts are the nicest we have met, and the campsites are clean. What more could you ask for? The lake was absolutely stunning and clear so you could see the fish. The only unnerving thing was there had been mountain lion attacks and such just before we came there. We never did see one but it was an amazing campground.