Bowman Lake is located in the North West part of Glacier near Polebridge. The lake is fairly remote and there for less crowds then other parts of Glacier. However, the parking lot is small and does fill up, so there is a chance you can drive all the up there and not get to the lake.
You can enter the park by heading to the Polebridge bakery and then follow the road to the left of the bakery to the entrance of the park.
To Get to Bowman lake you take the North Fork road from Columbia Falls, or from within GNP, Camus road to North fork.
North Fork Road is mostly dirt and gravel and can be pretty rough. Once you survive North Fork, the road going into Glacier and to Bowman just gets worse. The road into the park and to Bowman is also a dirt road and depending on the time of year, the road conditions can go from bad to worse.
The road appears to be graded in late May or June, but by September, it’s a pretty rough ride with giant potholes. The road is also one lane for about 7 miles with little room to pass oncoming cars. Please don’t attempt to go to Bowman lake in an RV or pulling a camper. There is a small campground at Bowman but I don’t believe the park allows campers and RV’s in the campground. From GNP’s site: Vehicles over 21’ in length and/or vehicle- trailer combinations are prohibited at Bowman Lake due to the nature of the long, narrow, and windy dirt road to the campground, and very tight parking areas at each campsite.
The views at Bowman Lake are beautiful and rival that of lake McDonald.
Unlike Lake McDonald, there are no services like boat rentals or food or lodging at Bowman.
And like Lake McDonald, the fishing isn’t great, but we did catch some cutthroat and there are Bull Trout and Kokanee in the lake.
The lake trail is scenic and goes for about 13 miles, but you will start to lose sight of the lake after 2 or 3 miles. There are a few clearings along the trail on the lake that allow access to the views.
Along the trail is dense forest and with dense forest comes bugs and mosquitoes, and plenty of them. We’ve encountered more mosquitoes at Bowman Lake then any other trail in Glacier (that we’ve done).Bug spray is a must as well as bear spray.
But don’t let that stop you from visiting Bowman, it’s worth the trip.