Belton Chalet

Discussion in 'West, Alaska and Hawaii' started by Rail Freak, Jan 17, 2012.

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  1. Jan 17, 2012 #1

    Rail Freak

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    Has anyone stayed at the Belton Chalet in West Glacier? If so, give me a run down, please!!!

    Thanx

    RF
     
  2. Oct 28, 2012 #2

    Twin Star Rocket

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    Not yet! I've planned to return to Glacier Park by rail and stay there. I made a 1980 trip to Glacier and used the Belton station as my entry point to the park. I'm sure I saw the Belton Chalet.

    I can recommend McDonald Lodge and Many Glacier Hotel--both former Great Northern properties just like Belton Chalet.

    When I go again I might use the "red jammers" to get around instead of renting a car at Belton.
     
  3. Dec 17, 2014 #3

    CHamilton

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  4. Dec 18, 2014 #4

    Bob Dylan

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    Who you gonna believe, Rushbo or your lieing eyes?

    Nice find Charlie, everyone should see these, but I'm guessing they won't be shown on Fox Stations!!!
     
  5. Sep 26, 2018 #5

    Twin Star Rocket

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    We stayed at Belton Chalet three nights last week. It's located across Hwy 2 from the West Glacier Amtrak station (which is in use as a gift shop for a Glacier NP preservation group).

    Rooms are small, simple, clean, and have a private bathroom. Some (with balcony) face trackside and the highway; others face the forest in back.

    The lounge area is small but has a fireplace and shares room with an open gift shop area.

    Free coffee is served in the mornings only.

    Supper is provided by an adjacent restaurant. No other meals.

    For breakfast and lunch (and supper) there is the Glacier Highland restaurant within easy walking distance. Recommended!

    Staff at Belton Chalet is very helpful.

    P.S. We also stayed two nights at the Izaak Walton Inn about 25 miles to the east off Hwy 2.
     
  6. Sep 26, 2018 #6

    Palmetto

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    Too bad about no meals at the Belton Chalet. I was looking into a trip there as a bit of a retreat, but with my COPD, the prospect of having to walk to get something to eat isn't appealing. I've been to the IWI a couple of times, and was looking for a change.
     
  7. Jun 26, 2019 #7

    dogbert617

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    Belated question about Isaac(sp?) Walton Inn, are there a lot of things to hike to around Essex? Or am I right in thinking it's a little more limited around there(in terms of hikes), except for Scalplock Mountain Trail and Goat Lick Overlook being nearby? I will say this would be a place I'd at least give consideration too, someday down the road.
     
  8. Jun 26, 2019 #8

    Twin Star Rocket

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    There are hiking trails and ski trails at Izaak Walton Inn. You can rent a car there too and travel up and down Hwy 2 to nearby trails in the National Forests and National Park. It also has its own laundry for guests to use and a restaurant(serving 3 meals a day). It's fun just to explore the grounds around the inn.
    Belton Chalet has a restaurant and bar within easy walking distance for supper. Definitely not open for breakfast or lunch.
     

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  9. Jun 26, 2019 #9

    Rasputin

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    The Izaak Walton at Essex is a great place to stay but it is certainly not the best way to see Glacier National Park. It is a considerable distance from the prime scenic areas and hiking areas of the Park. You can certainly do the grueling uphill hike to Scalplock Lookout nearby (carry bear spray) or do a few other nearby hikes in the national forest but you will miss out on the Park unless you drive there.
     
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  10. Jun 27, 2019 #10

    dogbert617

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    That was the gist I got, while doing research. That if you aren't trying to do a lot of exploring of Glacier and more of that immediate area, that it's fine. But to me it doesn't seem like Izaak would be a good home base hotel to stay at while in this area, unless you had a rental car to get over to the western or eastern part of the park. I did notice however, that Sun Tours did have at least one tour(a full day tour for $120, from 7:30am to 4pm) that picks up from Izaak Walton(Red Bus tours OTOH, does NOT have a single tour that does pick ups of guests from there btw): https://www.glaciersuntours.com/tour-details/
     
  11. Jun 27, 2019 #11

    Ziv

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    Not so fast, Bob. It didn't get a lot of coverage, but the glaciers may be lasting a lot longer than the doom and gloomers predicted. In fact, the NPS took down the signs predicting their early demise recently. Glaciers in the park have actually been growing over the past couple years. They will probably continue to shrink in the years to come since we are coming out of the Little Ice Age, but they aren't shrinking nearly as fast as had been foreseen.

    https://dailycaller.com/2019/06/07/national-park-glacier-warnings/


     
  12. Jun 27, 2019 #12

    Rasputin

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    the Belton Chalet and the Glacier Highland are both virtually right across the highway (U.S. 2) from the Amtrak station at West Glacier. This is a very active rail line and an active highway. People who stay at both places complain about the highway noise and the train noise. This does not bother us. Our family normally stays at the Glacier Highland when we are on the west side of the Park and they have a decent restaurant. Glacier Highland is a very adequate motel type facility but I believe there are some rooms in the main building right beside the highway. It is reasonably priced for the area. Belton Chalet is more upscale and is priced higher. There is also the West Glacier Motel a short walk from the station.
     
  13. Jun 27, 2019 #13

    Palmland

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    We stayed at Belton Chalet several years ago and loved it. We had a room on the top floor (just 2 floors) with a shaded balcony that looked directly on the tracks. There was a passing siding that was often occupied that ended at the mouth of the tunnel, a short distance away. Easy walk to the station and the restaurant at the time we were there had the best food in the park, so many repeat visitors told us. So, Palmetto, I would consider the restaurant on the property it is so close, as the photo in this link shows. https://www.beltonchalet.com/

    While there is some traffic on the road daytime, it virtually disappears at night. We slept with the window open and the occasional rumble of a freight was not a problem. The big event of the day was train time at the station. If on time, a good after dinner stroll. We rented a a car in the seasonal rental office in E. Glacier, where we arrived on the westbound EB. After touring the park and staying at Glacier and McDonald Lodges, we left the car at Whitefish and took the train to Seattle.
     
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  14. Jul 9, 2019 #14

    dogbert617

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    Very late and belated response to your comment, but when I further researched Izaak Walton Inn, it didn't seem as bad as I worried at first glance for hikes near there. What one may easily miss, is that there also are a few hikes you can do into the Flathead National Forest(south of US 2), such as one going towards Marion Lake. I think still I want to do a trip to stay either at Many Glacier Hotel or Swiftcurrent Motor Inn first, but down the road for sure I'll look into Izaak Walton.
     
  15. Jul 10, 2019 at 5:19 PM #15

    Rasputin

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    The Izaak Walton Inn in Essex is a great place to stay and the food is good. It is prime spot for watching trains. However people should be aware that it is far from the prime scenic areas of Glacier National Park. Although there is some hiking available at Essex in the National Park and in the National Forest, none of these hikes would be considered prime hikes. The prime hikes in Glacier would be at Two Medicine, Lake McDonald, Many Glacier and the North Fork areas. The prime hike in the Essex area would be the Scalplock Lookout hike which is a strenuous uphill hike with no significant views until the top. In my opinion if your goal is to visit Glacier National Park, Essex is not the right place to be. If your goal is to see a lot of trains and helper locomotives, Essex is the place to be.
     
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  16. Jul 11, 2019 at 4:11 AM #16

    dogbert617

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    Did I read correctly on a bunch of the online reviews that Izaak Walton is open all year, unlike many of the other inns, hotels, and motels that seem to only be open during May or June-September? I find that interesting if true, that they choose to be open all year. And like I said earlier, perhaps someday I'd like to try staying at Izaak, so that I could have a chance to visit once. At this point I'm itching a little more to do another trip within Glacier, and also do some sort of visit into the town of Whitefish.
     
  17. Jul 11, 2019 at 1:41 PM #17

    Rasputin

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    Yes the Izaak Walton Inn is open all year and I understand that they do a good business in the winter catering to cross country skiers who use the trails in the national forest. The hotels in the park (and many businesses and facilities outside the park) do not open until June. There is only one restaurant open all year in East Glacier and none in West Glacier so things are pretty quiet until the season starts.
     
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  18. Jul 12, 2019 at 2:40 PM #18

    Bel5

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    We're going to stay 2 nights at the Izaak Walton in October, stopping off on New York to Seattle trip. We're not planning any serious hikes but hopefully will be able to do a couple of not too strenuous walks and some chilling watching the trains. Very much looking forward to it.
     
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  19. Jul 12, 2019 at 3:39 PM #19

    Rasputin

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    I hope you will give us a review of your stay there. Hope you have a good time and that the weather is good.
     
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  20. Jul 13, 2019 at 8:53 AM #20

    Bel5

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    Thank you Rasputin. I will try to remember to do a review. These forums have so much useful info for planning.
     
  21. Jul 13, 2019 at 1:30 PM #21

    dogbert617

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    Speaking of Izaak Walton(and thanks for this earlier reply), do you know approximately when in September or October that leaf colors start to change on trees around Glacier, and also the Flathead National Forest? It'd be cool to see the leaf colors change, in the fall. Would be cool to revisit that area, and see leaf colors change out that way during the fall season.
     
  22. Jul 13, 2019 at 8:13 PM #22

    Rasputin

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    I haven't been to Glacier in September for many years so I don't know the answer to that. I would suggest a call or email to the Park or to the Inn or to the Whitefish Convention and Visitors Center might provide some information. In September and October there might be some snow especially at the higher elevations. Not sure when you would likely see some snow at the lower elevations such as around the Inn.

    For Barb's trip in October, I would suggest that if possible they rent a car for the day and drive to the Two Medicine area and the Many Glacier area in the Park and also drive up the Going-to-the-Sun road as far as it is open. Those will provide far superior scenery than can be seen at Essex. Perhaps the Park's visitors center at St. Mary will also be open. I might also suggest a stop at the Museum of the Plains Indians in Browning. Bring some warm clothes (or buy some at the Inn gift shop) but if there is a snowstorm, enjoy Essex instead of driving around.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019 at 8:23 PM
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  23. Jul 14, 2019 at 7:39 AM #23

    dogbert617

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    In East Glacier Village, there's also an art gallery (____? (forget first name) Clarke Art Gallery) of Native American art that seems like it would've been interesting to visit per online reviews, had it been open longer than just until 6pm. And as I recall, opened at something like 10 or 11am. It's free to visit, per the signage I saw outside the door. Like other seasonal places in this area, I think that's only open till sometime in September or October, so keep that in mind.
     

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