Izaak Walton Inn is one of the best places to stay in Montana near Glacier National Park in the small town of Essex, MT.

Izaak Walton Inn is a Train-tastic Place to Stay in Essex, MT By Glacier National Park

Train car accommodation overlooking the Main Lodge at Izaak Walton Inn, one of the best places to stay near Glacier National Park in Montana.
Train car accommodation overlooking the Main Lodge at Izaak Walton Inn

Just south of Glacier National Park is a gem of a hotel: Izaak Walton Inn. This special hotel is on the National Registrar of Historic Places. Located in Essex, Montana, Izaak Walton Inn effortlessly blends rustic whimsy with unique lodging at the foot of the Glacier National Park border.

Detailed review for why the Izaak Walton Inn is one of the best places to stay in Montana.
View of the back of the Main Lodge

While not technically in Glacier National Park, the Izaak Walton Inn still has an enviable park-adjacent location.

Izaak Walton Inn is located just 45 minutes from the Two Medicine entrance and 35 minutes from the West Glacier entrance. In addition, avid hikers (or cross-country skiers and hikers in the winter) can access trails that go into the remote southern portion of Glacier National Park right from the resort.

Ski decor at Izaak Walton Inn, a great place to stay for cross-country skiing in Glacier National Park.
Ski decor at Izaak Walton Inn

Read More: Winter Guide for Glacier National Park

For the train lover, this view of the train on the tracks is sure to be a memorable one on your visit to Izaak Walton Inn.
Train on tracks

While the proximity to Glacier National Park is a huge plus for staying at this hotel, it’s the trains that really make this historic lodge stand out.

Visit Izaak Walton Inn and you'll enjoy seeing the trains and train tracks near this unique place to stay near Glacier National Park.
Train tracks

Izaak Walton Inn is located right by train tracks where the Amtrak comes by twice a day and commercial trains chug by frequently. The lodge even has the departures listed so you know when to head outside to see the Amtrak. It’s also posted to inform guests who are leaving the area via Amtrak.

A sign with the train departure times is another aspect of the rustic and old west style of the Izaak Walton Inn in Montana.
Train departure times

During dinner at the Izaak Walton Inn, we saw three trains go by while eating.

Watch the trains while enjoying your stay near Glacier National Park at Izaak Walton Inn in Montana.
Watching the trains
Enjoy the gorgeous view of the mountains by the train tracks, seen from the restaurant patio at Izaak Walton Inn.
Train tracks by the mountains

Then the Amtrak came by before we headed up to our room and even blew its horn while going by while the conductor waved at Izaak Inn guests watching.

And then another train came by that we saw from our window while getting ready for bed!

When you stay at Izaak Walton Inn, watching the trains from the window is a fun thing to do.
Watching the trains from the room window

It was so fun.

There is also a bridge that crosses the track that you can walk over to get to hiking trails or to watch the trains go by underneath.

Enjoy a stay at Izaak Walton Inn, but first check out the view on the Isaak Walton Bridge.
Izaak Walton Bridge

This bridge is also what you need to walk across from the main lodge to get to Izaak Walton Inn’s log cabins and very cool train car accommodation (though there is also a road for those staying on that side of the property).

This brings us to…

What are the Accommodations Like at Izaak Walton Inn?

Izaak Walton Inn has a number of different lodging options, ranging from standard rooms in the main lodge to family suites to cabins and train cars.

Main Lodge

Enjoy a stay in the main lodge of Izaak Walton Inn.
Main Lodge

We stayed in the Main Lodge, which has easy parking out front and onsite dining, and a basement with a game room and bar.

You'll love a refreshing beverage at the Izaak Walton Inn bar area.
Bar Lounge at Izaak Walton Inn
Enjoy a drink and relax in the bar area of Isaak Walton Inn.
the bar room
Enjoy some fun in the game room during your visit to Izaak Walton Inn near Glacier National Park.
Game Room Next to the Bar

I booked us into the family suite, which was perfect since it was my mom, my two daughters, and myself. My girls shared the room with a queen bed and twin bed, while my mom got the other room with a queen bed to herself.

Our review research found that there's plenty of space in the family suite at Izaak Walton Inn.
Family Suite in the Main Lodge of Izaak Walton Inn

There was even a door dividing the two rooms, with a sink in one room and the shower/tub and toilet in the other room.

Simple, but clean bathroom at Izaak Walton Inn.
Bathroom view

The room had lots of fun touches, like nightstands with attached fold-down chairs and the inn’s signature moose on the shower curtain and other decors. We also liked the cozy cabin-like walls.

The rustic view of the hallway is part of the enjoyable experience when you visit the Izaak Walton Inn near Glacier National Park.
Hallway to the rooms in the Main Lodge

Train Car Accommodations

Staying with the train theme, Izaak Walton Inn also has several stand-alone train car accommodations. These book up very early, so plan ahead if you want to stay in them during the busy season.

You'll love a stay in an old train car turned cabin at Izaak Walton Inn in Montana.
Train Car Lodging

The train accommodations range from small 2-person cabooses to luxurious locomotives. Most of the railcars sleep 4, but the Northern Pacific Caboose can sleep up to six.

The cabooses with a cupola also look charming and great for families of three or four since the adults can sleep down below while the kiddos get to have fun sleeping up in the cupola.

As another guest reviewed: “Our stay at the Izaak Walton Inn was amazing. From our incredible and cozy caboose, the delicious food for dinner and the overall ambiance was fantastic…”

A fun place to stay is the caboose style cabins at Izaak Walton Inn.
Caboose Lodging

There are also a couple locomotive train car lodging options on the other side of the tracks by the Main Lodge.

Cabins and Mountain Motel Rooms

Across the train tracks from the main lodge are also a collection of cabins lined up against the backdrop of the woods.

The cabins across the train tracks from the main lodge at Izaak Walton Inn
Izaak Walton Inn Cabins

There are also some cabins for those looking for a more solitary experience. The cabins can sleep up to four people, with a full-sized bed in the bedroom and a full-sized bed in the loft area.

In addition, as you walk around this side of the hotel property, you’ll see motel-style rooms. These are the School House rooms, housed in a former schoolhouse that was transformed into four separate hotel rooms.

The School House rooms have lovely rustic wood accents and a small patio. They also have views of the train tracks and close proximity to the hiking trails.

In winter, the cabins and School House rooms are solely ski-in, ski-out and aren’t accessible via road.

See more reviews for the cabins and train cars at Izaak Walton Inn here!

Are the Trains Loud for Sleeping?

If you’re a really light sleeper, you’ll probably want to request a room on the side of the hotel facing away from the train tracks and bring ear plugs.

I brought earplugs just in case, but didn’t need them. I even left the window open a few inches, but with the white noise machine I always travel with to lull my kids to sleep, we all slept through the night.

I heard one train go by right before dozing off, but didn’t wake again until morning. Neither did my kids and they were in the bed right by the window.

What is Dining Like at Izaak Walton Inn?

You'll love the view from the restaurant at Izaak Walton Inn near Glacier National Park.
Patio dining area

Izaak Walton Inn has a restaurant located right onsite just beyond the reception desk. It has a chalet-style indoor dining area that’s also connected to a patio overlooking the grounds and train tracks.

Enjoy a fabulous meal at the indoor dining area of Izaak Walton Inn.
Indoor dining room at Izaak Walton Inn

We ate there for both dinner and breakfast and enjoyed it. Kids menus are also available for all meals.

Watch the trains while enjoying your stay near Glacier National Park at Izaak Walton Inn.
Watching the trains while coloring the kid menu

The restaurant has traditional and locally-inspired menu items, like the huckleberry elk meatballs we got for an appetizer and the delicious huckleberry pie we had for dessert. There was also a stuffed trout special we regretted not ordering after seeing it show up looking all delicious at a fellow diner’s table!

Enjoy the huckleberry elk meatballs at Izaak Walton Inn
Huckleberry Elk Meatballs
A delicious slice of huckleberry pie with whipped cream awaits you at Izaak Walton Inn.
Huckleberry Pie

The restaurant also has a fun cocktail menu with drink names and ingredients inspired by Glacier National Park and Montana.

Enjoy a refreshing Montana-inspired cocktail on your visit to Izaak Walton Inn.
Restaurant cocktail

For breakfast, I got oatmeal, which was a good way to start the day before heading to Two Medicine for a hike.

A hearty breakfast of oatmeal, fruit, and toast is just the thing you need before exploring Glacier National Park.
Breakfast at Izaak Walton Inn

Breakfast is not included in your stay at Izaak Walton Inn, so if you don’t want to eat at the restaurant, plan ahead.

Grab a morning cup of coffee in the bar area at the Inn.
Morning coffee set up in the basement lounge.

There aren’t many places nearby so get dry-good groceries before arriving if staying in the main lodge (there aren’t fridges in the rooms). Some train cars and cabins have fridges and cooking areas, making it easier to bring groceries and make meals on your own. Carefully check what your accommodation will include before booking and arriving so you can be prepared.

There is also a gift shop off the lobby that has some snacks.

You'll love the rustic feel and look of the front lobby at Izaak Walton Lodge in western Montana.
Lobby of Izaak Walton Inn

Are There Any Other Onsite Amenities for Guests at Izaak Walton Inn?

We already mentioned the super fun game room. In addition to that, there is a sauna and hot tub located across from the main lodge. There’s also a laundry room by the sauna, plus one up by the cabins and train car accommodations.

My kids liked the old-school merry-go-round and slide on the property, too. 🙂

The kids will enjoy fun at the playground at Izaak Walton Inn near Glacier National Park.
Playground by the Main Lodge

As for Wi-Fi, Izaak Walton Inn has it, but it mostly only works in the lobby. We did get spotty service in our room, but at times it didn’t work. We also had no cell service.

Lack of cell service and poor Wi-Fi connection is incredibly common for accommodations around the east and south sides of Glacier National Park so we weren’t surprised by this. However, it’s important to know in case you think you’re going to be working remotely here.

Enjoyed This Review? Plan Your Stay at Izaak Walton Inn!

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Check out the view from the bridge at Izaak Walton Inn.
The bridge

Looking to stay on the other side of the train tracks and bridge? To book a train car accommodation, cabin, or family suite, you’ll want to book directly through Izaak Walton here.

Enjoy your stay!

A relaxing and rustic stay awaits you when you go to the Izaak Walton Inn.
Front view of the Izaak Walton Inn

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