Note : The entire southern shore of Kintla Lake was burned over
by the Wedge Canyon Fire in 2003. The photographs show the area prior
to the fires.
Kintla Lake is a beautiful lake that lies in the remote and wild
northwest corner of Glacier National Park. The lakes remote setting,
combined with a bumpy, slow ride, tend to keep visitor use on the lake
low. Other than a small campground right at roads end, no other amenities
are found anywhere near Kintla Lake. As a result, for the car camper
in search of relative solitude - with lots of solitude found just away
from the campground - Kintla Lake is a great choice.
Kintla Lake is quite large, being over 8 miles in length and up to a
mile wide in some spots. Like Bowman Lake just to the south, Kintla Lake
is surrounded by towering mountains and lies in a spectacular setting.
The fishing in Kintla Lake is decent for both whitefish and cutthroat
trout. While the cutthroat trout are not huge, the very light fishing
pressure makes these trout relatively easy to catch. They will eagerly
rise to most small dry flies. Small spoons on spin casting outfits also
Motorized vessels are not allowed on Kintla Lake. As such, it is an
ideal place to fish using a canoe, pontoon boat or inflatable kayak.
While the lake can be windy at times, generally the lake has only light
to moderate winds. Float tubes can also be used effectiely, although
the huge size of the lake and the very cold water can cause problems
for float tubers.
Use of Kintla Lake is exceedingly light. Virtually all of the use of
the lake is concentrated around the small campground at the head of the
lake. And of the few people who visit the head of the lake, ever fewer
head out on a boat to fish Kintla Lake. Instead, most of the use of Kintla
Lake and vicinity is either for pleasure camping or for hiking - a fairly
popular trailhead (the Boulder Pass Trail) for overnight backpacking
begins at Kintla Lake. One note of caution. This section of Glacier National
Park is very remote and is prime habitat for grizzly bears, so take all
necessary precautions for storing food and when hiking.
Overall, Kintla Lake in Glacier National Park is well worth the long
and bumpy drive to reach. The fishing will be fine for cutthroat trout
and whitefish. While the fish will not be huge, they are still fun to
catch. Combine the remote setting with the spectacular scenery of Glacier
National Park and you have the recipe for a wonderful fishing trip.
Hiking Gear & Equipment Guide for Glacier National
Boots : Buyers guide to getting the
right boot for hiking
Top of Page