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A small community on US Highway 2 near Glacier National Park offering limited services but a couple of big attractions.
One such attraction is the nearby (within a few miles) Walton Goat Lick Overlook. A sign directs you to a paved road ending in an ample parking lot where a paved, short and gentle trail leads to a view spot overlooking the deep canyon of Sheep Creek. Exposed rocks along the creek seep salts and minerals attractive to the local mountain goats. Best months of the year to see the goats are said to be June and July where as many as 75 at a time might appear.
Another big attraction is the Izaak Walton Inn, which is a must see for rail fans and others interested in the history of the Great Northern Railway's Empire Builder. The scenic Inn, which is on the National List of Historic Places, is a well known stop for lunch and a delightful destination for lodging both summer and winter.
Essex lies near the southwest corner of Glacier National Park between the communities of West Glacier and East Glacier Park on US Highway 2, the only highway serving the community. The closest Interstate Highways are I-90, which is some 160 miles to the south, and I-15, which is about 100 miles to the east of Essex.
Glacier Park International Airport at Kalispell. Services include Alaska Airlines, Allegiant, Delta Airlines/Skywest, United Airlines/Skywest and Holman Aviation (private charters). Rental cars are available at the airport.
The daily Amtrak passenger service the Empire Builder runs between Seattle/Portland and Chicago and stops at the Essex depot twice a day. The Essex depot is what is known as a flag stop, and perhaps the only remaining such stop on the Amtrak line. A flag stop is a station at which a train stops only when "flagged" to do so, and, if the train is not running behind schedule. The depot is a platform with no shelter located at the Izaak Walton Inn, 290 Izaak Walton Inn Road.
Visit Montana. Toll-free: 1-800-847-4868.
*See also the Go Northwest! guide to Glacier National Park
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